For a humane, the word 'community' hints at people trying to work out solutions to common problems. The term 'community' generally stands for a group that is bigger and more diverse than a family or any group of people bound together with relationships. It also has more elements than being of the same neighborhood or enclave, though not as large as a county or a nation. Certainly it does not include entire mankind. Apart from being a group of people with common characters, there are other elements like political or legal bindings, or similar economic positions.
Certain communities have had existence for a long time and are bound together by being in similar situations for quite some time. Other communities have gone through changes with members and groups coming to the community or going out even though the community has been in existence for a long time. Communities also break up and that happens for many possible reasons. The people of the community sometimes restart the community at other places, or even as groups. They may also join other communities, or may be scattered to just become individuals and not parts of communities. Several families form to make a community and it is always the family which is the focal point of activity. What distinguishes a family from a community is the bond which exists among the family members. But when family breaks up it brings with a deep sense of pain which cannot be compared to that of a community. (Norma, 31)
To what extent are families bound to their past?
Sociology is a branch of study concerning with the family as a social entity irrespective of its type. The varied nature of the American family induces most enthusiastic study than any other subject. Well-knit families provide freedom along with support. The families teach morals and lessons about values that are formed in the individuals. Among the values that are demanded, the greatest demand is for respect for others. The values it gives, gives people skills about their relationships to others. Members in the families also act as role models for each other. Families are in general supportive of the decisions made by the members of the family. The family is a source of strength to the members, and gives a renewed vigor and outlook. (Trent; South, 428)
The belonging in a family helps people to be more social and less worrisome, and look at life in a balanced manner. When there are problems in life, people turn to their families. When things get rough people realize through families that there could be something better which could happen in their lives. In dealing with troubled times through death break up, school, athletics or any other situation, well-knit families help children. Every family has an element of support and stability, and that teaches people of the inherent stability of life itself. Only a feeling of stability can permit people to develop dreams for the future. The well-knit family is the mould which builds up people and shows them the way to live, and these are the factors that bind individuals to families. (Michelle, 176)
The liberals commended and the conservatives condemned during the last thirty-five years, the degeneration of the conventional family, emphasizing the role of male as the earning member and confining the role of females as house-wives that formed the basis of American society until the first two-thirds of twentieth century. In spite of arguments and counter arguments, the role of family in the society and economy has unanimously been agreed upon to have been varied to a great extent along with its structure during the latter half of the twentieth century. Many attributes have been observed for such changes during the past periods. The growing industrialization and urbanized form of lifestyles are considered to be the prime factors for change in the family structure. Disintegration of families is being seen for several decades in the past in the process of searching of new and better job prospects. Such newer dimension of the family as a result of such job searching activity was never evaluated to be beneficial or harmful to the values of life. This is simply taken as a way of life in consequence of new industrial era. (Michelle, 175)
This presented an appropriate way of life for every body with increased standards of living. The growth from materialistic points-of-view is the only objective in deciding the structure of family. This of course has resulted in never before opulence amidst total fragmentation of joint families and local brotherhood. The development of quicker and cost-effective mode of transportation is considered to be another factor for geographical diffusion of families. Education is another contributing factor for such changed structure of family. It is seen that the college and university going children are forced to be away from their families and found enough confidence and preference to make residences nearer to the educational environment. Moreover, the disintegration of families is attributed to the ignorance or indifference attitude towards the profound influence of industrialization and urbanized attitudes on family. (Michelle, 176)
Increasing attitude towards separation and divorce is considered to be another cause of the disintegration of families. With the separation of spouses the family breaks and the nexus for joint families are devastated and continuance of its nexus becomes very difficult. However, with remarriage of divorced spouses new relationships grow with constructions of new tie ups and nexus. The adverse impacts of divorce are not considered significant amidst already declining values in respect of the basic social unit family which together with the reduced significance of family nexus and possibility for ordinary leading of life by the spouses in seclusion after separation has made the divorces a common phenomenon in the disturbed families. The joint families are no more prevalent to provide necessary impetus as supportive base and moral boost up. Separation is therefore being visualized as both a cause and consequence of the disintegration of joint families. Bad relationships which one has gone by can however prepare people for the future. (Amato; Booth, 308)
What does it take to make a family change "for the better"?
There is increasing emphasis in the society on qualitative family relationships. The objective of establishing a pleasant and secured family life in many cases seems to be discouraging. With the increasing marriages concluding with divorce, little room has been left for maintenance of long-term relationships with separated families and broken homes. Presently like every thing the establishment of home is also aimed at attainment of some of the materialistic and non-materialistic pursuits. The basic operation of the families is widely influenced by its various types, internal structures, and external associations. The efficacy of the families in perusing the basic objectives is greatly influenced by the variations in its structure with the changing social and economic policies. This necessitated alterations in its basic forms for pursuing the underlying values amidst such transitions. (Trent; South, 430)
The family is thus continuously subjected to the optimistic changes brought about. The evaluations of the impact of generalized policies can be best seen from the families being the base level units of reproduction, production, consumption and socialization and also contributing towards their success being the basic operational unit. This is the sphere where in which the basic gender relationships are defined in real terms in order to have a profound impact on basic economic parameters of consumption, savings, and investment, constitutions of labor force through generation and allocation of resources. These parameters are considered significant for economic growth. The efficacy in catering to the needs of the members of family determines the magnitude of its dependence on the productive resources. Family being the basic social unit, its success is the key towards constitution of successful communities. (Kramer; Arbuthnot; Gordon; Rousis; Hoza, 14)
Irrespective of the level of economic prosperity, the basic objectives of the family is to thrive in up bringing of children, efficient management of their resources, establishment of a compassionate home environment, and healthy and secured members. During the twentieth century many studies have been made on disturbed families in order to find out the reasons of their failure. Similarly studies on successful families have also revealed about the basic reasons behind their success. David Mace was one considered as one of the pioneer in marriage enrichment movement in England and America. He emphasized on the analysis of the successful families that endeavors in providing significant knowledge in out search for efforts for making the human life pleasant ensuring increasing number of stable and secured families. He was striving hard for encouraging studies in this line. (Conger; Harold; Fincham; Osborne, 238)
However, it has been found out that the successful families are totally free from the crises but they are not considered to be as distressed as that of the disturbed ones. Moreover, these families are seen to have the necessary abilities to deal the address the crisis efficiently. The strong families…