7.3 Communication and Families


  1. Compare and contrast the various definitions of family.
  2. Describe various types of family rituals and explain their importance.
  3. Explain how conformity and conversation orientations work together to create different family climates.

There is no doubt that the definition and makeup of families are changing in the United States. New data from research organizations and the 2010 US Census show the following: people who choose to marry are waiting longer, more couples are cohabitating (living together) before marriage or instead of marrying, households with more than two generations are increasing, and the average household size is decreasing.Pew Research Center, “The Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families,” November 18, 2010, accessed September 13, 2011, http://pewsocialtrends.org/files/2010/11/pew-social-trends-2010-families.pdf. Just as the makeup of families changes, so do the definitions.

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