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In Canada the definition of family is as diverse as the ethnic racial and religious make up of the country Websters dictionary 1994 defines family as 1 a fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children a two or more people who share goals and values have long-term commitments to one another and reside usually in the same dwelling place 2 all the members of a household under one roof 3 a group of persons sharing common ancestry Lineage especially distinguished lineage 4 a locally independent organized crime unit as of the Cosa Nostra 5 a a group of like things a class b a group of individuals derived from a common stock the family of human beings What is the definition of a Canadian family There is no simple answer to this question The definition is variable and determined externally by societal changes over time In this brief essay there will be a discussion about the problems associated with defining a family in Canada In addition examples from different cultural backgrounds will be used in an attempt to illustrate the complex nature of the family As stated by Baker 2001 the way we define our own family doesnt necessarily generalize well to other families How we behave express values and morals are very culturally dependent To access others cultures through our own culture colored glasses is not only subjective but also judgmental The family is probably one of the most ancient institutions around yet it is still open to influences of changes that occur over time Defining the family 3 Baker 2001 claims that theses changes to society have led to the development of public discourse about family behavior norms What is family The definition of family depends on who answers the question Definitions of family take into account the structure function and legality of the unit for its group members and for society as
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