Family and its Social Functions

Family is a universal social institution that performs a variety of important functions in societies. It is a primary social group, meaning that it is one of the first social groups that individuals experience. Families typically consist of parents and children, but they can also include other relatives, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Social Functions of Family

Families perform a number of important social functions, including:

  • Socialization: Families socialize children by teaching them the norms, values, and beliefs of their culture. This helps children to become productive members of society and to develop a sense of shared identity.
  • Economic support: Families provide economic support to their members by meeting their basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing. Families may also provide financial assistance to members who are attending school or who are unemployed.
  • Emotional support: Families provide emotional support to their members by offering love, comfort, and companionship. This support can be especially important during difficult times.
  • Caregiving: Families provide caregiving to their members who are sick, elderly, or disabled. This care may include providing physical assistance, emotional support, and financial assistance.

Applied Sociology of Family

Applied sociology is the use of sociological knowledge to solve social problems. There are a number of ways that applied sociology can be used to strengthen families.

One way is to use sociological research to identify the factors that contribute to strong families. Once these factors are identified, social programs and interventions can be developed to help families develop these characteristics. For example, applied sociologists have found that strong families are characterized by open communication, positive relationships between parents and children, and a supportive social network.

Another way to use applied sociology is to develop programs that address the needs of struggling families. For example, applied sociologists have developed programs to help families cope with poverty, divorce, and domestic violence. These programs can provide families with the resources and support they need to overcome these challenges.

Applied sociology can also be used to improve the quality of parenting. For example, applied sociologists have developed parenting education programs that teach parents about child development and effective discipline strategies. These programs can help parents to raise healthy and well-adjusted children.


Family is a critical social institution that plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of societies. Applied sociology can be used to develop programs and interventions that strengthen families and help them to meet their needs. By doing so, we can help to create a more just and equitable society for all.

Here are some additional examples of applied sociology of family:

  • Developing programs to help families with special needs children
  • Working with businesses to develop family-friendly policies
  • Advocating for policies that support families, such as paid family leave and affordable childcare

By using sociological knowledge to inform our work, we can help to make a positive difference in the lives of families and their children.