household

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household

‘a single person or a group of people who have the address as their only or main residence and who either share one meal a day or share living accommodation’ (The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys). Nonrelated members are problematic in this definition, and sociologists have used two main types of household composition in discussing households:
  1. those based on the familial structure of the household, which identify the number, size and types of family in that household;
  2. those based on the age and sex structure, which identify the numbers of children, adults and, sometimes, people of pensionable age in the household.

The CENSUS uses both of these types. Different versions of the second type are used in the FAMILY EXPENDITURE SURVEY and the GENERAL HOUSEHOLD SURVEY. In the Census, the selection of the HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD is left to respondents to choose according to the criterion of ‘chief economic supporter’.

These definitions closely relate household composition to family composition, and new types of social organization, such as flat sharing, sheltered accommodation for the elderly and student accommodation, call into question the adequacy of this type of definition. Critics have also queried the usefulness of the head of household definition since it is often assumed that a man is the head of the household regardless of the social position of any women living in the same household. See also HOMELESSNESS.

household

All persons, including family members and any unrelated persons, who occupy a dwelling unit.
References in classic literature ?
Henceforth, safe across the river, I shall see forever more A beloved, household spirit Waiting for me on the shore.
In every Circular or Polygonal household it has been a habit from time immemorial -- and now has become a kind of instinct among the women of our higher classes -- that the mothers and daughters should constantly keep their eyes and mouths towards their husband and his male friends; and for a lady in a family of distinction to turn her back upon her husband would be regarded as a kind of portent, involving loss of STATUS.
Women, children, and servants, in equally expensive dress, surrounded their husbands, fathers, or masters, who resembled the patriarchs of tribes in the midst of their immense households.
Both of these new families needed houses, as well as the basket-maker and twenty-two others from the cretin village, soon afterwards twelve more households were established in the place.
The nation itself, with all its so-called internal improvements, which, by the way are all external and superficial, is just such an unwieldy and overgrown establishment, cluttered with furniture and tripped up by its own traps, ruined by luxury and heedless expense, by want of calculation and a worthy aim, as the million households in the land; and the only cure for it, as for them, is in a rigid economy, a stern and more than Spartan simplicity of life and elevation of purpose.
This Diana of Bremen was a most innocent old ship, and seemed to know nothing of the wicked sea, as there are on shore households that know nothing of the corrupt world.
There were hundreds of boats, and on the white sand, between the water and the forests, dwellings of leaves were built for the households of the Rajahs.
To everyone who came into his shop he talked of the matter, and in his own household he drove his fam- ily distracted by his constant harping on the subject.
She made no ineffectual efforts to conduct her household en bonne menagere, going and coming as it suited her fancy, and, so far as she was able, lending herself to any passing caprice.
For now I liked nothing better than to have Queequeg smoking by me, even in bed, because he seemed to be full of such serene household joy then.
It chiefly consisted of household linen, plate, china, and books, with a handsome pianoforte of Marianne's.
For some years the poor man lived on alone with the children, caring for them as best he could; but everything in the house seemed to go wrong without a woman to look after it, and at last he made up his mind to marry again, feeling that a wife would bring peace and order to his household and take care of his motherless children.