Evolution of family structures

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Evolution of Family Structures Portugal at the turn of the Millennium

Academic Year Class Teacher Date

2012/2013 Sociology, S I01 Rafael Marques January 27th 2013

Group members: Catarina Afonso, no 38925 Vitor Brito, no 38970

Undergraduate Course – Sociology The Evolution of Domestic Structures Portugal at the turn of the Millennium 1rs Semester – 2012/ 13

IntroductionSummary & Keywords Part I 1. The Evolution of Family Structures 1.1. Family Structures 1.2. Types of Families Part II 2. Critical Review 2.1. Regarding domestic structures and types of families 2.2. Overall Conclusion References Annexes page 2 page 4 page 5 page 5 page 6 page 7 page 9 page 9 page 9 page 17 page 19 page 20 page 22


Undergraduate Course – Sociology The Evolution of DomesticStructures Portugal at the turn of the Millennium 1rs Semester – 2012/ 13

This final assignment was made on the ambit of the undergraduate course of Sociology in which Prof. Rafael Marques suggested every group work of his class to execute a critical review about a theme of their choice, based on the subjects we analyzed throughout the semester. Our choice focused on the theme of the“Evolution of Domestic Structures” since it is a subject matter that we find interesting and curious and it is also very present in our society nowadays.

Although family is a universal institution, sometimes we have some difficulty in establishing a definition. The word family is linked with other terms like marriage, children, home or relationship and indeed these are some concepts that we mayfind in the definitions of family. Family – besides being a fundamental stanchion of human societies – constitutes in fact the first framing in which most human beings build the basis of their first knowledge. Consequently, studying how families are formed, how they evolve and dissolve is a path to help understanding how the familiar life learning of each person can constitute an element ofcomprehension of the evolution of societies.

In 1949, George Peter Murdock defined family as "a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation, and reproduction". He added that family "includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children". While many families today could fit this definition given by Murdockabout half a century ago, we know that families have evolved in its structure, forming new family gifts in Western societies.

As in many references to the family demographic type, we should also have in mind the definition of the Portuguese National Institute of Statistics Census in 2001, which defines family as “All persons residing in the same housing unit who have relationships (of or infact) together, can occupy all or part of the housing. It is also considered as an independent household any person occupying partially or utterly an accommodation unit. Domestic workers living in an accommodation that they serve are integrated into their family.”

We have decided to channel the information of this subject matter in Portugal at the turn of the millennium and draw our conclusionsregarding the studies that were made based on the Census of 2001. It is important to understand that we opted to study this timeslot since it was a period that went through massive changes when compared to previous studies; and also because


Undergraduate Course – Sociology The Evolution of Domestic Structures Portugal at the turn of the Millennium 1rs Semester – 2012/ 13

the Census of2011 are still being analyzed, so we would lack of consistent and solid information to draw reliable conclusions. This assignment is structurally divided in two parts; the first part concerns theoretical concepts, which will be analyzed and discussed in part two: the critical review. For the first part we turned to a study made by Sofia Aboim “EVOLUÇÃO DAS ESTRUTURAS DOMÉSTICAS” which analyzes...
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