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Sometimes these are also considered members of the immediate family, depending on an individual's specific relationship with them.In most societies, the family is the principal institution for the socialization of children.Olivia Harris states this confusion is not accidental, but indicative of the familial ideology of capitalist, western countries that pass social legislation that insists members of a nuclear family should live together, and that those not so related should not live together; despite the ideological and legal pressures, a large percentage of families do not conform to the ideal nuclear family type.The different types of families occur in a wide variety of settings, and their specific functions and meanings depend largely on their relationship to other social institutions."Times have changed; it is more acceptable and encouraged for mothers to work and fathers to spend more time at home with the children.The way roles are balanced between the parents will help children grow and learn valuable life lessons.The term blended family or stepfamily describes families with mixed parents: one or both parents remarried, bringing children of the former family into the new family.
The term family of choice is also used by individuals in the 12 step communities, who create close-knit "family" ties through the recovery process.
There is [the] great importance of communication and equality in families, in order to avoid role strain." The term "nuclear family" is commonly used, especially in the United States of America, to refer to conjugal families.
A "conjugal" family includes only the husband, the wife, and unmarried children who are not of age.
Sociologists distinguish between conjugal families (relatively independent of the kindred of the parents and of other families in general) and nuclear families (which maintain relatively close ties with their kindred).
A "matrifocal" family consists of a mother and her children.As the basic unit for raising children, anthropologists generally classify most family organizations as matrifocal (a mother and her children); conjugal (a wife, her husband, and children, also called the nuclear family); avuncular (for example, a grandparent, a brother, his sister, and her children); or extended (parents and children co-reside with other members of one parent's family).