It also varies with urban or rural residence. Urban households commonly earn more and enjoy a higher standard of living than rural households. The allocation for food spending corresponds to the biggest part of the family budget. However, as family income increases, the share in food in consumption expenses generally drops. This is most likely because of the popularity of "fast foods" nowadays.
The process of socialization takes a lifetime whereby the individual acquires the established beliefs, values, sentiments, norms and behavior of his group and society. It is through socialization that the individual becomes a functioning member of his group. It is also through this process that values, customs and beliefs are passed on from one generation to the other.
Because of the significance of early experiences and primary relationships, the family remains to be the most important socializing agent in the child's life (Davidson and Moore, 1992). It is the chide agent of socialization because it is the unit primarily in-charge of nurturing the child during the early formative years.
The family therefore has a long-lasting influence on the development of a child's personality and character. The parents and other adult members of the family inculcate in the child the certain norms and values they want the child to retain until his maturity. They influence the child by doing things, serving as examples for the child. Thus the family acts as a social laboratory where the individual prepares for life in his society. Experiences at home set the direction of his behavior in the future.
Societies have some type of stratification system where members are classed or ranked such that some have more kudos and power than others. The family serves as an agent of stratification because it conveys at least initially its status to the individual. Upon birth, the child acquires his family name and a place in the society. The standing of his family determines his position in the hierarchy. Socialization also helps maintain class placement. Still, the family and kin group would still play the biggest part in helping members maintain or improve their status.
Welfare and Protection
The family desires to protect its members' interest and welfare. It provides for the necessary protection measures of its members. The family also provides not only physical but also psychological protection and support. Kin solidarity and close relationships last over time and distance. This is evidenced by the fact that responsibility and obligation is continued despite separation of family members.
The family also serves a purpose for the other institutions. It has economic functions important in production, distribution and consumption. It is also a catalyst for political stability. When family members agree on something, the support of its family members is assured. It is also important in religion and education.
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