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A Personal Observation Relating to My Social Environment: Family and Gender

Essay by   •  August 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,029 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,398 Views

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Introduction

A family consists of people who consider themselves related by blood, marriage, or adoption (Henslin, 2009). As such, according to the above definition, a broken family, or a broken home, refers to a family unit that does not properly function according to accepted societal norms. To achieve the position of a mosque manager in Singapore is prestigious. Mosque leaders need to undergo several criteria. My aunt, Aiffah Ahmad, is the first woman in Singapore, to be a mosque manager. She is a single parent to three children. She is also twice divorced, in other words, serial monogamy; when a person has several spouses in her lifetime, but only one spouse at a time (Schaefer, 2011). However, she has raised the first child to be a successful graduate from the National University of Singapore, and the other two to be diploma holders.

Family

Her first divorce was due to her ex-husband committing adultery. In her later stage of life, she remarried to a man who was also already married with children. Her family of 4 experienced blended families, or stepfamilies. True to what Cherlin had said, "The well-being of children in stepfamilies is no better, on average, than the well-being of children in divorced, single-parent household." (Cherlin). Soon after, Aiffah divorced her second ex-husband because she found it harder to cope with blended families. Instead she felt that she was better off bearing her children on her own. In a diverse lifestyle, she has since remained single and economically independent after her second divorce (Schaefer, 2011). In this family's example, after the second divorce, Aiffah's child bearing pattern became a single-parent family. She was the sole charge of her 3 children, and the sole breadwinner in the family. After both divorce, the family did not keep any form of contact with the previous ex-members of the family nor their family members at all. Thus, the kinship, the state of being related to others, of the family was matrilineal descent, where only the mother's relatives are important (Schaefer, 2011).

In the functionalist view, family serves 6 key functions for the society (Orgburn); Reproduction, Protection, Socialisation, Regulation of Sexual Behaviour, Affection and Companionship, and Provision of Social Status. In the case of Aiffah's family, we see 5 out of these 6 key functions. Protection is available whereby Aiffah is the sole responsible charge of her 3 children. She has successfully achieve bringing up her children in the most desirable way possible in acceptance of the society as her children are all decent. The opportunity to socialise was made available through the medium of relatives, friends in school, media, and the like. Apart from that, Aiffah has also strictly imposed regulation of sexual behaviour by having an 8pm bedtime curfew for all of her children. She restricted usage of mobile phones by not getting any of her children mobile phones until the age of 16. Even though they were a small family of 4 and father-less, affection and companionship was never short as they are a close-knitted family. The provision of social status was not being taught to them but they learnt that a low-income family was regarded low in the hierarchy of the society of Singapore. However,

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