Family and marriage as social institutions: development trends

Авторы: Маннанова Алина Гамилевна


Рубрика: Юридические науки

Страницы: 95-98

Объём: 0,30

Опубликовано в: «Наука без границ» № 5 (10), май 2017

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Библиографическое описание: Mannanova A.G. Family and marriage as social institutions - development trends // Наука без границ. - 2017. - № 5 (10). - С. 95-98.

Аннотация: Со времен перестройки и до недавнего времени в России был не простой момент, который был отмечен как период радикальных изменений практически во всех сферах жизни российского общества. Преобразования в социальной, культурной, экономической и политической сферах не могли не затронуть такой общественный институт, как семья. В связи с этим  проблема российской семьи в современной России приобрела острый и двойственный характер.

Summary: Since the restructuring, and until recently, Russia was not an easy time, which was marked by a period of radical changes in almost all areas of Russian society. Transformations in the social, cultural, economic and political spheres could not touch a public institution, as a family, in connection with the problems of the Russian family in modern Russia acquired acute and dual character. 

Marriage and family - social institutions

1. Social institutions (from Lat. Institutum – establishment, institution) are historically established stable forms of organization of joint activities of people. The term «social institution» is used in a wide variety of meanings. The most important social institutions are political institutions that ensure the establishment and maintenance of political power, as well as economic institutions that ensure the production and distribution of goods and services. An important social institution of society is a family whose activities (relationships between parents, parents and children, methods of upbringing, etc.) are determined by a system of legal and social norms. Along with this, the functioning of socio-cultural institutions (education, health care, cultural and educational institutions), science, and the institution of religion is of great importance in the life of society.

Each social institution is characterized by the existence of the goal of its activity, specific functions that ensure the achievement of such a goal, a set of social positions and roles typical of the institution, as well as a system of sanctions to encourage the desired and suppress deviant behavior.

An example of a simple social institution is the institution of the family. The initial basis of family relations is marriage.

Marriage in human society is considered to be the only acceptable, socially approved and legal form of not only permitted but also mandatory sexual relations between spouses.

Sexual dissatisfaction or betrayal of one of them in modern society (before it was otherwise) serves as a sufficient reason for the legal dissolution of marriage. Marriage is a set of formal prescriptions defining the rights, duties and privileges of the husband in relation to the wife, and their two in relation to their children, relatives and society as a whole. In other words, marriage is a contract that consists of three parties – a man, a woman and the state [1, p. 138]. Unlike all other formal contracts existing in the society, it stipulates only one date for the conclusion of the marriage agreement, but the date of the termination of the contract is not fixed. This implies that marriage ties hold people together for the rest of their lives.

The institution of marriage by the very fact of its existence testifies that the society deliberately divided all types of sexual relations into those that are approved and not approved, and the state – to the allowed and unresolved. But it was not always so. In ancient times, marriage relations looked quite different, but at the dawn of human history they were not at all.

But the family, as a rule, represents a more complex system of relations than marriage, since it can unite not only the spouses, but also their children, as well as other relatives.

The family as a social institution goes through a series of stages, the sequence of which is formed in the family cycle or the life cycle of the family. Researchers distinguish a different number of phases of this cycle, but the main among them are the following:

  • incoming to the first marriage – the formation of a family;
  • the beginning of childbearing – the birth of the first child;
  • the end of childbirth – the birth of the last child;
  • «empty nest» – marriage and separation from the family of the last child;
  • the termination of the existence of the family – the death of one of the spouses.

At each stage, the family has specific social and economic characteristics.

In sociology such general principles of distinguishing the types of family organization are adopted [2, p. 146]. Depending on the form of marriage, monogamous and polygamous families are distinguished. Monogamous family provides for the existence of a married couple – husband and wife, polygamous – as a rule, a husband has the right to have several wives. Depending on the structure of kinship ties, simplicity, nuclear, or complex, extended type of family is distinguished.

A nuclear family is a married couple with unmarried children. If some of the children in the family are married, an extended or complex family is formed, which includes two or more generations.

The family as a social institution arose with the formation of society. The process of formation and functioning of the family is conditioned by the value-normative regulators. Such as, for example, courtship, the choice of a marriage partner, sexual standards of conduct, the norms that govern the wife and husband, parents and children, etc., and sanctions for their failure.

These values, norms and sanctions are a historically changing form of the relationship between a man and a woman, through which they order and sanction their sex life and establish their conjugal, parental and other related rights and duties.

The following social functions of the family can be distinguished:

  • educational – socialization of the younger generation, maintenance of cultural reproduction of society;
  • household and household – maintaining the physical health of members of society, caring for children and elderly members of the family;
  • economic – receiving the material means of one family member for others, economic support for minors and disabled members of society;
  • the scope of primary social control – moral regulation of the behavior of family members in various spheres of life, as well as the regulation of responsibilities and obligations in relations between spouses, parents and children, representatives of the senior and middle generations;
  • spiritual communication – development of personalities of family members, spiritual mutual enrichment;
  • social-status – providing a certain social status to family members, reproduction of the social structure;
  • leisure – organization of rational leisure, mutual enrichment of interests;
  • emotional – receiving psychological protection, emotional support, emotional stabilization of individuals and their psychological therapy.

The role of the family in personal development.

To understand the family as a social institution, the analysis of role relationships in the family is very important. A family role is one of the social roles of a person in society. Family roles are determined by the place and functions of the individual in the family group and are subdivided primarily into the marital (wife, husband), parent (mother, father), children (son, daughter, brother, sister), intergenerational and introspective (grandfather, grandmother, elder, Younger), etc. The fulfillment of a family role depends on the fulfillment of a number of conditions, first of all, on the correct formation of a role image.

The individual should clearly understand what it means to be a husband or wife, a senior in the family or younger, what kind of behavior is expected of him, what rules and norms dictate to him or this behavior. In order to formulate the image of his behavior, the individual must accurately determine his place and place of others in the role structure of the family [3, p. 167]. For example, can he act as the head of the family, in general or in particular, the chief administrator of the material wealth of the family. In this respect, the coordination of a particular role with the personality of the performer is of no small importance. A person with weak strong-willed qualities, although older in age in the family or even in role-playing status, for example, a husband, is far from being the head of the family in modern conditions. For the successful formation of a family, sensitivity to the situational requirements of the family role and the associated flexibility of role-playing behavior, which manifests itself in the ability to go out of a single role without much difficulty, can be included in a new one as required by the situation. For example, a wealthy member of the family played the role of a material sponsor of other members, but his financial situation has changed, and changing the situation immediately requires a change in his role.

Role relationships in the family, formed during the performance of certain functions, can be characterized by role agreement or role conflict. Sociologists note that the role conflict is most often manifested as:

  • conflict role-playing images, which is associated with the wrong formation of one or more family members;
  • man conflict, in which the contradiction is laid in opposition to the role expectations that emanate from different roles. Such conflicts are often observed in multigenerational families, where strictly married spouses are both children and parents and must accordingly combine opposing roles;
  • internal conflict, in which one role includes conflicting demands.

In a modern family, such problems are most often inherent in the female role. This applies to cases where the role of women involves a combination of the traditional female role in the family (hostess, teacher of children, care of family members, etc.) with a modern role involving equal participation of spouses in providing the family with material means.

Conflict can deepen if the wife takes a higher status in the social or professional sphere and transfers the role functions of her status to family relationships.

In such cases, the ability of the spouses to flexibly switch roles is very important. A special place among the prerequisites for a role conflict is the difficulties with the psychological development of the role associated with such characteristics of the spouses' personalities as insufficient moral and emotional maturity, unpreparedness for the performance of marital and, in particular, parental roles. For example, when a girl marries, she does not want to shift the household cares of the family to her shoulders or give birth to a child, tries to lead the old way of life, not obeying the restrictions that imposes on her the role of the mother, etc.

In modern society there is a process of weakening the family as a social institution, changing its social functions, and non-role family relations. The family loses its leading position in the socialization of individuals, in the organization of leisure and other important functions.

The traditional roles under which a woman led a household, gave birth and brought up children, and the husband was the owner, often the sole owner of property, and ensured the economic independence of the family, replaced role-playing, in which the vast majority of women in countries with Christian and Buddhist cultures began to participate in the production, Political activity, economic support of the family and accept equal, sometimes leading participation in the adoption of family decisions. This significantly changed the nature of the functioning of the family and led to a number of positive and negative consequences for society.

On the one hand, it promoted the growth of the woman's self-awareness, equality in marital relations, on the other hand, exacerbated the conflict situation, influenced demographic behavior, leading to a decrease in the birth rate and increasing the death rate.


  1. Vlasenko N. A. Theory of Government and Rights. – M. : Prospect, 2014.
  2. Marchenko M. N., Deryabina E. M. Theory of Government and Rights. – M. : Prospect, 2016.
  3. Nersesyants B. C. General theory of state and law. – M. : Infra-M, 2015.


Материал поступил в редакцию 18.05.2017
© Маннанова А. Г., 2017