Family Tradition Research Paper

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1.1 Family Traditions: An Introductory Note

A discussion of the significance of family traditions in any context, poetry or otherwise, includes a definition of two related terms “family” and “tradition” because both form an integral part of family traditions. The word “family” is difficult to define in simple terms. It is a subjective concept with different meanings that evolves and changes, depending on various factors: cultural, sociological, environmental, and/or economic. However, it is commonly agreed that family is a basic “social unit created by blood, marriages, and can be described as nuclear (parents and children) or extended (encompassing relatives).”1 While the word “tradition” is a loaded keyword derived
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Meg Cox (1953- ), traditions expert, defines family traditions as “a series of actions … parents intentionally perform, in a particular order with prescribed words and actions.” She adds, “They are any activity you purposefully repeat together as a family that includes heightened attentiveness.”7 For Susan Coady, family traditions are “generally things that are very ritualistic… activities that a family does now, has done in the past, is likely to do in the future, and values and respects.”8 William Doherty (1945- ) associates family traditions with practices, beliefs, rituals to promote connection between immediate family ‎members and between generations.9 In other words, family traditions are more than routines or ordinary activities since they require distinctive behavior and involve emotion, commemorating established holidays, birthdays, and rituals of various…show more content…
Nick Stinnett and John DeFrain, family scholars, assert that “traditions are always linked with families because many traditions have meaning that is special to an individual family; they create feelings of warmth and closeness.”12 Ernest W. Burgess (1886-1966), Professor of Sociology, states, “Whatever its biological inheritance from its parents and other ancestors, the child receives also from them a heritage of attitudes, sentiments, and ideals which may be termed family tradition or the family culture.”13 Henry Glassie (1941- ), a folklorist, believes that family history and traditions are similar because tradition is the creation of the future out of the past. For him, family traditions are “a key to historical knowledge, to be understood as a repetition of cultural construction.”14 Both, family traditions and

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