The Importance Of Family Inequality

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Families can be regarded as the foundation of society. For Fleetwood (2012: 1), the importance of families is highlighted by the fact that it would be difficult to comprehend a society that could function without them. In addition, even though families and their compositions vary across societies and cultures, the family can be viewed as a universal social institution (Macionis & Plummer, 2012: 625. Specifically, according to Macionis and Plummer (2012: 625) and Neale (2000:1), it has the ability to unite individuals into cooperative groups via social bonds (kinship) and is ultimately experienced differently from individual to individual. However, the family can be a source of conflict, tension and inequality, which is why one of the key practices…show more content…
According to Cohen and MacCartney (2004: 181), inequality is related to families and their compositions, because family compositions may be the cause or consequence of various forms of inequality. This paper will touch on four forms of inequality linked to families and their compositions. Firstly, families reflect inequalities, because within society, there is an unequal distribution of various resources ranging from economic, social and political, which can ultimately affect the accessibility of some family forms (Cohen & MacCartney, 2004: 181). For instance, low incomes increase the likelihood that underprivileged people will live with extended families (family group that includes parents, children, relatives, in-laws, friends and other individuals who share an emotional bond), even when they would prefer the privacy of a more secluded group of members, such as those experienced by higher income families and households (Cohen & MacCartney, 2004: 181; Extended family, n.d.:1). Hence, the accessibility of resources varies across families and households, with some having access to more resources in relation to others, which is why inequality has the ability to adversely affect families and households. Secondly, according to Cohen and MacCartney (2004: 181), unequal outcomes result from different families and different family forms, and have both proximate and intergenerational components.…show more content…
According to Tronto (1993:102), care implies is reaching out to something and generally involves some type of action. In addition, it is not restricted to human interaction with others (can revolve around objects or environment), care varies across cultures, it is an ongoing process and can be regarded as both a practice and disposition (Tronto, 1993:104). Moreover, there are different interconnected phases of caring. Firstly, ‘caring about’ involves the recognition that care is necessary, secondly, ‘taking care of’ involves assuming some level of responsibility for the identified need and ultimately determining how to address it, thirdly, ‘care-giving’ involves meeting the direct needs for care (physical work) and lastly, ‘care-receiving’, recognizes that the particular object of care will respond to the specific level of care it receives (Tronto, 1993:104-107). Nonetheless, in reality, despite care being an integrated and ongoing process, there is likely to be conflict within each of the phases of care and between them (Tronto, 1993:104-109). For instance, according to Tronto (1993: 109), care-givers will find that their needs to look after themselves will come in conflict with the care they must provide others, which is why care-givers ability to mediate these conflicts will affect the quality of care. As aforementioned, care revolves
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