These three elements, as spelled by White, highlight how three needs – the social, natural and biological – have forced the family into the division of roles. This is demonstrated in the way family, in its history, has taken many forms and how each member has been given tasks to ensure it the best chance for survival. This paper will outline the significant forms that the family and community have taken through the years and how the sociological, biological and natural needs are being met. Specifically, this paper will identify its bearing on the division of labor and responsibilities within the family.
In order to be able to establish the foundation of this paper, it is necessary to explain the fundamental concepts of the family, the division of labor and their relationship. In the process, the social, biological and natural factors that cause the division of labor within the family will also be identified.
Scholars began to take interest in the development of the human institution called the family in 1860s and this resulted to the investigation of its history. According to Patricia Rosof, these scholars sought the origins and examined the development of the family because by doing so, they would be able to understand patterns of kinship structures, marriage, and inheritance, as well as explanations to familial traditions, among other matrimonial values. (1) With this scholarly interest, the definition of family became a necessity. Because of development and cultural differences, there is no standard definition or clear legally outlined meaning for the family but for the purposes of this study, the definition offered by the US Bureau of Census will be used. It states that, “a family consists of two or more persons who are living together and who are bound to each other by kinship, marriage or adoption.