Family
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A family is a group of individuals that are related by blood, remarriage, or in many cases close ties. Families often consist of parents, children, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Families stem from other values like, commitment(#). Families commonly share traditions(#), ways of life(#), and religious faith(#). Families of any kind are known as one unit, or one group.

The emphasis on valuing family has decreased with our evolving society. People are often too preoccupied with the stresses of life to spend time with their families, no matter what type of family that may be; further decreasing the importance of tradition, religion, and toleration in our society.

Families all differentiate from one another and are not always based on blood relation. Our society depicts an image seen as the "traditional family" which consists of a mother, father and their biological children. Sociologists refer to this as the nuclear family. These days’ nuclear families are not quite as common. Families may only consist of one parent due to divorce, death, or pregnancies that were not conceived by a married couple. In some cases, children may not have biological parents at all; adoption or the taking in of a child that the legal guardian did not give birth to, but through legal means is willing to raise them is becoming more popular. Children are often raised by grandparents, aunts or uncles, even close family friends who step in to act as parents. A family may be childless, or it may even be a group of people who share common ideas and have love for one another while living under one roof. It is important to note that every person is, in some way, a part of a family.

In today’s society the emphasis on careers plays a large role on family abandonment. The irony of it is that people often work harder and longer hours in order to be able to provide the biggest and the best for their families, leaving hardly any time to enjoy these amenities with their loved ones. A great career and having a large salary is the key to success in this world, isn't it? Some may in fact believe that, but in our society we value our loved ones and our relationships with family members. If we spend more time with our careers than our family, we may lose sight of what is really important; to love and be loved.The diminishing sense of family repertoire is what tears families apart. People value acceptance, forgiveness, and dependency when needed from there families, and my two interviewees were no exception. This region has a strong sense of family as a value; which is what I learned as I endeavored into these interviews. My interviewees valued that their families not only accepted them, but let them serve as independents from the group, while always subsiding back to the group at one point and time (repeating again, dependency when needed). Families may not be like minded in views from politics to athletics but my interviewees valued support persistently.

Technology, yet again is another factor in our societies declination of the importance of family. With such simple ways of staying connected, people often don’t find it as necessary to physically be in another’s presence. It is important for families to keep in touch, especially when things such as education and work separate families. However, society’s mannerisms have come to the point where people feel that keeping in touch with a phone call, text, or email is good enough. With the high-speed connections that one can receive at the simple touch of a button, people begin to feel connected to one another, while taking minimal time out of their busy schedule to do so. With technology physical togetherness seems less necessary, and therefore the overall value of family begins to decline.

Therefore, one must make time for their family to attain this value. Suggestions for this may be a shorter work week, as well as weekly or even monthly traditions in which people set aside specific time for their family. My interviewees informed me that whether they go to dinner as a family once a week, or watch the big game on sundays, they make a weekly effort to all spend time together; Spending time on holidays is a great way to stay close to your family as well. Furthermore, one should continue to keep in touch with one’s family, by making sure that technological connections do not become what one would consider time spent with their family.
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Family groups must spend time with one another in order to have a healthy ongoing relationship. Time spent with families may deemphasize the time spent on careers(#), however, by fulfilling the commitments(#) and responsibilities(#) one has to their family, through physical togetherness, one will increase the knowledge(#) they gain through relatives. Family, no matter if it is blood relation or not, is important to everyone in some way; keeping the value of family enriched is a key element to a healthy life.

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Footnotes
1. www.magazine.ucla.edu/features/american-family/
2. www.dreamstine.com/stick-figure-family-image2/
3. Personal Interview 9/26/08 Roberta Lee & Tony Stone

The Conflict:

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