Notes Social Studies

Family As A Basic Unit Of Society


      Characteristics of a Large Family Size

      Characteristics of a Small Family Size

      Consequences of Family Size

The family is the smallest unit of a social organization which exists in every society. There cannot be the society without the individual families existing in it. The greater the number of families in the community the larger the society. The nature of the families will also to a large extent determine what the society will be. There will be less conflict, crime and problems if the majority of families in the society are responsible.

Functions of the Family in the Society

  • Members of the society are replaced through the family. When somebody dies, a new person replaces him or her by birth.
  • The family teaches a child cultural values and norms of a society. The child is taught to speak the local practice language, the customs and traditions of his people.
  • The family teaches the child about his creator. The child knows about God for the first time through the family.
  • The family is one of the institutions that control sexual behaviour. The child is taught that the society and God frown at sexual immorality.
  • The family particularly the father and mother contribute to the economic growth and progress – providing productive services, paying taxes on their income, etc.

Characteristics of a Small Family Size

  1. The numbers of children are not many.
  2. The family size consists of the father, mother and many children at least six children.

Characteristics of a Large Family

  1. The numbers of children are many.
  2. The family size consists of the father, mother and many children at least six children.

Consequence of a Large Family

  1. Insufficient funds to cater for the family.
  2. Inadequate / improper care of the family.
  3. Lack of proper upbringing of the children as a result of the number of children.
  4. Pressure of large population on infrastructure e.g. housing, road etc.


  1. Mention four characteristics of a large size.
  2. Mention consequences of a large family size.
  3. Social Studies Workbook. Page 25.


Macmillam JSS Social Studies by MA Orebanjo and others. Page 21

Fundamentals of Social Studies for Basic 7. Pages 51 – 52


  1. Which of the following is not acquired during the process of socialization?   A. riches    B. skills    C. value     D. knowledge
  2. The following are examples of moral responsibilities of the children at home EXCEPT ___________A. to respect elders     B. to help their parents with house chores      C. to use vulgar language
  3. The most important function of the family is _______   A. living together    B. doing things in common    C. reproduction of human race
  4. Primary social group include _________   A. family, kinship and age-group    B. father, mother and children    C. kingship, peer group and family    D. school, kinship and clubs
  5. Family is the smallest unit of an organization. True or False


  1. Define Family.
  2. Mention four functions of the family in the society.

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