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WHAT IS A FAMILY?
Identify three people (it would be best if both sexes and a variety of ages were
represented). Individually, ask each person to define "What is a family?" Your paper should
include your subjects gender, marital status, and approximate age as well as their complete
response to the question. In addition to those three definitions, include your own definition.
Note: Most people will try to give "simple" answers. Encourage them to give complete
thoughtful answers.

When I first had the question What is a Family? presented to me, I have many things
that come to mind. One of the first things is, what is the actual definition of a family? So I turned
to the textbook to find out, and it says, Family: A unit of two or more peoplewho cooperate
economically, and may share a common dwelling place. (Strong & Cohen, 2014, p. 552) After
reading that, with a better understanding- I wanted to know what others defined a family as. So, I
took the question to the people that I know best.
My mom, who is a female and 50 years of age, has been happily married to my dad of 28
years. Her response to the question, A family is between a man and woman married by law,
with children. But also, grandkids, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. all make up the family as well.
(Dolly Roy, personal communication, 2015) I asked her, why she felt that way, and she explained
to me that the faith she was brought up in, and raised myself in, helped her understand the
importance of family and what a family was meant to be.
The second person I talked to, my best friend Morgan Gunter, female, 18 years old.
Morgan definitely has her own ideas about things, so I was very interested in what she would
have to say. In my view, a family can be anything from someone and their dog, to two people

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with or without children. I feel that all that matters is the love that is felt in whatever you
consider the family unit. (Morgan G, personal communication, 2015)
Lastly, I decided to go with my grandma Corrie Player, 71, I felt like because she is in the
older generation she would definitely have a solid view of family. She says, In my eyes, I see
the world around us changing as well as views on a family. My opinion will always be, a family
is made up of a man and woman, married and all of the generations to come after make up a
family. All of my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and the ones that came before,
are all the ones I deeply care for, blood related or not- they all make up our family tree. (Corrie
Player, personal communication, 2015)
In the end, I was so amazed by everyones different opinions of what a family is. I do
believe, that the older generations have more of a closed minded perspective of what creates a
family, because that is what they were raised to know. I feel that everyone is allowed to have his
or her own opinion, because not everyone will see eye to eye. The worldly definition of family is
always changing, whether for the good or bad. For myself, I do believe that whoever makes you
happy and lifts you up, makes you feel loved, is considered family. Similarly, values and beliefs
about families have changed over time. We are more accepting of divorce, employed mothers,
and cohabitation. (Strong and Cohen, 2014, p. 26) Even with changing views, the family
structure will always have a place in the world.

Works Cited
Gunter, M. (2015) Personal Communication
Player, C. (2015) Personal Communication
Roy, D. (2015) Personal Communication

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Strong, B and Cohen, T.F. (2014) The Marriage and Family Experience: intimate relationships
in a changing society (12th ed.) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

Word Count: 662