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WHAT MEAN BY FAMILY?

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It seems like an easy question, the kind that everyone could answer with precision, however, as often happens with the simplest things, its apparent simplicity hides great complexity. An explanation of the reason for this particularity is offered by Robert Rowland when he points out: “It is a commonplace of the social sciences that the study of institutions and aspects of social life that are at the base of our own vision of the world is of all the most difficult, because in these cases our categories start from the very reality that we try to represent in them. The study of the family is no exception.

If we take into account that there is no unambiguous concept of family. In other words, throughout history there has been a certain diversity of human families and different factors have influenced their structure and evolution. At present, for example, we are facing a society that – as never before – tries to be more inclusive and respectful of differences, therefore, the alternatives that outline the new family forms are also greater.

However, one of the few widely accepted generalizations in the field of social sciences is that the family is an institution that is found in all human societies, but also that, in time and space, it has adopted various shapes.

The  monogamic family was the first form of family that was based on economic and non-natural conditions and was, more than anything else, the result of the family becoming an economic unit based on private ownership of a heritage and in the absolute authority of a patron male. And he adds’ the first class antagonism that appeared in history coincides with the development of antagonism between men and women in monogamy; and the first class oppression, with that of the female sex monogamy was a great historical progress, but at the same time it inaugurates, together with slavery and private wealth,that time that lasts to this day and in which each progress is at the same time a relative return and the well-being and development of some are verified at the expense of the pain and repression of others.

The reality called family is projected in all orders of human life, which is why it is considered from all specialized perspectives. Sociologists, ethnologists, anthropologists, psychologists, pedagogues, psychiatrists, historians, jurists, demographers and many other specialists will see the family from a different point of view and will approach their problems equally from different perspectives and with different purposes. This explains that all social sciences can and should say something about it but, at the same time, none encompasses it completely. From all of them you have to learn about this institution, which is vast and complex.

MARRIAGE OF ONE TO ONE AND FOREVER

The available statistics confirm this. An analysis of the figures for the Cuban population aged 15 years and over by marital status or marital status according to census sources indicates that, in 1981, for every 100 inhabitants over 15 years of age, 58 lived with a partner, of which 38 were married. and 20 in common or consensual union. While in 2012, 59 lived together, of them, 31 were married and 28 in a consensual union (ONEI, 2014, p. 214). In other words, although marriage has not lost its charm for Cubans, free or consensual unions (coexistence) have increased in recent years. This is not a new phenomenon; there was a very long-term historical pattern in the country that indicated that de facto unions were a prevalent phenomenon in rural areas and among the poorest classes. That changed. Soon,

Authors such as Hernando Acevedo explain it this way: “The phenomenon of changes in mentality and the practice of modern man in various aspects of life, are due, especially, to the fact that institutionalism is not accepted in the face of individual freedom. Specifically, when it comes to marriage, the affective-conjugal relationship depends more on the will and freedom of each of the components of the couple, than on any other element. Hence, in practice, both decide at the beginning of the marriage. relation what will be the modality, what its duration and when it should end “(Acevedo, 2011, p. 22).

Another significant fact in the diversity of family relationships is related to the increase in the divorce rate, which has resulted in a transformation of the family structure. Currently it is common to find family groups made up of fathers and stepfathers, mothers and stepmothers, brothers and stepbrothers. In them the relationships are not of biological origin, but arise from the decision of the parents who separate from their old partners and remarry and start a family, maintaining relationships with their previous family or integrating it into a modern family. These are the added or reconstituted families, in which two divorced spouses with children remarry, providing the children of both marriages.

PROCREAR ONLY END OF MARRIAGE?

I begin with the striking proposal enunciated by Jaume Funes in his concept of family when he postpones the arrival of his children, to the happiness of adults, that is to say that for Funes the simple couple constitutes a family, since between the two reciprocal rights and duties are established. Children ―if there are any― are also part of the family, but these could be lacking, something that was unthinkable before the social change produced by the so-called Sexual Revolution that took place ―with greater or lesser intensity― in all parts of the world. from the decade of the sixties of the last century.

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