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Family Culture and Traditions Paper

Family Tradition: Eco systems revolve around family, school, culture, community, society and
religion. Being born in UAE, one of the most important family tradition and lesson I have been
taught includes respecting all individuals and considering them in high regard. This is a part of
my microsystem which is dominated by parents, grandparents, and neighbors. When I say this is
a tradition it means it is imbibed from childhood and taught and followed in day to day activities.
Not talking loudly to elders, not arguing with parents, obeying orders, helping them in household
chores are some simple things which we follow. It is considered as a duty to help our
grandparents, talk to them, gather and eat together, and not to harm them or quarrel with them in
any form and this can be related to meso system.
Maintaining family honor is to some extent perceived as more important than individual
freedom, or individual achievement. Family values, respecting elders in and outside family are
considered important because, it is believed in my family that individuals behavior is a
representation of his standing in the society. The exo system that is not immediate family, family
community, society all was controlled to be disciplined. Small instances like greeting guests in a
polite manner when they come home, playing with their children, taking care of aging parents,
making them sit first, not speaking abusive languages, being friendly with people all represent
signs of family tradition of respect towards all. Even talking loudly or laughing at very loud pitch
is not allowed in my house especially for females.
The macro system is defined as outermost layer in a childs environment which is like cultural
values, customs and law. How we abide and live in a joint family and have been always asked to
respect that tradition defines my macro system.
The chronosystem is related to changes in a childs environment and is related to different time
periods. With age the child responses to various issues can be varied and can be quite reactive
Role of Family Members and Purpose: Various stages in Freuds Stages of Psychosexual
Development result in either successful completion or a healthy personality or can result in
failure, leading to an unhealthy personality.
We live in a joint family, which is headed by my father. Others include my mother, sister and my
grandparents. Though my father is the only earning member and he is officially the head after
my grandfather retired, but still all the decisions in the family are taken collectively with the
consent of my grandparents.
Since my childhood, I remember my Father telling me and my sister this without our elders,
would we even be here? No. We owe them our lives and our respect for gifting us with those
lives. He has always played the role of leader in the house, but there is a strong statement that
he has always made, And I wouldnt want to leave this house, or my family, for anything.
My mother has always played the role of a home maker in the house. She has been instrumental
in keeping the family together, meeting each ones needs effectively, planning of our daily
timetables and taking care of each detail carefully. From managing maids to keeping the house
clean, taking care of my grandparents medicines, my mother is instrumental in maintain the
family tradition of an obedient daughter in law, wife and mother. I have never seen my parents
arguing or quarrelling openly in public and in case of any disagreements, my mother generally
keeps quite. She has played a lead role in teaching her children good moral values and has never
appreciated even small quarrels between us siblings.
Caregiving is considered as a natural occurrence. In my family, parents move in with their
children when their children get married. The parents help raise their childrens children, and,
when the parents themselves need care, their children are prepared to care for their parents until
the end of their life. Caregiving is not seen as a chore, or as a new role. Its simply another step
in the long, continuous life of a family. It is an expected stage that reoccurs every generation as
the next parents become grandparents and their children become parents.
My grandparents in our family are considered as people with wisdom. Because of their life-long
experience and knowledge, important family decisions are taken with their consent. Decisions
like marriage of children, education, had always involved my grandparents.
In order to maintain unity and harmony in our families, festivals have always played a very
important role in keeping us together. Each festival, important events like marriages, promotions
etc are celebrated together. Small events as my high school results, success in sports are
celebrated either with a dinner out or at home where all family members are invited. Festivals
like Ramadan etc are celebrated traditionally with special dishes etc being made. The ceremony
fosters social bonding and develops a health social environment and engages each and every
individual together. Friends, relatives, families all meet each other, gift each other and seek
blessings of elders.
All these stages of my early childhood can be related to Freuds theory.
During Oral stage where a child is focused on oral pleasures can be related to satisfaction. People
not satisfied can lead to drinking and unhealthy behavior. However, in our family this tradition
does not exist at all.
Anal stage: The childs focus of pleasure in this stage is on eliminating and retaining feces
which can be related to cleanliness and perfection. This is one stage that can be related to our
family tradition of respect and family values
Phallic Stage: during age stage of 3-6 years, the pleasure zone switches to the genitals. The fear
towards fathers and increase affection towards mothers in boys and vice versa for girl chil
Latency Stage: children play with the same genders and suppress their sexual desires.
Genital Stage: during start of puberty when sexual urges begin
There are generally three levels of attachment in lives which are
Secure Attachment: it can be described as looking out for security and protections. Generally
develops in very early stage of life
Anxious Attachment: this attachment is like children not trusting their parents for their security
needs. This can be someway related in my family since my sister did not much trust my father.
This attribute developed because of gender gap and too much obedience and respect being
followed in the family.
Avoidance Attachment: this can be related to indifference wherein the presence of mothers make
no difference for a child.
The order theory: The functionalist perspective, also called functionalism, is a way in which
we can describe how social order is possible or how society remains relatively stable. It is
generally moving with the society and maintaining stability of the whole society. The different
parts are primarily the institutions of society, each of which is organized to fill different needs
and each of which has particular consequences for the form and shape of society. The parts all
depend on each other.
People paying taxes and then government providing them education etc can be considered as
functionalism. Doing things within defined society limits and maintaining law and order etc
leads to stability in the society. When these do not exist it can lead to conflict.
As in our culture it is important to stay close to parents and respect them. In case old people are
send to age old homes it would be considered conflict. Thus the tradition of grandparents staying
with my family describes order theory.
The conflict Theory: The conflict theory is a reflection of dominance when people deviate from
common known facts or dominate others. It emphasizes on inequality created due to economic,
political or material conditions. It generally indicates men as a dominant gender, or rich people
dominating weak groups and sections, conflicts between competing group etc.
Conflict theory was first defined in the work of Karl Marx in the mid-1800s. Marx explained
human society in terms of conflict between social classes, notably the conflict in capitalist
societies between those who owned the means of economic production (factory or farm owners,
for example) and those who did not (the workers). Other instances of conflict theory are common
social group struggling having unequal power for limited and same resources. Conflict theory
also explains diverse human behavior, such as educational practices that either sustain or
challenge the status quo, cultural customs regarding elders, and criminal behavior.
Type of Conflict theory: Various kind of conflict theory include Critical theory, Feminist
theory, Post modern theory, Post structural theory, Postcolonial theory, Queer theory, World
system theory, Race-conflict theory.
The family is not necessarily a group characterized by consensus and agreements but could also
be held together by constraint or coercion. There could be times of differences of opinions
among family members and absolute harmony is not necessary for continuation of order in the
family. Conflict may even strengthen relationships, making them rewarding in the final analysis.
In our case conflict theory can be related to arguments that I used to have with my father on the
need to always agree to the orders on my grandfather. Obeying orders is important but
consenting to them when it is known that they are wrong is not correct. Being submissive in
excess is also not correct. One instance that can be related to my family tradition is regarding my
sisters medical education. She was a brilliant student, but my grandfather did not give consent
for her to pursue medical science. He believed that girls should be married early. Thus even
while my father wished that her daughter should go to the medical school she was not permitted.
There was no way we could argue with him as it would be a sign of disrespect. Finally my sister
ended up being a science graduate but not a doctor.
Reflections upon the traditions
Looking back and reflecting upon the tradition of respect for elders, I believe though this
tradition needs to be continued, however with limitations. For eg: in case I reflect the toughest
relationship in my family was between my father and grandfather. Since relationships status is
never static it all goes through times of rough patches as well as closeness. This generally
results in Triangles and even though my father was close to his father, given the admission
process of my sister, they both grew quite distant for sometime. The triangle was formed when
my sister stepped in and she agreed to opt out of medical school. My father though upset with
this development, grew very close to my sister and respect for her increased. This fact was
bothering my father very much but as a result it brought my sister and father very close to each
Sibling positions: generally refers to conflicts that exist due to birth order or difference in
positions. The elder children in the family mostly are more strong, dominating, confident and
authoritative than younger siblings. This variation in positions and attitudes gets reflected in each
sibling behaving a different way in same situation. To justify difference in behaviors i can
associate the two with my family tradition of respect and no arguments. Even after my sister not
being allowed to pursue her dreams of getting into medical college, she still never disrespected
even once my grandparents. Neither did she speak in rude tone to my parents nor did she argue
much with my grandfather, probably because of her acceptance to the position as a younger
sibling as well as weaker gender. In a very similar position, I would have fought and would have
threatened the status quo.
The tradition we would like to carry ahead because it creates and healthy environment in the
family but as far as the culture of no arguments and debating goes, I would like to change that.
We need to develop the environment of openness and discussion in our house to develop more
attachment between people.

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