Essay on Growing Up in a Small Town

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Growing up on a farm in the tiny town of Martinsville, Indiana life was fairly boring and routine. We had the cows to tease and run around with, and the golf course across the street where we would occasionally trick golfers into believing they had gotten a hole-in-one. However, this often got old and I found myself spending most of my childhood with my family members either at my house or close by. While there was little to do but let our imaginations run wild, there was one thing that made growing up here truly special and unforgettable, the Sunday family feasts.

My family and I were next-door neighbors with my grandparents which meant that every Sunday we would get together to cook and eat all day. These Sundays spent with my parents, grandparents, and younger brother were the highlight of my childhood and made growing up in a boring, small town so much better. A functionalist would say that this custom, created within my family, serves a biological purpose. Malinowski would argue that this custom works towards “satisfying the basic seven needs of humans” and is essential to the well-being of our family. I find this to be the case and definitely believe that these Sundays spent together were an essential part of growing up and shaping me into the person that I am today.

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Now, these family meals did not consist of my mother and grandmother doing all of the work, each member of the family had a certain job to fulfill. I had a great amount of pride in my job, which was mixing and rolling out the dough for my grandmother’s famous noodles and gravy. This dish was easily the family favorite and a staple of our family gatherings. A structural functionalist, such as Radcliffe-Brown, “saw social systems almost like an organism where the different parts of a living being do their functions in order to keep the whole working.” They would say that each member of our family played a role and that without each of these roles we would not be able to enjoy our meals every Sunday.

Both functionalism and structural functionalism explain the reasoning behind gathering my family every Sunday to dine together. Not only do these meals help to satisfy the needs of human life, but they allow each member of my family to work together to achieve a common goal. While I lived in a rather boring, small town I wouldn’t trade my childhood experience for anything in the world. These Sunday dinners provided me with some of my most fond memories and were an essential part of my upbringing and shaped who I am today.

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Essay on Growing Up in a Small Town. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from
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