Primary Source Archives
Gale Primary Sources offers archives and collections that provide researchers with firsthand family resource materials and information that can be searched and used to examine and analyze the evolution of family over time.
Explore the dynamics of family, which is a group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood, or adoption. Traditionally, the base unit of a family, termed the nuclear family, consisted of a mother, father, and their child or children; the extended family included the network of relatives, such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, cousins, godchildren, and even close family friends.
As divorce and remarriage became more common in the 20th century, the family model included blended families, or families that combine different family units into one, which encompassed stepchildren, stepmothers and stepfathers, and half-siblings. During this time, single parent–headed households became more common, as did households headed by unmarried couples.
In the 21st century, the concept of family broadened further to include nontraditional households, such as those headed by same-sex couples. LGBT persons sometimes refer to their support network of friends as their “family of choice,” particularly those who no longer associate with their biological parents and family due to rejection.
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