Modern families: types and characteristics

Modern families no longer respond to a single, crystallized image. Today there are multiple ways to consolidate and live the experiences of this social group.

Last update: June 23, 2022

When we do the exercise of looking at some photos of our ancestors, we are surprised by what we see. And we can even quickly see that modern families are not the same as those of yesteryear.

From clothing, roles, number of children and types of jobs, everything seems to have changed. Although this basic unit of society has been completely transformed, it continues to be an area of ​​socialization and development par excellence. Let’s see, then, what modern families are like and what their characteristics are.

Every family is a world

First of all, it is necessary to clarify that we have to broaden our view of families. We usually have a crystallized and traditional idea about it and its operation. However, based on historical and social changes, today there are multiple ways of being and making a family.

Of course, this social group is also influenced by external factors, such as the society to which it belongs, the culture, what happens in the different spaces with which it is linked (work, sports club, school). Also because of the parenting style that is applied and the type of education that the referring adults implement.

So families are characterized by stability. But also by change and movement.

Modern families and their characteristics

Some of the characteristics of modern families are as follows.

The traditional model of nuclear family is today one among many others that coexist in society.

great diversity

The model traditional of family is no longer that of mom, dad and children. Now there are single-parent families, assembled families, those with homosexual parents who adopt children, those who decide not to have them, those who start assisted reproduction treatments, among others.

There are also adoptive families and foster families. Namely, there are new configurations that surpass the only way that was known or that it was validated by the majority.

Less distance between generations

Parents and their sons and daughters no longer maintain that distance that existed before, when there were certain topics that could not be discussed. Nowadays the mapaternity try to live with greater openness and closeness.

What matters is the link

In modern families, the blood tie is secondary. In other words, faced with a more generalized situation of separations and assembled families, there are members who join and make up a new group. Therefore, what is given importance is affection, what is shared.

It is even very common to form families of friends. Especially in those cases of migration, in which the nuclear family is far away.

They are usually less numerous

The current socio-historical conditions (economic pressure, incorporation of women into the labor market, birth control with contraceptive methods, postponement of motherhood, search for new experiences), have led to couples decide to have children later.

This also impacts the number of children you have. Therefore, it is common for us to find family units with a smaller number of members.

Trend towards co-responsibility

Although gender roles and stereotypes still exist, according to which women are the main protagonists of care work and are responsible for what happens in the domestic sphere, the situation is changing.

This means that today we face the challenge of consolidating a trend to distribute household chores more equitably and child rearing. However, it is true that a few years ago, for some generations it was unthinkable for a father to change diapers or take care of preparing the bag for a walk with his son.

The role of the father has changed and some gender barriers that previously existed regarding responsibilities within the home are being overcome.

Greater presence of technology

The presence of technology in the family has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it serves to keep them connected, especially those that are separated by distance.

However, it is also true that many times it breaks into the family dynamic so strongly that it blocks conversations and overshadows the interaction between its members.

Roles and functions are important

We can conclude by saying that there are different types of families, each with its own history, idiosyncrasy and culture. It is not about establishing if there are two fathers in the family or if the group is made up of a mother and her son. What matters is that the family can fulfill essential functions:

  • Nutrition.
  • Education.
  • Support and affective containment.
  • Accompaniment to its members in the development.

For this reason, it is key to understand what and how this complex bonding tissue is. Only in this way can we be on the side, understanding the balance between singularity and complexity.

It is very important to educate children in valuing diversity. That they be able to understand and accept that we all come from human groups with different habits and customs, equally valuable.

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