The article aims to present particular views on family farm in economic and social thought, suggesting that this subject has been attracting growing interest in the research communities of these areas in Brazil, at different times. The trajectory seeks to highlight the way in which many authors emphasized, in their analysis, the nature, characteristics and fundaments of family farming. The research methodology is bibliographic and guided by economics and sociology comparative analysis, aiming a contextualized historical reconstruction, concerning theoretical and empirical approaches on family farming. This methodological procedure brought as a hypothesis that Chayanov’s theory was seminal for countless approaches, with repercussions into different schools of thought, interested in family farming research. In addition, the research method also permits to conjecture about family farm specificities, to constitute, organize and survive throughout history. The text aims to bring some contribution to the current debate on the role and the importance of family farming in the Brazilian countryside, particularly on its resilience in a scenario of productive concentration and rural depopulation. It also suggests that the quality of this discussion depends on: 1) advances in the conceptual area, 2) more empirical research and 3) new looks on sectorial and regional diversity in Brazil and its influence on family farming varieties and arrangements.