There are certain functions that the family performs. In the first place the family provides society with an orderly means of reproduction, while at the same time the norms of marriage control the potentially disruptive forces of sexuality. Second, the family provides physical and economic support for the child during the early years of dependence. The child receives its primary socialization in the family, learning the essential ideas and values required for adult life.
Governments and politicians use the family as an indicator of the health and strength of social life. Politicians fear that any weakening of family life will in some way sap the vitality of national life.... The family is also important to businessmen. It is one of the major purchasing groups of our consumer society.