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March 21, Sociology of the Family.docx

5 Pages

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SOCI 1002
Christian Carron

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Sociology of the Family Sociology of Knowledge of Family - Concepts are a combination of ideas and words. They are clusters of cases that allow to distinguish two things from each other. - We can keep a concept narrow or specific or we can expand it to include many things (i.e. Culture, class, race, gender, mass media, the body, technology, religion, education) - Concepts are the result of the question: what is x? Like what is a family? - Not all definitions are equal –> issues of power - Typologies are classification schemes that allow us to distinguish between several types of something, like concepts - Typologies can be two type-typologies, like binaries or they can be more complex typologies which include three types or more (i.e. Social movements, organizations, democracies, or like the family today) - Typologies are the result of the question: what are the different types of x? Like what are the different types of families? Decline of Traditional Nuclear Family - Concern expressed by some about decline of nuclear family, which consists of cohabiting man and woman who maintain socially approved sexual relationship and have at least one child - Traditional nuclear family ð Family in which wife works without pay in home, while husband works outside home for money (making him primary provider) • Has been decrease in traditional nuclear families since 1940s and increasing prevalence of new family forms Power and Families: Love and Mate Selection - Is mistaken assumption that love has been historical basis of marriage • Historically, marriages arranged by third parties who wished to maximize family’s prestige, economic benefits, and political advantages th - Love as important factor in choice of marriage partner first gained currency in 18 - century England with rise of liberalism and individualism - Today’s close connection between love and marriage emerged in early 20 century with rise of self-gratification promoted by Hollywood and advertising Marital Satisfaction - Marital stability rooted more today in marital satisfaction than in usefulness of marriage • Increase in importance of marital satisfaction connected to autonomy of women (now freer to leave unhappy marriages), which has increased because of: i. Legalization of birth control measures ii. Increased presence in paid labor force Social Roots of Marital Satisfaction - Are five sets of social forces underlying marital satisfaction: 1. Economic factors ð Poverty and attendant financial stresses reduce marital satisfaction 2. Divorce laws ð When people are free to end unhappy marriages and remarry, average level of happiness increases among married people 3. Family life cycle ð Presence of children and attendant emotional and financial strain reduce marital satisfaction… 4. Housework and childcare ð Inequitable distribution of domestic responsibilities reduces marital satisfaction 5. Sex: Sexually compatible partners increase marital satisfaction - Low marital satisfaction more likely to lead to divorce Social Movement and Divorce - Prior to 1968: Only grounds for divorce was adultery - Divorce Act of 1968: Expanded grounds for divorce - 1985:Amendments to Divorce Act allowed for divorce if: i. Spouses had lived apart for one year ii. One spouse had committed act of adultery iii. One spouse had treated the other with mental or physical cruelty - Today: No grounds needed to obtain divorce • Impact:Approximately 38% of marriages can now be expected to end in divorce (based on 2003 divorce rates) Social Movement and Reproductiv
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