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SOCI 1002 (204)
Lecture 6

Lecture 6: Children and Families

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SOCI 1002
Tamy Superle

Lecture 6: Families Key Concepts  Census family  Nuclear family  Cohabitation  Same-sex marriage and civil unions  Lone-parent families  Zero-child families  Marriage  Arranged marriages  Spouse abuse Census Family  Composed of a married couple or a common-law couple, with or without children, or of a lone-parent living with at least one child in the same dwelling. A couple can be of the opposite sex of the same sex. What’s the Function of Family?  Provides social stability  Functionalists argue nuclear family is ideally suited to meet what societies need to survive because it provides basis to five main functions o Sexual regulation o Economic cooperation o Reproduction o Socialization o Emotional support Traditional Nuclear Family  Heterosexual, married couple with un married child/children  Mother stayed home and raised children  Rather went out to work and earn the families income  Cooperating financially  Sharing common residence Family and Social Inequality  Basis for transferring power, property, and privilege from one generation to the next  Class of parents influences children’s socialization, experiences, and the protection they receive  Children “inherit” privilege or less-than-privileged and economic status Changes to Families  Family organization changed with changes to social organization and economic factors o Women entering workplace – dual income earners – becomes a necessity for many middle class families o People getting married at all o Not getting married o Having children later o Not having children Zero-Child Families  About 1/5 of North American women between 40-45 have never given birth  While infertility may be the reason, more common factors are: o Rising cost of raising a child o Growth of attractive alternatives  Zero-children families tend to be more satisfied with their marriage than those families with a child Marriage  Marriage is a socially approved, presumably long-term sexual and economic union (traditionally) between a man and a woman. It involves reciprocal rights and obligations between spouses and between parents and children. Marriage Rates  About 48.5% of the adult population in Canada was married in 2006 (as opposed to single, separated, divorced, widowed, or living in common law). This is the first known time in Canadian history that the percentage was 50.1% in 2001 and more than 60% during the 1980s. Same-Sex Marriage and Civil Unions  Same-sex marriage is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Iceland, Sweden, and Argentina  Civil unions are available in many more Western European countries  The legal and social definition of “family” is being broadened to include cohabiting, same-sex partners in long-term relationships  In 2006, same-sex couples represented 0.6% of all couples in Canada.  16.5% were married (53.7% were men)  About 9.0% of persons in same-sex couples had children aged 24 years and under living in the home in 2006. This was more common for females (16.3%) than for males (2.9%) in same-sex couples. Heterosexual Cohabitation  Marriage is becoming less important for some Canadians  Since 1981, the number of cohabiting people 15 years of age and older has gone from 5.6% to 15.4% of all families  In 2006 in Quebec, it was 35% Cohabitation  Common-law, after 1-3 years of living together Marriage = Transfer of Property (Historically)  Women and children were viewed as property  Virginity and monogamy (for women) stem from this view of women as property  Men needed a way to ensure that children were biologically his Love and Traditional Marriage  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 Arranged marriages  Arranged marriages were common historically  Marriages continue to be arranged in many places and f
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