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Name:
HHS4U
Katie Joss
There are several basic and universal functions of the family that have been identified.
Read through the chart below and complete the task on the backside of your hand-out.
Function:
1. Addition of new
members through
procreation or
adoption
2. Physical maintenance
and care of group
members
3. Socialization of
children
4. Social control of its
members
5. Affective Nurturancelove
6. Production,
consumption, and
distribution of goods
and services
What does it look like?

Families have children through birth, adoption, and may also use the help of
fertility clinics.
 A society must maintain a stable population to survive.
 Population growth provides a competitive advantage that usually allows a
society to become wealthier.
 Stronger economy- increased demands for goods and services
Which institutions assist in this function?
 Families provide physical care (food, clothing and shelter) for their members,
including the adults, their children, and the dependent elderly members.
 Benefits society as individuals within the population stay healthy
 Members will be able to contribute to society
Which institutions assist in this function?
 Teaches children the skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes of their society
 Teaching children language, taking them to school, helping with homework,
taking children to cultural activities, church…
 Benefits society as individuals will acquire the skills, knowledge, values, and
attitudes consistent with employability and citizenship expectations
Which institutions assist in this function?
 Families are responsible for controlling the behaviour of their members to
maintain order within the family and within the society in which they live.
 Teaching children right from wrong (discipline and moral development)
 Benefits society as individuals will obey the laws of society and country
Which institutions assist in this function?
 Family members provide emotional comfort and support- working to meet
the needs of its members
 Provide love
 Benefits society as individuals will care for others in society
 Will also develop strong relationships and raise their own families.
Which institutions assist in this function?
 Parents or guardians earn money through work/careers, perform household
chores, pay bills, buy food and clothing, provide shelter, pay for activities and
services
 Individuals sell their time and their skills by producing goods and services
and earning an income with which to purchase goods and services for their
families
 Benefits- parents provide for their families and contribute to the economy
Which institutions assist in this function?
Name:
HHS4U
Katie Joss
Families serve these six specific functions. They allow families to survive and thrive.
These functions can be observed in all societies throughout the world. The manner in
which they are performed will vary from culture to culture.
Provide your own example for the following 6 functions of the family.
1. Physical maintenance and care of group members:
Example:
2. Addition of new members through procreation or adoption:
Example:
3. Socialization of children:
Example:
4. Social control of its members:
Example:
5. Production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services:
Example:
6. Affective nurturance- love:
Example:
Answer the following questions in full sentences:
1. Describe how the responsibilities for performing the six functions is
distributed in your family, and explain how your family performs each of the
functions.
2. How does the family share these functions with other institutions in Canada,
such as government, religion, business, law, and education?
Name:
HHS4U
Katie Joss
3. Rank Shirley Zimmerman’s definitions of the functions of a family in order of
priority from each of the following points of view:
1. Parent:
2. Social worker with community services:
3. Religious leader:
4. Retailer:
5. Family court judge:
6. Elementary school teacher:
4. Undoubtedly the family is an ongoing state of evolution. Speculate on how
you think the six functions of the family will evolve over the course of the next
century. Explain your rationale for each of the six functions.
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