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Images of Family

The concept of the family has always been one of the central in the people’s culture. In general, the word is used to name a group of people united by specific ties. However, through the course of history, the concept has been constantly changing, and today has a wide interpretation even within one culture.


Primarily, there are three common images of family. The first type is a nuclear family. It is a family consisting of parents and children living together and communicating with each other. The second type is a single-parent family when there is either a mother or a father, and a child or children. The last category is an extended family, which includes quite a significant number of distant relatives like grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. For sure, this classification can represent the vast majority of family ties and is useful as a kind of framework for the further research. On the other hand, there are also stepfamilies, in which children are in blood relations with only one of the parents. Moreover, today there is a widespread situation when the family consists of people of the same gender. Therefore, same-sex families form another group that could be included into the framework.

When speaking about the influence of the Great Recession, it is worth mentioning that the birth rate significantly decreased during that period. People were afraid to have children and were always under stress. As a result, the average number of children per family also dropped. On the other hand, the divorce rate also declined because people were afraid to start living alone because it was more expensive. At the same time, some young adults tried to postpone their marriage and lived with their parents or moved to the ancestral home when got married.


The common term ‘family’ is quite complex since one can interpret it in different ways. Today there are several types of families, such as nuclear, extended, single-parent families, as well as same-sex and stepfamilies. For sure, the historical aspect has also played a great role in the development of families, and made people marry later and have fewer children.

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