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Word Count: 611
A good definition of the word function is a contribution that a part of a system makes to the maintenance of the whole This is also true when dealing with the functions of the family Every member of a family contributes to the family unit as a whole and every family unit contributes and adds to society A well-known functionalist named Talcott Parson was able to break down the functions of the family into an easy to understand theory He stated that the main functions of the family were to ensure that new babies actually survive to become adult members of that society to regulate sexual activity to ensure that children are satisfactorily socialized into the norms and values of society to provide economic support for other family members to satisfy our emotional needs for love and security and finally To provide us with a sense of place and position in our society In summary the main function of the family is to provide for the basic needs of each other Families satisfy the basic needs of their children by providing for their health safety intellectual social and emotional needs Babies are one of the most immature animals when they are born Many animals can care for themselves within hours of birth but human babies require complete support of an adult years into their life Parents and other family members can help their children mature into adult hood by meeting their basic needs The next point I would like to address is how over the years the main functions of the family have changed During the 1600s the main function of the family was survival Families were considered as a work force Every member had specific jobs to do The family produced everything they used or consumed Families usually had several children to help in the fields doing labor The Father was considered the head of the household As the head of the household
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