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conjugal family

Definition of Conjugal Family

(noun) A family consisting of a married couple and typically their children through birth or adoption.

Example of Conjugal Family

Conjugal Family Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: con·ju·gal fam·i·ly

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /kAHn-jiguhl fAm-lee/
  • British English – /kOn-juguhl fAm-uh-lee/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈkɑnʤəgəl ˈfæməli/
  • British English – /ˈkɒnʤʊgəl ˈfæmɪli/

Usage Notes

Related Quotations

  • “Since the effective kinship unit is normally the conjugal family, the child’s emotional attachments to kin are confined to relatively few persons instead of being distributed more widely. Especially important, perhaps, is the fact that no other adult woman has a role remotely similar to that of the mother. Hence the average intensity of affective involvement in family relations is likely to be high. Secondly, the child’s relations outside the family are only to a small extent ascribed. Both in the play group and in the school he must to a large extent ‘find his own level’ in competition with others. Hence the psychological significance of his security within the family is heightened” (Parsons 1943:32).
  • “The members of the conjugal family in our urban society normally share a common basis of economic support in the form of money income, but this income is not derived from the co-operative efforts of the family as a unit – its principal source lies in the remuneration of occupational role performed by individual members of the family. Status in an occupational role is generally, however, specifically segregated from kinship status – a person holds a ‘job‘ as an individual, not by virtue of his status in a family” (Parsons 1943:33).

Additional Information

Related Terms


Parsons, Talcott. 1943. “The Kinship System of the Contemporary United States.” American Anthropologist 45(1):22–38. doi:10.1525/aa.1943.45.1.02a00030.

Cite the Definition of Conjugal Family

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “conjugal family.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 24, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/conjugal-family/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

conjugal family. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/conjugal-family/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “conjugal family.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/conjugal-family/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“conjugal family.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 24 May. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/conjugal-family/>.