Lili Zou

My parents are both immigrants from China and my siblings and I are all first generation American citizens in our nuclear family. Our nuclear family consists of five members including me and I’ve always thought we were a family that were frankly speaking close to each other and we had bounds with not only within our family but also with our extended family members. As a child growing up I was always spending time with my extended family members but while reading chapter 1 of Sociology of the family by Ron Hammond, I’ve realized that family isn’t all just about love and acceptance or growing up together but a large portion is of needs. In this chapter, the author talked about the needs of the family such as economic support or emotional support which made me question a couple of things. As I was a child growing up I didn’t notice much but as an adult now and looking back there were many times where I question what happened. I’ve realized now that I’m older, we don’t contact our extended family members as often now. We used to see each other every other weekend but now it’s down to maybe twice a year. Is this because we’re unable to satisfy each other’s needs anymore? Or because as my cousins and I are growing older now, the way our parents taught us growing up made a wedge in our relationship? We all know have different goals and needs to go after? Can there possibly be a relationship that need doesn’t come before love? How can we define family? How should we define family?

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