The Family's Functioning and Lifestyle
The previous chapters deal with the subjective conceptions of the family with respect to the world in which it lives and to itself. In this chapter, we shall move on to external manifestations of these conceptions in the family's functioning and behavior. Families' modes of daily functioning and lifestyles vary considerably across cultures.
In chapter 3, various types of ecological constraints on the possibility of reaching the family's proximity and control goals with respect to the environment are listed and discussed.
An active solution for ecological constraints requires investment of resources: time, money, work, study. The questions arising at this juncture are: Who is responsible for allocating resources? How are the decisions concerning these resources carried out? Who consumes the resources?
According to Moskos' description of the history of his own Greek American family ( 1981), the authority to decide how ecological constraints on the family's goals should be overcome was in the hands of the author's uncle Evangelos, his father's older brother. However, the author's father and his wife had to execute these decisions. Responsibility for overcoming ecological constraints in the African American community often falls on women ( Lawson and Thompson, 1995).
Different families have different conceptions concerning allocation of roles and duties. This applies both to formal roles such as financial man-