Sociology 1 - Education - Defining a family and a household

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Defining a family and a household

A family can be defined as a couple who are married, civil partners or cohabiting, with or without dependant children. Some sociologists prefer to say 'Families' because of the diversity of the variety of family types living in Britain:

- Lone parent familes: A family in which one parent lives with their children

- Extended families: A group of relatives extending beyond the nuclear family.

- Nuclear families: A two-generation family containing married or cohabiting parents and their child or children who live with them.

- Gay or lesbian families: A family in which a homosexual couple (civil partners or cohabiting) live together with their child or children

- Reconstituted families: A blended family in which one or both partners have children from a previous relationship living with them

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Defining a family and a household 2

A household can be defined as either one person living alone or a group of people who share a house or flat.

A family household could contain:

- One family

- One family plus people who are not family members, such as live in housekeepers

- Two or more families

A non-family household could contain:

- One person living alone

- Two or more unrelated people living in a shared house and sharing a daily meal or facilities

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