Sociology and Family Structure

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Ricky DeBlasio Dr. Ficco Sociology 101 3 May 2010 Social Changes in Family Desmond Tutu once stated, “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. ” This statement cannot be truer with regards to my family. Growing up in a close family is something that I will always cherish and something that both my parents were able to do as well. My nuclear family consists of my dad Rick who is 54, my mom Debbie who is 51, my sister Mary Rose who is 17 and me I am 21. We are a very close family, in fact we lived right across the street from one of my uncles and my grandma on my mom’s side my whole life. My dad’s parents were at the house almost every day and it is something that I will cherish forever. My grandfather on my mom’s side passed away when I was five and the rest of my grandparents passed away last year but I have memories of all them and their efforts made our family very strong and gave us strong ties, cultural heritage and a love that will always stay with my family. Although I am very close with my dad’s side of the family, I am going to compare my nuclear family with my mom’s nuclear family because my dad was an only child and my mother’s side is larger and I have taken more of the customs of my mom’s family. My mom’s family would be considered a bigger family in today’s society but in terms of the time, when my mom grew up, her family was considered just a little above the average size family. My Grandmother, Mary and my grandfather, James had six children all together. Rita is the oldest at age 78, then Theresa at age 70, then Jimmy who is deceased and died at age 55, then Anthony who is 65 now, George who is 58 and finally my mother Debbie who is 51. As it can easily be seen there is a large age gap between the oldest and youngest child in the family. Something that is unique about my mom’s family is that my Aunt Rita was married before my mother was born. In today’s society that is not usually the case and is something that would have been impossible in my family because there is only a five years age difference between my sister and I. Because my Aunt Rita and Theresa were so much older than my mother, they helped my grandmother a lot by taking care of my mother and as she stated, “Your Aunt Rita and Aunt Theresa were just like mothers to me, we had a unique relationship because they were so much older than me. This is hard for me to understand because Mary and I are more like friends than anything and we help each other out because we are so close in age. One thing that my parents instilled in my sister and I is a strong connection to our ethnicity and our religion.

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