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Encyclopedia > Extended family
Charles Sprague Pearce, Family (1896). Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.
Charles Sprague Pearce, Family (1896). Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.

Extended family (or joint family) is a term with several distinct meanings. First, it is used synonymously with consanguineous family. Second, in societies dominated by the conjugal family, it is used to refer to kindred who does not belong to the conjugal family. Often there could be many generations living under the same roof, depending on the circumstances. The Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress The oldest of the three United States Library of Congress buildings, the Thomas Jefferson Building opened in 1897. ... Complex Family is a generic term for any family structure involving more than two adults. ... Consanguinity, literally meaning common blood, describes how close a person is related to another in the sense of a family. ... -1...

Roles and Responsibilities

In extended families the network of relatives acts as a close-knit community. Extended families can include, aside from parents and their children:

  • spouses of children
  • cousins, aunts, uncles
  • foster children/adopted children etc.

In the cultures where the extended family is the basic family unit, growing up to adulthood does not necessarily mean severing bonds between oneself and one's parents or even grandparents. When the child grows up, he or she moves into the larger and more real world of adulthood, yet he or she doesn't, under normal circumstances, establish an identity separate from that of the community....

Workload is equally shared among the members. The women are often housewives and cook for the entire family. The patriarch of the family (often the oldest male member) lays down the rules, works (if not retired) and arbitrates disputes. Other senior members of the household baby sit infants. They are also responsible in teaching the younger children their mother tongue, manners and etiquette. The members of the household also look after each other in case a member is ill.

Around the world

In many cultures, such as in those of many of the Africans, Korean, the Middle Easterners, the Jewish family of central Europe, the Latin Americans, the Indians, the East Asians and the Pacific Islanders, extended families are the basic family unit. Cultures in which the extended family is common usually happen to be collectivistic cultures. A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination of these attributes. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... East Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Pacific Islands (or Pacific Person, pl: Pacific People, also called Oceanic[s]), is a geographic term used in several places, such as New Zealand and the United States, to describe the inhabitants of any of the three major sub-regions of Oceania. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

Australian Aborigines are another group for whom the concept of family extends well beyond the nuclear model. Aboriginal immediate families include aunts, uncles and a number of other relatives who would be considered "distant relations" in context of the nuclear family. Aboriginal families have strict social rules regarding who they can marry. Their family structure incorporates a shared responsibility for all tasks.[citation needed]

See also

Complex Family is a generic term for any family structure involving more than two adults. ... For other uses, see Family (disambiguation). ... The term nuclear family developed in the western world to distinguish the family group consisting of parents (usually a father and mother) and their children, from what is known as an extended family. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Family - MSN Encarta (1296 words)
A third family unit is the single-parent family, in which children live with an unmarried, divorced, or widowed mother or father.
The purely religious nature of family ties was partly abandoned in favor of civil bonds after the Reformation, which began in the 1500s.
The only function of the family that continues to survive all change is the provision of affection and emotional support by and to all its members, particularly infants and young children.
Family Ties: Extended Family (206 words)
An extended family is two or more adults from different generations of a family, who share a household.
It consists of more than parents and children; it may be a family that includes parents, children, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, foster children etc. The extended family may live together for many reasons, help raise children, support for an ill relative, or help with financial problems.
Extended families can be found all over the world in different communities and countries.
  More results at FactBites »



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