In human context, a family (from Latin: familia) is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children. Anthropologists most generally classify family organization as matrilocal (a mother and her children); conjugal (a wife, husband, and children, also called nuclear family); and consanguinal (also called an extended family) in which parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent's family.
There are also concepts of family that break with tradition within particular societies, or those that are transplanted via migration to flourish or else cease within their new societies. As a unit of socialization the family is the object of analysis for sociologists of the family. Genealogy is a field which aims to trace family lineages through history. In science, the term "family" has come to be used as a means to classify groups of objects as being closely and exclusively related. In the study of animals it has been found that many species form groups that have similarities to human "family"—often called "packs." Sexual relations among family members are regulated by rules concerning incest such as the incest taboo.
Extended from the human "family unit" by affinity and consanguinity are concepts of family that are physical and metaphorical, or that grow increasingly inclusive extending to community, village, city, region, nationhood, global village and humanism.
Famous quotes containing the word family:
“The life-fate of the modern individual depends not only upon the family into which he was born or which he enters by marriage, but increasingly upon the corporation in which he spends the most alert hours of his best years.”
—C. Wright Mills (19161962)
“My ambition for station was always easily controlled. If the place came to me it was welcome. But it never seemed to me worth seeking at the cost of self-respect, or independence. My family were not historic; they were well-to-do, did not hold or seek office. It was easy for me to be contented in private life. An honor was no honor to me, if obtained by my own seeking.”
—Rutherford Birchard Hayes (18221893)
“Every family has one passage of scripture they stumble over.”