Family is the basic unit of social organisation. It occupies the nuclear position in the social structure. It is one of the smallest primary groups in the human society. It is both an association and institution. "It is the most, says Robert Bierstadt, permanent and the most pervasive of all social institutions. All societies large and small, primitive and civilized, ancient and modern have some family or the other. No one knows, or can know, how or when the family began. It is safe to surmise that family in some form will always be with us". Really, there is neither society nor any civilization, past or present where family is not found, In other words, no society ever exists without family. Although with the passing of time the family has undergone various changes in its forms and functions, still it is one of the most stable and enduring associations and institutions of human society. The word 'family' is derived from the Latin word 'Famulus' which means a servant, In Roman law the word 'families' refers to the group of producers and slaves and other servants as well as members connected by common descent or marriage. In general, family consists of a man and woman with a child or children and servants. Further, the concept of family can be understood better with the following definitions. MacIver and Page defined family as "a group defined by a sex relationship sufficiently precise and enduring to provide for the procreation and upbringing of children". Burgess and Locke in their book 'The family' say that, "Family is a group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood or adoption, consisting a single household, interacting and inter-communicating with each other in their respective social roles of husband and wife, mother and father, son and daughter, brother and sister creating a common culture".
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