What Is A Family?

image of a father is laughing and smiling. He is holding one of his children on his right shoulder and the other in his arm. Both children are also laughing and smiling.

Learning Objectives

  1. Examine how culture influences the evolving definition of family.

Humans are social creatures. We make friends, live in communities, and connect to acquaintances through shared interests. Perhaps nothing is more central to the social world than the concept of family. Our families represent our earliest relationships and, often, our most enduring ones. In this module, you will learn how culture influences the evolving definition of families and the stages of development of families.

Our discussion will begin with a basic definition of family and how this has changed across time and place. Next, we move on to a discussion of family roles and how families evolve across the lifespan.  Finally, we will explore how implicit, explicit, and confirmation bias impacts our work with families, schools, and communities.

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