In sociology, familial conventions describe the values held by a nuclear family, including the value of support and bonding within the nuclear family itself. Family values include socioeconomic factors, such as religious, cultural and educational beliefs; income; career choices; and work ethic. Family values are studied to understand how individuals and groups interact in society. Conventions also describe acceptable ranges of behaviors imposed on family members through familial authority.
Familial conventions also come into play in political discussions, where the term "family values" can be a codeword for conservative beliefs, or in broader cultural discussions, where minority groups, such as African-American, Asian-American, Latino, Chicano or Cubano cultures, seek to understand their values and contributions in terms of the larger American culture.
Sociological study of familial conventions shows change over time, offering historical perspective on cultural and societal change. It also helps to improve understanding of social issues, such as gender and racial discrimination, disparities in educational or economic opportunity and the values (or lack thereof) of equality and justice demonstrated through political, societal and familial structure interactions. Sociological study specifically focused on familial conventions is one of many methodologies that help scholars understand and describe both individual and group roles.