Currently popular are definitions of family based on what they do rather than who comprises them. These definitions reflect a desire to include groups that do not fit the traditional man-woman-child model. These definitions are most suited to the study of the interrelationships of individuals and families in this course.
The Vanier Institute of the Family, a Canadian organization founded in 1965 to conduct research on the family, uses the following broader definition to reflect the diversity of families in Canada
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“Family is defined as any combination of two or more persons who are bound together over time by ties of mutual consent, birth, and/or adoption/placement and who, together, assume responsibilities for variant combinations of some of the following:
- physical maintenance and care of group members;
- addition of new members through procreation or adoption;
- socialization of children;
- social control of members;
- production, consumption, and distribution of goods and materials;
- affective nurturance – love