Abstract

This paper is a summary of a website, which gives different views on the family and an article that discusses the relationship between work family conflicts and the role of family members in their families.

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Keywords: family, parent, work-family conflict, physicians, family responsibility

Sociology

Introduction

This paper provides the summary of different conception of a family as presented by various people drawing from a website entitled, Families: Forums - What Does Family Mean for You?, and also the summary of an article on the work-family conflict and its association with job performance and family satisfaction among physicians.

First Article: Families: Forums - What Does "Family" Mean for You?

The Education and Culture Lifelong Learning Programme, through their website posted in the year 2013, reports that many people consider their family as the most important social unity in their lives. Children see their family as consisting of beautiful and handsome parents who are considerate and loving even if this is not the case. According to the website, the essence of having a family with parents is that parents are supposed to be around when needed and give advices regarding different social problems facing their children. It also acknowledges that family means different things to different people, especially children who see a special role of family in any persons life. However, the site notes that the basis is that a family is the smallest unit in the society that consists of father, mother, and children. Some people think that the family pet is part of the family, although the pets cannot be as important as brothers or sisters. The most important role that a family plays in the lives of people is the provision of love for a long period of time. Family is also a source of knowledge to people as first education must be got from the family members. At a higher level, a family may also consist of cousins and grandparents with whom people share different events that bring them on particular occasions like during Christmas time or even on Sundays.

The programme also emphasizes that the bottom-line is that the family is the most important thing in a persons life (Education and Culture Lifelong Learning Programme, 2013). This happens because it plays a role in enlarging and educating their children. All successes that people have can be attributed to the first education that they get from their family members. Family can also mean more than just marriage or blood relationships. To some extent, a family can mean a group of people who accepts one with all their shortcomings without prejudice, hatred, or judgment. Family provides an unconditional love, and it is the duty of every family member to provide all they can for family members in all matters including financial and emotional. The essence of having a family is that people in this setting should feel secure whenever they are in a family as well as experience comfort that they cannot have in any other place.

Family can also mean a collection of traditional activities that unite related people in an event. Such traditional activities include holidays, meals, among many other things. For instance, some family members like to fly or drive to other places for holidays where they can meet other members of their families including aunts, uncles, and cousins. This may be done regularly or occasionally as the need arises. For instance, a girl from Germany conceptualizes family traditions in the form of trips they make during holidays in order to meet their relatives like aunts and cousins. During the interview, she noted that during holidays we drive there and stay with my aunt (Education and Culture Lifelong Learning Programme, 2013). This is an indication that a family also presents an opportunity for people to do different activities and spend time together.

The website describes family as a social unit that provides its members with security, love, comfort, and education. The composition of the family means that people ought to set aside time from their normal activities and interact with other family members during special events such as holidays or Christmas celebrations. A family setup should consist of people who are ready to give unconditional love and support their members emotionally and financially. It ought to be a source of joy to all members.

Second Article: Work-Family Conflict and Its Association with Job Performance and Family

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The authors of this article drive their insight of a job performance and family from the scarcity hypothesis that individual source is limited by the multiplicity of roles, which creates a work-family conflict. According to them, high physical and emotional demands in the family setting contributes to the difficulties that different categories of people, such as physicians, experience when trying to balance home life and their work. The work family conflict is seen in two dimensions; in terms of conflicts that the rise in work-to-family and family-to-work conflicts (Efeoglu & Ozcan, 2013).

In order to understand the relationship between family and work conflicts, Efeoglu and Ozcan (2013) used a questionnaire to collect information from 396 participants identified as physicians. Among the participants, 40.7% were women while the rest were men. In the analysis of their findings, the cases of work-to-family conflicts were higher compared to family-to-work conflicts. The authors did not establish any significant relation between work-related conflicts and the gender, institution of employment, monthly income, or the marital status of the participants. There was also no significant relationship between job performance and family relationships (Efeoglu & Ozcan, 2013).

During the analysis of literature on the relationship between family conflicts and job performance, the authors evaluated a wide range of literature. The evaluation of different factors that determine the kind of relationship among family members and the work performance indicated that family conflicts are likely to occur for people who are employed. This occurs because many of them lack sufficient time with their family members so to be able to understand their emotional and security needs. The conflicts are also likely to arise because physicians or other employees are not able to meet their obligations as members of the family.

Efeoglu and Ozcan noted that family relationship is affected by various factors including the individual responsibilities that family members might have in their families. At the basic level, family members have a responsibility first to other family members as a means of avoiding conflicts, which can arise when they objurgate their responsibilities as members of a family. The evaluated literature indicated that when family members spend only a small portion of their time performing family roles which they are expected to perform regularly, they are likely to cause conflict in the family. For instance, women physicians are likely to spend less time caring for their children and the household work they perform. Thus, social support is needed to help to ensure that family members perform their family-related roles while at the same time attending to their jobs so that there is no conflict between the two responsibilities.

The researchers identified a number of limitations in their study. For instance, the use of cross-sectional study led to a lack of causal conclusions. The second limitation was that the data that was collected was self-reported and, therefore, the authors of the study could not ascertain the extent of under or over reporting. Additionally, the use of urban sample could also have affected the result of the study as this may not have represented the situation in the rural setting where family members are not constrained by the burden of official jobs such as physicians, which can affect their relationships with each other. Finally, taking into consideration that the sample used in the study was selected from an urban area, it may not have been applicable to the rural areas. The authors of the study concluded that work family conflicts are moderately prevalent among physicians. On the other hand, they did not find gender differences from the past studies conducted in different parts of their geographical area. Lastly, they acknowledged the dual direction in family related issues in terms of the responsibilities that family members have in the family (Efeoglu & Ozcan, 2013).

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