Unit 2 Family notes
Before you read
a. Do you live in a small family or a big family? Which type of family do you like? Why?
b. How important is family to you? How important is it in your culture?
Read the following text about family and do the given tasks.
At its most basic, a family consists of an adult and his or her offspring. Most commonly,
it consists of two married adults, usually a man and a woman (almost always from
different lineages and not related by blood) along with their offspring, usually living
in a private and separate dwelling. This type of unit, more specifically known as a
nuclear family, is believed to be the oldest of the various types of families in existence.
Sometimes the family includes not only the parents and their unmarried children living
at home but also children that have married, their spouses, and their offspring, and
possibly elderly dependents as well; such an arrangement is called an extended family.
At its best, the family performs various valuable functions for its members. Perhaps
most important of all, it provides for emotional and psychological security, particularly
through the warmth, love, and companionship that living together generates between
spouses and in turn between them and their children. The family also provides a
valuable social and political function by institutionalizing procreation and by providing
guidelines for the regulation of sexual conduct. The family additionally provides
such other socially beneficial functions as the rearing and socialization of children,
along with such humanitarian activities as caring for its members when they are sick
or disabled. On the economic side, the family provides food, shelter, clothing, and
physical security for its members, some of whom may be too young or too old to
provide for the basic necessities of life themselves. Finally, on the social side, the
family may serve to promote order and stability within society as a whole.
Historically, in most cultures, the family was patriarchal, or male-dominated. Perhaps the most striking example of the male-dominated family is the description of the family
given in the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament), where the male heads of the clans were
allowed to have several wives as well as concubines. As a general rule, women had
a rather low status. In Roman times the family was still patriarchal, but polygamy
was not practiced, and in general the status of women was somewhat improved over
that suggested in the Hebrew Bible, although they still were not allowed to manage
their own affairs. The Roman family was an extended one. The family as it existed in
medieval Europe was male-dominated and extended.
In the West, industrialization and the accompanying urbanization spawned—and continue to spawn—many changes in family structure by causing a sharp change in life
and occupational styles. Many people, particularly unmarried youths, left farms and
went to urban centres to become industrial workers. This process led to the dissolution
of many extended families.
The modern family that emerged after the Industrial Revolution is different from the earlier model. For instance, patriarchal rule began to give way to greater equality
between the sexes. Similarly, family roles once considered exclusively male or female
broke down. Caring for the home and children, once the exclusive duty of the female,
is often a shared activity, as, increasingly, is the earning of wages and the pursuit of
public life, once the exclusive domain of the male. The structure of the family is also
changing in that some couples choose not to marry legally and instead elect to have
their children out of wedlock; many of these informal relationships tend to be of short
duration, and this—as well as the rise in levels of divorce—has led to a rapid increase
in the number of one-parent households.
Family law varies from culture to culture, but in its broadest application it defines the legal relationships among family members as well as the relationships between
families and society at large. Some of the important questions dealt with in family
law include the terms and parameters of marriage, the status of children, and the
succession of property from one generation to the next. In nearly every case,
family law represents a delicate balance between the interests of society and the
protection of individual rights.
The general rule in marriages until modern times was the legal transfer of dependency, that of the bride, from father to groom. Not only did the groom assume guardianship,
he usually assumed control over all of his wife’s affairs. Often, the woman lost any
legal identity through marriage, as was the case in English common law. There have
been exceptions to this practice. Muslim women, for instance, had considerable control
over their own personal property. The use of dowries, an amount of money or property
given to the husband with the bride in compensation for her dependency, has long been
practiced in many countries, but it has tended to disappear in many industrial societies.
In general, modern marriage is best-described as a voluntary union, usually between a
man and a woman (although there are still vestiges of the arranged marriage that once
flourished in eastern Europe and Asia). The emancipation of women in the 19th and
20th centuries changed marriage dramatically, particularly in connection with property
and economic status. By the mid-20th century, most Western countries had enacted
legislation establishing equality between spouses. Similarly changed is the concept
of economic maintenance, which traditionally fell on the shoulders of the husband.
Though many laws still lean toward this view, there was increasing recognition of a
woman’s potential to contribute to the support of the family. At the beginning of the
21st century, family law and the notion of family itself was further complicated by
calls for acceptance of same-sex marriages and nontraditional families.
Dissolution of marriages is one of the areas in which laws must try to balance private and public interest, since realistically it is the couple itself that can best decide whether
its marriage is viable. In many older systems—e.g., Roman, Muslim, Jewish, Chinese,
and Japanese—some form of unilateral divorce was possible, requiring only one party
to give notice of the intention, usually the male. Most modern systems recognize a
mutual request for divorce, though many require an attempt to reconcile before granting
divorce. Extreme circumstances, in which blatant neglect, abuse, misbehaviour, or
incapacity can be demonstrated, find resolution in civil court. Many systems favour
special family courts that attempt to deal more fairly with sensitive issues such as
custody of children.
The issue of children poses special problems for family law. In nearly every culture, the welfare of children was formerly left to the parents entirely, and this usually
meant the father. Most societies have come to recognize the general benefit of
protecting children’s rights and of prescribing certain standards of rearing. Thus,
more than in any other area, family law intervenes in private lives with regard to
children. Compulsory education is an example of the law superseding parental
authority. In the case of single-parent homes, the law will frequently provide some
form of support. Legislation on child labour and child abuse also asserts society’s
responsibility for a child’s best interests.
The succession of family interests upon the death of its members can be considered a part of family law. Most legal systems have some means of dealing with division
of property left by a deceased family member. The will, or testament, specifies the
decedent’s wishes as to such distribution, but a surviving spouse or offspring may
contest what appear to be unreasonable or inequitable provisions. There are also laws
that recognize family claims in the event that property is left intestate (i.e., with no will to determine its distribution).
– Alan John Barnard
Working with words
A. Find the words from the text and solve the puzzle. Clues are given below.
1. the custom of having more than one wife at the same time
5. to find an acceptable way of dealing with opposing ideas, needs etc.
6. the process in which towns, streets, etc. are built where there was once countryside
1. ruled or controlled by men
2. the act of taking over a position
3. done in a way without caring if people areshocked
your own sentences.
nuclear family, monogamy, sibling-in-law, milk kinship, matrilineal,
C. The following words are from the above text. Each word has two parts. polygamy, unmarried, nontraditional, dissolution, inequitable
poly, un, non, dis and in are prefixes. They make new words when they are added to
the beginning of other root words.
Make at least five words using the prefixes given. Consult a dictionary to learn how they change the meaning of root words.
pre-, semi-, sub-, mis-, mono-, un-, in-, inter-.
A. The headings of the first five paragraphs of the above text are given below.
Write paragraph number next to them.
a. Patriarchal family
b. Functions of the family
c. Modern model of family
d. Effects of industrialization on family structure
B. Answer the following questions.
a. What type of family is thought to be the oldest form of the family?
Ans. Nuclear family is thought to be the oldest form of the family
b. How does a family provide security to its members?
Ans. Family provides emotional and psychological security through the warmth, love, and companionship Familles also provide physical security for their members who are too young or to old
c. What were the features of medieval European family?
Ans. The main feature of the Medieval European family is that it was a patriarchal at male dominated and extended family
d. What caused the dissolution of extended families in the West?
e. What change occurred in gender role in the modern family that emerged after the Industrial Revolution?
f. What is family law?
Ans. Family law is a practice area concerned with legal issues involving family relationships, such as adoption divorce, and child custody Anneys practicing family lew typically hande divorce, child custody, child support and other related legal matters
g. How is modern marriage defined?
Ans. Modern marriage is defined as a voluntary union, usually between a man and a woman
h. What do special family courts try to do?
Ans. Special family court tries to deal more tairty with sensi issues such as custody of children
i. What does the legislation on child labour and child abuse declare?
Ans. The legislation on child labor and child abuse declares that there is the responsibility of society for a child’s best future and to provide compulsory education to the children
a. What changes have started to occur in Nepali families in recent days? What impacts will they bring on the society? Discuss.
b. We see many elderly people in the elderly homes these days in Nepal. Some
of them are abandoned while others live there willingly. Do you think Nepali people are deviating from their traditional culture? Give reasons.
Writing Family Notes : Unit 2
A. Write an essay on The Importance of Family. In your essay, you can use these
• Why family is important to you.
• Why family is or is not important for society.
• How you think families will change in the future.
B. Some people think it is better to live in a nuclear family. Other people think that living in extended family is more advantageous. What do you think? Write an essay discussing the advantages and disadvantages of both.
A. Study the given sentences carefully.
a. Please read this letter for me. I can’t see without my glasses.
b. After working for a couple of years in China, I can speak Chinese now.
c. When he was 40, he could earn six digit salary.
d. After six hours’ climbing, we were able to reach the summit.
B. Choose the best answer to complete the sentences.
a. ‘How much was your parking ticket?’ ‘Fifty rupees.’ ‘Oh well, it ………… been worse.’
i. could have ii. must have iii. should have
b. It …………. got lost in the post. These things happen sometimes.
i. can’t have ii. might have iii. must have
c. ‘Sorry I’m late. I got delayed at work.’ ‘You ……….. called. I was really
worried about you.’
i. must have ii. could have iii. would have
d. ‘I don’t think he meant to be rude.’ ‘He ……… said sorry.’
i. must have ii. might have iii. would have
e. ‘Whose signature is this?’ ‘I don’t know. It ……….. be Manoj’s. That looks
a bit like an M.’
i. must ii. could iii. should
f. I had it when I left the office so I ………. lost it on the way to home.
i. mustn’t have ii. must have iii. should have
g. You ……….. think it’s funny, but I think it’s pathetic.
i. might ii. should iii. could
C. Complete the following sentences with appropriate endings. Use correct
Example: She could be a doctor; however,…………….…………… .
She could be a doctor; however, she preferred to be an advocate.
a. At the end of the course, …………….……………
b. If you want to earn a lot of money, …………………………………..
c. You were not in your house yesterday. You …………………………
d. I’m quite busy tomorrow. I …………………………………………
English: Grade 12 15
e. When you were a small kid …………………………………..
f. My car is broken. I ………………………………………….
g. I’ve got a fast speed internet at home. I ……………………….
h. Even though she didn’t study well, she ………………………………..
i. There are plenty of newspapers in the library. You ………..………………..
if you want.
j. What do you think you were doing, playing in the road? You …………….
k. I have no time. I ……..
l. You don’t look well. You …………..
A. Look at the picture and answer these questions.
a. Do you live by yourself or with your family members?
b. The girl in the picture looks happy despite living alone. How do you feel about living
B. Listen to the audio and fill in the gaps with suitable information.
a. Despite having decent jobs, the ………………………. people choose to live with their parents.
b. There are many people who rely on their parents for food, clothing and…………………
c. The speaker’s parents …………………………… her decisions.
d. As she moved to the new apartment, she could save ……………………..of her travelling time.
e. Living on one’s own has some ……………………………
f. One of the major issues of living on your own is …………………………
C. Listen to the audio again and answer these questions.
a. What is the Chinese traditional value of family?
b. How do other people react when the speaker tells them about moving out?
c. What problem did the speaker face in her new apartment?
d. What occupied most of the speaker’s saved time?
e. How does the speaker feel about staying in her own?
D. How does it feel to be far away from your family? Talk to your friends.
Arguing/defending a point
A. Act out the given conversation in pairs.
Son : Dad, I want to ask you a favour.
Father : What’s it?
Son : Our class is going for an educational tour. Can I go with them?
Father : No, my dear. This is not a suitable time for a tour.
Son : Why, dad? It’s spring. The weather is okay and the temperature is
also fine everywhere.
Father : No, not now. Covid -19 pandemic is at its peak and the government
has warned us to stay inside.
Son : Yes, but we’ll take every precaution. And, what’s more, we’ll wash hands as frequently as possible.
B. Here are some expressions that you can use to argue or defend a point.
a. The main idea/thing is …
b. The most important idea is …
c. The primary argument for … is …
d. In addition to that, …
e. Not to mention the fact that …
C. Work in pairs. Have a conversation in the given situations.
a. You are against the idea of keeping animals in the zoo but one of your friends disagrees.
b. You want to study during your leisure time but your sister insists on playing games.
c. Your parents want you to study what they want but you don’t agree.
d. Your friend wants to do a job but you want to start your own business.
e. You want to go to a concert but your friend wants to go to a movie.
Work in groups. Find some elderly couples or a widow/widower staying apart from
their children because they are abandoned. Ask them what they had expected from their children and what actually happened. Prepare a story and present it to the class.
All Units Notes