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:
“We all of us waited for him to die. The family sent him a cheque every month, and hoped hed get on with it quietly, without too much vulgar fuss.”
—John Osborne (b. 1929)
“Productive collaborations between family and school, therefore, will demand that parents and teachers recognize the critical importance of each others participation in the life of the child. This mutuality of knowledge, understanding, and empathy comes not only with a recognition of the child as the central purpose for the collaboration but also with a recognition of the need to maintain roles and relationships with children that are comprehensive, dynamic, and differentiated.”
—Sara Lawrence Lightfoot (20th century)
“I worry about people who get born nowadays, because they get born into such tiny familiessometimes into no family at all. When youre the only pea in the pod, your parents are likely to get you confused with the Hope Diamond. And that encourages you to talk too much.”
—Russell Baker (b. 1925)