What do we mean by 'family'?
What do we mean by 'family'?

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

What do we mean by 'family'?

4 Do family meanings matter?

4.1 Family and meanings?

We have considered the difficulties of pinning down family definitions and meanings. We now ask whether it is indeed important to explore and unravel these complexities. Do the varieties of family meanings – or the meaning of ‘family’ itself – matter, or do they just provide a minor intellectual diversion? You may like to pause here for a moment to consider how you would answer this question for yourself. Do you think they matter, and if so, in what ways?

We consider this question by reference to three main areas:

  • people in their individual lives and relationships;

  • social policies and professional practices;

  • family studies as an academic area.

D270_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus