No institution is more closely intertwined with other institutions than, the family. For example, the form of the family is related to
the economy. The slash-and-burn agriculture of the Tanala required a work team of several strong men, making the consanguine family an efficient work unit [Linton, 1?36, chap. 20). One family historian attributes the rise of the modern nuclear. family to the development of market capitalism [Shorter, 1975, chap. 7): We'note that as developing countries move into industrialization; the nuclear family is replacing the consangui __ or extended family because it is better adapted to specialization, mobility, and individualism than the extended family [Goode, 1963;Zelditch, 1964, p. 496; Fernandez, 1977, p. 158].

As noted by Keniston [1977], the family is expected to take up ,the slack in our other institutions. If the business cycle turns downward, the family tightens its belt. Instead of working hours being adjusted to the convenience of the family, the family must adjust to whatever working hours the economy demands. Family size falls as changing technology transforms children from an economic asset 'to an economic burden. The influence of religion on the family can be great, as shown by the Mormons and the Amish, whose birthrates are among the highest and divorce rates among the lowest in the country. The direction of institutional interrelationships is highly one-sided. Other institutions affect- the family farm note than the family affects other institutions. For" example, the increase of working mothers makes it rational .for either corporations or government to provide extensional-care facilities, as both have done in many western nations but not in the United States. Yet therein some-response to family change by other institutions. The schools r 'are asked to assume tasks the family can no longer do very well. The welfare institutions arose because the modern family could no longer discharge its protective functions .efficiently. On balance, however" changes in other institutions produced by the family are outnumbered by changes imposed upon the family by other institutions.

Posted on September 4, 2014 in The Family

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