August 10, 2006

What Defines a Family?

The society we live in often refers to things as being "family-friendly" or not "family-friendly". The implication is that it is or isn't suitable for children. Does this mean that a family must consist of children?

According to Wikipedia, "A family consists of a domestic group of people (or a number of domestic groups), typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by comparable legal relationships — including domestic partnership, adoption, surname and (in some cases) ownership (as occurred in the Roman Empire)."

The above definition encompasses those without children. A married couple is a family as well as domestic partners. Whether or not one has children does not define a family.

Technorati Tag:


Elise said...


I've always recoiled when listening to newlyweds glowingly say "well, we want kids, but I think we'll wait awhile before starting a family".

That's what you just *did*, you two. Remember, that day with the white dress? Sheesh.


Robin said...

I consider me, my boyfriend and our 2 cats as a family. We may not be the "traditional" family but we are a family.

Anonymous said...

Twiga - Thanks for this post. What would we bloggers do without Wikipedia, the online open format encyclopedia?

I commend the wiki editors for this sentence (yeah, we're included!):

"In modern societies marriage entails particular rights and privileges that encourage the formation of new families even when participants have no intention of having children."

Who knew there were so many kinds of families?


Doc Band - More to your point, under the heading Enlgish kinship terminology let’s add the word Partner. Under types of families I would add Families of Two!

Robin - I hear ya.

Miss Bloggy Pants said...