A family is the group of people who are associated together; it can mean a man and a woman who share a common household or people who share the same blood relations include parents, children and relatives.
In the given case, the family consisted of the Mother and her daughter. Since she was raised by a single parent her mother. This can thereof be termed as a single parent family. A very vital function of a family is to reproduce persons (children) both biologically and socially.
It plays a key role in the social upbringing of children to acknowledge the gradual acceptance by a person or group of the standards and practices of another person or culture, thus it can be termed as an orientation unit. On the other hand, it is not only meant to produce children but to be a unit where it is economically viable. This family answered to only one function, which is to reproduce children but has failed in the other functions. The child has neither been brought up by the mother nor the father thus she has not been socialized (Adorno 2002).
A family has basic norms or values that it is expected to observe. The values include a family as a basic economic unit of the society, as a source of perpetuation of society through children and a provision of a framework for companionship.
In this case, the family lacked some family values as the family was split when the child was very young. The parents broke their marriage thus there was no companionship between them. In addition, the child was not raised by both parents as expected. In addition, the girl’s mother lacked mothering skills as depicted in the child’s childhood experience, she never supported her daughter nor nurtured her into a responsible person and as a result she sent her child to live with her extended family in Mexico. The child notes “to define her is a sum; she has the characteristics of a narcissist, and admits that she is not a mother material, I spend a lot of time bouncing around and staying with extended family, I guess my mom could not handle responsibility during my child-hood.” This was one of the greatest values for a family (Chinoy & Hewitt 1975).
Nevertheless, the child’s mother re- married but this did not provide her with a family as she moved to live with her extended family. An extended family is a family that does not belong to a conjugal family. It therefore consists of aunts, uncles, grandparents’ cousins and other generation relatives.
Extended family usually provides a sense of security for each other which as observed in this case, the grandmother provided maternal type of care to her granddaughter. Her granddaughter notes “I was the most happiest when I was living with my grandma, I was treated with up most care and respect.” Despite the fact that the grandmother was very loving and respectful to her granddaughter, the relationship between her and her daughter (her granddaughter’s mother) was very conflictive (Adorno 2002). From the case, there seemed to be conflict between her and her granddaughters mother which seems to have resulted years back where the granddaughter’s mother is described as being rebellious. Another member of her extended family includes her aunt who lives in Mexico, whereby after the girl’s mother takes her away from the grandmother she sends her to live in Mexico under her aunt’s care. Her Aunt had two children who can be referred to as her cousins and consist of her extend family. There is a sharp contrast between the time at her grandmother’s house and the time she lived in Mexico with her aunt. Throughout the one year she stayed in Mexico her female cousin, mentally and physically tortured her and ‘acted nice’ towards her whenever her parents were around.
This has led her to isolate herself whenever her extended family (her aunt) come to visit. Relatives (extended family) are supposed to provide love and care towards each other (Chinoy & Hewitt 1975).
While in Mexico, under her Aunts care, she experiences discrimination form her extended family. Her cousin abuses her mentally and physically whereby she cannot even open up and seek help as she is afraid of the situation might get worse. Moreover her discrimination seems to be institutionalized as her cousins parents cannot detect anything wrong between their niece and daughter as fact that continues to occur for more than a year.
The discrimination continues even when she goes back to America; her mother does not seem to care about her. At an early age of five, she walks herself two miles to school, feeds herself after school because the house is usually empty when she comes home from school. Her mother does not seem to be interested in her school work. All her school years in high school, she is constantly discriminated upon due to her Mexican background. At her workplace, it is evident that there is some form of discrimination due to the fact that, her workload keeps on increasing but her pay is still stagnant.
This is can be described as any type of inequality that takes place in both private and public institutions such as: colleges, schools, universities, government offices and private business organizations and which is based on; race, skin color or social standing. Institutional discrimination occurs when there is a degree of difference in the equal access of services, goods, and opportunities for all members within a society.
This is a form of discrimination which is categorized into three. The other forms include; internalized and personally-mediated discrimination. She has experienced this form of racism firsthand, when she was undertaking her high school studies. During her high school years she studied in three different schools and one in particular was in El Paso, Texas where she was thrown out of class by the school instructor because her school permit had expired. Being of Mexican origin and having a different skin color from Americans had a very intense effect on her during her high school years. The instructor in not so good words let her know his feelings and attitude towards her kind of people. Despite the fact that she ended up graduating, it was not very easy and not what she expected. She later got a job as a receptionist at a semiconductor, and in the two years she worked there, the workload kept on increasing while the pay remained at $8.
60 an hour. Therefore, institutional discrimination can be summed up as a combined malfunction of an institution whether private or public in the provision of suitable and proficient service to members of the society as a result of their ethnic background, color, and culture (Chinoy & Hewitt 1975).
The composition of a nuclear family is a father, mother and their children living together.
The number of children is not constrained but they have to be directly linked to the parents. The nuclear family is a viable and financially stable entity on its own and can be found all around the world. A nuclear family is supposed to be an environment where children can be nurtured and raised in love, emotional support, provision of physical needs, availing of time to spend with them, and an economically stable environment. In this case, the child notes that her biological father got separated from her mother before she even was a year old. This shows that she never knew her father and thus grew up in a single parent family. She never got to experience love and caring from both parents and her mother who was the one left with her, was not interested in her. Despite her mother remarrying immediately, she was practically raised by her grandmother and her extended family.
At the age of five the child had to grow up really fast and take up responsibilities that were supposed to be her mother’s. She walked herself to school and always came back to an empty house. Her mother’s relationship with her ex-husband made her to become stressed and angry all the time, and had a propensity to release her frustration on her daughter. This has resulted to the child having a low self esteem of herself and trying to channel this frustrations to school endeavoring to be an over achiever but her mother did not take any notice. This clearly shows that the function of the nuclear family in this scenario is not evident and the child grew up all alone and had to learn to be self reliant (Adorno 2002).
This can be termed as a study of social sciences and the happenings at different levels in the society. The society is an ever changing entity and thus the problems encountered are as a result of institutional structural change. For an effective solution to the society’s problems, there is need for change in these institutional structures.
The subject here hers analyzed and evaluated her life and hers concluded that she does not want her daughter whom she describes as the greatest gift in the world, to go through the same. Even though she is a single parent, she says that she is fed up with having to struggle and the inconsistency it brought to her life. The lack of support from her family (nuclear and extended) and friends has made her resolve to continue with education and obtain a B.A. she also wants her daughter to pursue higher education and not settle for less in her life, this is a complete opposite of her mother who did not care about education and did not encourage both her and her stepbrother who after attending just one semester of college took a break to work and has ended up not going back to school (Chinoy & Hewitt 1975).
Adorno, T. (2002). Introduction to Sociology.
Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. Chinoy, E., & Hewitt, J.
P. (1975). Sociological perspective. New York, NY: Random House.ss