Family plays a huge role in almost every culture in existence. Everyone on this planet is part of a family, whether it be their biological family or one of their own making. The glue that binds such a family are the core values that they choose to uphold. These values are the guiding light of a family and in many ways defines them.
Values, much like beliefs and morals are highly subjective. They are at best difficult to generalize and at worst, nebulous terms. Values, morals and beliefs differ from person to person, and from family to family. So how then is one to write a paper, let alone conduct a proper research on such an amorphous subject?
A researcher can take a wide or narrow approach. As its name suggests, the wide approach takes into account the entire population. Since constraints like time and budget make it impossible for a researcher to survey, analyze and study every single member of the population, they must instead apply their study onto a cross section.
This cross section is simultaneously random and non-random. It must be random in that no specific individual is requested or targeted for the study. However, it must be non-random in that it must contain subjects whose total sum must represent the population. For example, the ratio of men to women in the study must match the ratio of men to women in the entire population. The study must also take into account the age, belief systems and socioeconomic factors of its test subjects.
The study itself need not be all encompassing. In fact, it would be better to focus the study on only one or two facets of family values. Taking this approach would limit variables and produce “cleaner” results and would decrease the likelihood of erroneously including aberrant data. Examples of the types of studies that can be conducted are: looking at the shifting family values in today’s society, describing the changes in values throughout the various eras, identifying the varying factors that affect family dynamics, and finally, comparing the different forms of value systems between families.
Besides the thoughts of the individual or the actual family they belong to, there are also other factors that can influence the values and ideals that they hold in high regard. Since the majority of people living in the world associate with some sort of religion, it may be safe to say that the edicts and dogma of their religion will bleed into their household in some shape or form. Therefore, when conducting research on family values, religious beliefs should be factored into the equation.
The same can be said for traditional or cultural beliefs.It is often said that people are a product of their environment. If this is the case, then the same can also be true for their families. The culture and people we surround ourselves help shape us and our families. That is why this important piece of the puzzle must be take into account.
This type of study will need a significant amount of supporting data. Fortunately, enough work has been done in this field and there are numerous references available. Figures and statistical data is also front and center for the “wide” approach. This kind of information should be harvested from actual research and field work. However, supporting data can also be obtained by accessing survey information regarding public opinion on family values.
The “narrow” approach, would be to conduct a study on family values on a per family basis. This method would focus on the values and ideals upheld by a single family. While this is the farthest thing from capturing data representative of the entire population, it does allow for deeper dive into the inner working of a family unit. It would allow the researcher to clearly identify not just the values that many families share, but also the values that makes each family unique.
What does a family hold dear? Unity? Honesty? Respect? And why? A “narrow”-type of research will require the researcher to immerse themselves into the family’s psyche, to discern their inner workings and unearth that which sets them apart from the rest. Then they must do it again for another family, and then another. This kind of research is exhaustive in both the work involved and the resources that must be applied.
While this kind of work has been done in the past the majority of the data that must be presented in the research will need to come from the study itself. Therefore, careful planning and data gathering must be practiced to ensure that sufficient amounts of supporting evidence are presented in research paper writing.