In accordance with Schwarz and Scott (2007), the modern family structure has changed. However, its main functions retain the same changing only their peculiarities. Schwarz and Scott insist that today we have new kinds of families – gay and lesbian ones – and despite people’s negative attitude to them, such families can fulfill their main functions. One of the most meaningful functions is the physical stability and care in the family. If all the members of the family receive protection, food, shelter, clothing, etc, it functions in a normal way. In my own family parents used to provide these things and now, with time, I and my brother have become responsible for it. It is a natural course of events.
The next function is known as regeneration. The institution of the family renews the society adding new members. My grandparents brought my parents to this world, my parents brought me and my brother and we later are going to have our own children. So, my family fulfills this function, as well.
The institution of family fulfills several functions in the society. One of its main functions is a social one. Family provides the process of socialization and adaptation for children and it can be easily proved on the example of my own family. Being born, children are concentrated on themselves; they are egocentric and it is the family that teaches these children to accept the existing social rules and come through the process of adaptation.
Parents teach their child to take into account other people’s interests, to follow particular social rules, to behave in a proper way for this or that social order. However, what is even more important, in families children start realizing that they are meaningful and have their own responsibilities.
They learn how to care about other people. In my own family, as well as in other Korean families, parents take care about their children till they get married and start their independent life. For example, my mother and father have always provided me and my brother with everything we needed. Now we realize that our parents require our care, support and attention. My mother is blind and has problems with health, so she lives with brother who cares about her, as she used to do all her life. This knowledge and such attitude to other people is taught and shown only in the family. On this example from my own experience it is easy to realize that the process of socialization and adaptation provided by the institution of family is extremely important for the normal human relation in the society.
Another function is social control within the family. The family gives common knowledge about appropriate pattern of social behavior and allows to evaluate different actions as negative and positive. In my family our parents taught us to care about each other practicing a positive model of behavior.
Another important function is moral and ethical upbringing. A family is aimed to create a good background for the functioning of the whole society. It introduces main moral norms that act in a particular society. Children get acquainted with such important notions as leadership, love, trust, support, inspiration and many others in the family. Education is closely connected with this function. In our family, both my mother and my father have higher education and they motivated me and my brother also to move in this direction. We are knowledge oriented and it means that can bring use to the society.
A family also fulfils an important economic function – it is the main producer and consumer of world goods. Fulfilling needs of its members, a family plays a great role in the national economy. It is an obvious fact, that my family also consumes some goods and produces a number of services fulfilling this function in such a way.
In accordance with the existing qualification of families (Schwarz, Scott, 2007) my family can be defined as a traditional one. Despite the fact that my family is nuclear, my parents used to preserve and maintain cultural traditions known from our grandparents and previous generations. We are Christians and it also plays a vital role in the maintenance of family order.
General information and theoretical knowledge about family, its kinds, structure and functions allowed me to evaluate my family situation more adequate, to compare it with other types of families and to have an impression, whether my family fulfils all necessary functions. Schwartz and Scott in their book Marriages and Families; Diversity and Change present a modern view on the family today, discuss its controversy and problematic aspect, make an accent on the social changes that have happened and mark out main tendencies in this institution development. This fact allows to analyze any family in perspective, not in a narrow context of one or two generations. Moreover, it allows to have a sight from the distanced perspective and analyze your family as objectively, as it is possible from your subjective side.