Kin and Expectations
Within the substantial range of variation in relationships involving kin, one thing is universally true: the main expectations in these relationships are general rather than specific. These general expectations are the heart of relationships not only within the household and nuclear family but also with fairly distant kin such as grandparents and grandchildren, parents' siblings and their children, and, to a considerable extent, neighbors who have lived near the family for long periods.
There are also specific expectations in these relationships, of course. For example, wives and mothers and, to a slightly lesser extent, sisters are expected to prepare meals for the household and to see to such domestic tasks as laundry and cleaning.
Husbands and fathers are expected to provide money to the rest of the
household and, together with sons and brothers, to do most shopping and errands involving any substantial traveling around the town. These last expectations involve highly specific activities such as producing cooked food at a particular time or paying a particular bill. There is usually little or no difficulty for the participants in a relationship in determining whether or not specific expectations have or have not been met, although there may be difficulty in agreeing on the significance of meeting or not meeting them.