FAMILY is a DIV1 content element, one of the 16 major elements in the BIOGRAPHY section of profiles, defined as integral to mapping a woman's life. FAMILY contains all information about a person's family life (both her birth family and her married family) and, when no MEMBER sub-element is used, captures general family information and allows for a discussion of multiple family members at the same time.
For the purposes of Orlando, we are defining family in the strict sense of the state-sanctioned institution. We acknowledge the politically offensive nature of constructing the family as including only biological, by-marriage and by-adoption members. But, in order to ensure that we do not erase the material and ideological effects of this construction, we do not want to merge alternative families with state-sanctioned families, thereby hiding their very real differences. By including alternative families under another of 16 major life elements in BIOGRAPHY, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS, we hope to facilitate research on the politics of the family. If the woman had a lifelong relationship with a lover whom she did not marry, but the relationship played itself out in a family-like manner, then we tag family MEMBER=partner. If they defined their relationship in opposition to the heterosexual family, then it would be tagged in the INTIMATERELATIONSHIPS element.
In most instances, a FAMILY element is placed after BIRTH and CULTURALFORMATION to introduce her parents and general early family life. The element (and its sub-elements, MEMBER, CHILDREN, CHILDLESSNESS, SEPARATION and DIVORCE) can be used again later in the profile to discuss her married family, or later developments within her birth family. Any combination of multiple member sub-elements and general FAMILY discussion can be used within one FAMILY element.