Exploring solidarity beyond the nuclear family

Kuiack, Stephanie Lynne
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University of Guelph

Although Solidarity Theory has traditionally been applied to dyadic relationships, this paper proposed that Solidarity Theory may be applied to the family as a system. A model for Solidarity Within a Family System was developed, and two studies to refine the model were conducted. The first study examined the influence of gender and relationship status on five elements of solidarity. This study confirmed that how one is related to the family affects the experience and expression of solidarity. The second study tested two proposed structural relations for the solidarity elements (Roberts et al., 1991; Rossi & Rossi, 1990), as well as the role other family members play in the maintenance of solidarity when conflict occurs between a parent and a grandparent. Results indicated that the Roberts et al. (1991) proposition received the most support, and confirmed that family and friends do play a role in conflict resolution, as predicted by the Solidarity Within a Family System model. Taken together, both studies provided support for the Solidarity Within a Family System model.

Solidarity Theory, family, system, Solidarity Within a Family System, gender, relationship, solidarity elements