Applied Sociology within the Family Applied sociology is a part of everyday life. Families experience sociological changes when parents get divorced, a new job is taken, or they get discriminated against. Most people may not think of family as a small society, micro level society, within itself. All families have a hierarchy of power beginning with the head of the household which tends to be the father. The way a family forms its own small society is interesting. Family roles have change dramatically. Fifty to sixty years ago, families were merely based on the degree of precision and the roles performed by the parents.
Now days the primary family roles which were initially the husband’s responsibility such as income, household repairs, car maintenance, and paying the bills, have disbursed to the wives and children. Today, wives share if not completely take over the primary roles and do not only hold the responsibility for cooking, taking care of the children, and performing the household chores. With the macro level of society constantly changing, family roles must adapt and both the husband and wives individual roles must be shared to successfully continue the family function. People survive through the ability to communicate.
Communication allows families to uphold important relationships throughout their lives. With the adequate effort, these relationships can help hold together the family functions. In chapter three of the book “Society the basics” elaborates on how the family, although a small part of society as a whole, may be the most important socializing agent of all (Macionis, 2009). Socialization occurs from infancy to old age and never resides. The strength of one side of each relationship within the family helps sustain the other side of the relationship and in turn helps create other relationships (Macionis, 2009).
Within a family, the parents’ relationship controls the environment for the rest of the members’ ability to attain positive and well-working relationships. A family begins with the parents and continues to increase in size and ability from the marriage relationship. Although a marital relationship begins before any other type of family relationship, this fact does not mean that it is the easiest type to maintain. Gaining and maintaining marital quality involves commitment, communication and certain adjustments for each of the spouses.
When the marital status of the parents becomes stressed, the family can experience chaos and complete crises. When this happens, the structure becomes unclear and the overall family becomes unable to function. I find it interesting that the social function of the family can be impacted if only one relationship is broken within the network. The article “Applying Applied Sociology in the Family” describes the family unit as a micro level society. The micro level is the smallest structure of society, but may be the strongest. Family units consist of small groups of compatible people.
Guidelines are established to help control the functions of the family and also help establish behaviors that in turn allow the individual society to be unique. Each family has its own roles that each family member must uphold in order to have a functional unit. The article gives an example of the roles in terms of a hierarchy such as the father being the head of the household and a step down is the mother, a partner to the father (Applied Sociology). There are also specific characteristics of a family society being socialization, segregation, ritual, and sanctioning.
The first trait, socialization, was described in the article as the creation of shared beliefs. In order to for socialization to take place, certain regulations must be set and abided by. An example of a regulation for socialization is a family’s set time every week to get together and discuss issues, talk about happenings, and communicate to one another on a one-on-one basis. Socialization with each individual of the family also provides an understanding of what potential impacts the outside influences may cause to the function of the family unit.
By performing this “family meeting” on a weekly schedule provides the basis for another trait that that helps form the family, ritual. Enduring the ritual also leads to the sanctioning trait of the family. Sanctioning can be determined within a family meeting by reading the actions and expressions of one’s body language to the comments given from others family members. This then allows for the determination of the behavior within the society as a whole. With the society sanction determined, conclusions can be made for the segregation of parts of the society.
Depending on the outcome, parts of the society may need to be segregated to perform specific tasks. Doing this allows the family functions to stay balanced. If any one of these components become stressed, the family functions as a whole can be impacted and possible broken. Although one family member may be the root cause of the stressed trait, the family overall must adapt and use methods of applied sociology to overcome the potential threats. There are several methods presented in the article that can serve as assistance to the family function.
The main point the article conveys, is that communication with the family members is the single most critical aspect of maintaining a society within the family (Applied Sociology). Applying applied sociology to the family can only benefit the overall social function of the family. The findings the article can be applied in many ways to everyday life. Positive interactions between parents and siblings can create a better relationship between the siblings. Parents are present in each type of family relationship because they prove to be the most important aspect in creating a well-working family.
If parents create an environment for sibling play, then the parents are allowing for future positive relations between the children. Doing so allows a stronger social family network and the family unit can be carried on. Everyday parents build up the family functionality because the parents can monitor the relationship between the individuals and offer assistance to the individual connections when needed. Without the parents monitoring these traits, the family would not learn or have the ability to treat one another in order to allow a positive and constantly growing relationship.
Parents must excel in their efforts to uphold a well-working marital relationship for the family to have a positive functioning relationship. They also need to guide the family with their own actions. Overall, every characteristic of relationships within a family relate to the very beginning of the family. Since the parents begin the family, every other relationship must contain structure, flexibility, and communication given to the relationship by the parents.
Parental participation is important and favorable to every member and every type of relationship within the family. The parental relationship in a family can establish the atmosphere for which to improve relationships within the family’s society. References Applied Sociology. Sociology and your Family. Retrieved from Applied Sociologies Website: http://www. appliedsoc. org/family/ Macionis, John J. (2009). Society: The Basics. 10th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.