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The word "family" can be used metaphorically to create more inclusive categories such as community, nationhood, global village, and humanism.
The children's mother is not necessarily the wife of one of the children's fathers." These types refer to ideal or normative structures found in particular societies.Olivia Harris states this confusion is not accidental, but indicative of the familial ideology of capitalist, western countries that pass social legislation that insists members of a nuclear family should live together, and that those not so related should not live together; despite the ideological and legal pressures, a large percentage of families do not conform to the ideal nuclear family type. - NARA - 540984.jpg|thumb|left|A miner with his children, West Virginia, 19 settings, and their specific functions and meanings depend largely on their relationship to other social institutions.Although early western cultural anthropologists and sociologists considered family and kinship to be universally associated with relations by "blood" (based on ideas common in their own cultures) later research has shown that many societies instead understand family through ideas of living together, the sharing of food (e.g. Sociologists have a special interest in the function and status of family forms in stratified (especially capitalist) societies.This kind of family occurs commonly where women have the resources to rear their children by themselves, or where men are more mobile than women.As a definition, "a family or domestic group is matrifocal when it is centred on a woman and her children.
traditional family refers to "a middle-class family with a bread-winning father and a stay-at-home mother, married to each other and raising their biological children," and nontraditional to exceptions from this rule.