The PerkinsFamilyCollage and AnalysisRegina Perkins 11/20/11
Introduction to my family I would say that my family is a combination of single-parent and blended. My mother raised me as a single-parent but our home was filled with other family members My grandmother and aunt played a huge part in helping raise me when my mother was working I consider my cousins to be like my brothers, and we always introduced ourselves as brother and sisters In the text it even states that “today, families define themselves, for themselves…(pg. 5)”
Introduction to my family Despite the lack of paternal support, my mother had the support of her mother and sister when it came to raising me, giving me the opportunity to have a very loyal extended family
Economic Issues One issue that my family faced a lot that the text touched upon was the economic issues that some families face My mother was the sole provider for me and I definitely could relate to the fact that “economic pressures add significant stress to the lives of poor family members, and this stress affects the ways family members relate to each other (pg 16).”
What Family Means “Even in the most mundane interchanges, participants’ messages imply their visions of the nature of social and physical reality as well as their values, beliefs, and attitudes (pg. 26).” My family has developed a few core meanings and metacommunications
What Family Means The one theme/message our family has developed and practiced throughout the years is “family first” No matter who comes in and out of your life, you family will always be there for you, so you should treat them with respect and love.
What Family Means Another important notion that has special meaning to my family is to be independent. My grandmother was also a single mother of 5, so she has taught her children and her grandchildren to value the meaning of a dollar and make your own living because you never know what may happen
What Family Means There are a lot of metacommunications that occur in my family, even though we know quite a lot about each other we always sarcastic and make smart remarks, and reiterate the fact that no matter what we were only kidding, or were being sarcastic Despite our flexible, cohesive functioning, there are still times where we question each other, but with the best intentions
BoundariesIwould say generally we have established a permeable boundary, we are very open to others opinions values and share our values with other families with a great deal of acceptance.
The Family SystemI have a very interdependent family, we all have individual relationships that form our family system We have a lot of symbolic interactions that take shape in “inside jokes
The Family System Here is an example of how my family uses the narrative theory to demonstrate our “inside” jokes: It was my father’s first experience at a Thanksgiving dinner, my grandmother had told him to get in line otherwise all the food would be gone. Nevertheless, my father politely waited till every member got their food before him, and when he went up to the table to fill his plate, it was all gone… This story is an example of how we are always to take opportunities as they are presented to us, especially when tit involves food.
Family Roles My mother was definitely seen as the “provider” My grandmother is the “helper,” when any of us are having issues with one another, or issues in general, my grandmother is always ready to give advice and help My aunt is definitely the “joker” of the family. She is such a free spirit and can take any situation and put her own light-hearted twist on it All the other members of my family were equally important in their roles of supporting one another. There will always be a shoulder to cry on, helping hand, and open ear because we are all there for one another.
Family Secrets All the members of my family have secrets, we don’t push each other to reveal them, but if we do know something we respect that person and keep them to ourselves The secrets probably range from sweet, essential, maybe some toxic ones, or even dangerous But as the text states the secrets do seem to serve purposes like bonding, evaluation, maintenance, privacy, defense and communication (Vangelisti, pg. 90)
Family Network Our family network most likely aligns with the “all channel network.” It “supports exchanges between or among all family members, supporting direct interation and maximum feedback (pg. 93).”
Stories My grandmother is the story-teller of the family. Her stories allow us to find out how the family was established, how we deal with certain issues, how relationships were formed, and help us bond as a unit
Relationship Maintenance The Perkins family is very close for a reason. We hold our relationships very dear, and maintaining those relationships is an important practice No matter the relationship whether it be marital, parent/child, or siblings, we all stay connected (or try to)
Relationship Maintenance Some of the ways that we maintain relationships that the text mentioned were through dialogue, and rituals A ritual that my grandmother and I have practiced for a few years now is we always see the newest films from the Twilight series together. I don’t usually see the film with friends for the first time, I always go see it with my grandmother first. It is meaningful for the both of us as fans, and creates something special for both of us to share
Family Typology Of all of the different kinds of typologies I feel that my family mostly identifies with Fitzpatrick’s Couple Types (pg. 169) Of all of the couples in the family I would say that they all are independent types, they accept uncertainty and change, and share/negotiate autonomy. Relationshipsare seen as a “team effort” and not one duty is the sole responsibility of one member
Decision Makers “Each family member must exercise a certain degree of power in order to gain or maintain some control over his or her life (pg. 180).” Even if it is a simple decision like what to eat for dinner we always consult each other, no one person is the “decision-maker,” we all feel like we have the same resources and knowledge to where there is always a consultation amongst members. I would say that since there is a shared authority then my family would be syncratic,
Power DevelopmentI would say that the power development in my family is no doubt due to how my mother and her siblings were raised in a single-parent setting, where children and parents assume equal responsibilities and enhances maturity and self-reliance.
Conflict Management “Aconflict between two members of the family will affect other members (pg. 211).” In our family you can definitely tell when there is a conflict, because we are so close we can usually tell if something is wrong with one another, and in one way or another it affects each member of the family
Conflict Management “Change may trigger uneasiness and consequently conflict (pg. 212).” Example: When I was going through a miscarriage, my family could tell something was emotionally wrong, since they did not know and did not want to “pry,” they thought I was mad at them, so they began to act differently. Until I revealed what happened and resolved the brewing conflict there was plenty of tension between my family and I.