The most important thing in life to a sixteenth century mind (leaving aside religion, and even sometimes superseding it), was advancement of the family unit. This mattered both at the top levels of society, but also further down, with the merchant class keen to marry into the gentry or nobility, and the yeoman class to climb to gentry status.
The old families were very sniffy about the “new men", whom the Tudors encouraged. Men of “low" birth, whose merit lay in personal talent and the ability to work hard, were looked down upon by the nobles. However, most of those nobles themselves had, a generation or two previously, climbed the ranks through marriage or industry. The Howards of Norfolk, often pointed to as the premier noble family in England, were of this sort.
In Scotland, the term Clan denoted a much wider kinship or social grouping. The basic premise was that membership of a clan was a type of mutual protection agreement where, in return for protection by the Clan chief, the junior member gave service: financial or military. Clan feuds dominated Scottish politics well into the seventeenth century.