Families are different – but not all receive the same recognition. But what does family mean in general and who is a family?
What is a family?
Family is, first of all, a group of people who somehow belong together by biological relationship, marriage, or freely chosen and scattered all over the world or live together under one roof.
If you ask people what family means to them, on the one hand, it is about responsibility, love, trust, support, security. On the other hand, a lot of injury, violence and hatred happen in families in particular.
Importance of family
In the course of history, it has not only changed who belongs to the family but also what importance it is. For many people, the family was and is a community of fate that ensures mutual survival. For example, by caring for children, old and sick people, or working together. The importance of family also depends on which families and which epoch you are looking at. In times of monarchies, for example, the family primarily meant important political connections for the nobility: whoever married whom here rarely had anything to do with love or affection, but rather with whom alliances should be created or through whom power should be established.
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The importance of family today is controversial. With welfare state support such as pensions or social assistance, the family is not necessary to ensure survival. Some complain that the family has lost its importance. Nevertheless, the family is important for most people: emotionally, as support, or as a demarcation. Depending on their economic background, many people still need more than one earner in order to have financial stability. There is also still a lot of care and nurturing work done within the family, especially by women. One thing is clear: family is important. Whether positive or negative, it matters.
Families are different
Perhaps exactly what many find great and important about families: people who take responsibility for one another. Those who are important to one another, who care for one another and are there for one another even in difficult times. For many people, there is all of this with parents and relatives, their so-called family of origin. Others experience conflicts, exclusion or violence in their family of origin so that a family of choice made up of friends and/or partners is all the more important for them. It would be great if all of these families received recognition and support.