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 value of a family is that it cushions and protects while the individual is learning ways of coping. And a supportive social system provides the same kind of cushioning for the family as a whole.”
—Michael W. Yogman, and T. Berry Brazelton (20th century)
“The family is in flux, and signs of trouble are widespread. Expectations remain high. But realities are disturbing.”
—Robert Neelly Bellah (20th century)
“A real hangover is nothing to try out family remedies on. The only cure for a real hangover is death.”
—Robert Benchley (18891945)