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Who do you consider family?

"Families are more diverse and the structure of them is more in flux," says sociologist Kelly Musick of Cornell University. "One of the things that's happened is people have lot more leeway to design the families that work for them."

Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history and family studies at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., who assisted the Pew research team, says people think today of "family as a relationship rather than an institution."

"If you have a close relationship and act committed, then you count as family," she says. "If you're making obligations to partners and kids, you get counted as family, as opposed to older ways of thinking when it was purely the legal definition."

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Asked by tasches at 3:01 PM on Nov. 18, 2010 in Relationships

Level 48 (298,202 Credits)
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Answers (7)
  • Me personally.

    Those who are nearest and dearest to me are family.. Some of those do include blood relatives, some are friends.

    Blood alone does not make family for me. The people, the relationship, the feelings, the respect, the unity, the love, makes family.

    I have blood relatives that I do not and will never consider to be family to me.
    I have dear friends who mean far more to me than some blood relatives ever could.

    Family for me is about feelings, our interactions, the relationship we have on an interpersonal level. Blood & birth alone does not make one family for me.

    Answer by pixie_trix at 3:05 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • My SO and kids. My mom and siblings... I honestly even consider my boss as family. When someone will drop what they are doing because you need something, that person should be qualified as family.


    Answer by bjojola at 3:04 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • To me family is my children, my ex my parents and siblings and my best friends. My best friends have actually been more of a family to me than my aunts, uncles, cousins etc..

    Answer by mygirlpaige at 3:04 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • My husband and children, our parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.

    Answer by wildflowers25 at 3:05 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • I learned blood doesn't mean a whole lot when it comes to family. My family are those people that are there for me any time of day or night, and those that I would do the same for.

    Answer by EverydayMomma at 3:14 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • My husband, kids, mom, and rreallyy dear friends. I am 100 miles away from my blood relatives, so I have made great friends that consider me family

    Answer by Bubbie0809 at 3:30 PM on Nov. 18, 2010

  • pretty much just my SO's family...those are the people i can really be myself around and go to for dad has always been there when i really needed it, but i certainly cant be myself around him.

    Answer by LoriaAnn at 9:03 PM on Nov. 18, 2010