At the heart of the family are marriage, which is manifested as a natural, and social nature of man, as a material (social being), and spiritual (social consciousness) sphere of social life. The society is interested in the stability of marital relations, so it provides an external social control for optimal functioning of the marriage by means of public opinion system, the social impact on the individual, the process of education (Trapeznikova TM, 1987).
Modern sociologists define marriage as “historically changing social form of relationship between husband and wife, through which society organizes and authorizes their sex life and sees their marital and parental rights and responsibilities” (Harchev AG, 1979, p. 66).
Isolation of marriage as a structural unit occurred in the relatively recent historical perspective as a result of the serious socio-economic transformation of modern society, to create the conditions for equitable (social, legal, moral), men and women. Marriage – it is personal interaction between husband and wife, regulated by moral principles and supported by its inherent values. (Golod, SI, 1984).
This definition emphasizes: non-institutional nature of the relationship inherent in marriage; equality and symmetry of moral responsibilities and privileges of both spouses.
Family is a more complex system of relations, it brings together not only the couple, but also their children and other relatives, or simply close the couple and they need people (Harchev AG, 1979, p. 66).
By the definition of AI Antonov, the family – is based on a single activity obschesemeynoy community of people bound by ties of marriage, parenthood, relationship, and thereby carries out the reproduction of the population and the continuity of family generations, as well as the socialization of children and the maintenance of the existence of family members. Antonov believes that only the presence of the triune relationship allows us to speak about the design of the family as such, in its severe form. The fact that one or two of these relations are characterized by the fragmentation of family groups that were before the actual families (because of growing up and separation of children, family disintegration due to illness, the death of its members, because of divorce and other family disruption), or does not become yet families (eg family newlyweds, characterized only marriage, but not by blood and parenting).
For all these fragmentary, “fragmentation” of family forms better suited the term “family group”, which is understood as a group of people, leading a joint household and only united by kinship or matrimony (Antonov. I., Medkov VM, 1996).