Excerpt from the full-text article:

The family is both a source of society and a product of society. As a source of society the family produces individuals, values and a set of behaviors we call socialization which helps to build institutions which constitute the fabric of the larger society. As a product of society the family is highly influenced, conditioned and to a great extent determined by the forces which emanate from the institutional fabric of the larger society. Thus, what a family is, is to some extent determined by, influenced by, defined by the larger context of the society in which families function. Thus, the family is not an independent unit of society and it is not primarily a causative factor in society. It is, as sociologists term it, highly interdependent with the other aspects of society. In Black Families in White America, we have described this conception as a social systems approach to the study of childhood and family life. It calls attention to the total network of social reality within which families are structured and within which they function.