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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 Theoretical Perspectives Part 2.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

1 Sociology 2U06: Sociology of the Family Sept. 29 2011 Lecture 7: Sociological Paradigms concluded Conflict Theory con’t: - Conflict Theory and Families o Have looked at how industrialization have changed families and family life  Production moves outside of household  Families begin to rely on wages for survival  Separation of public sphere of work and private sphere of family - Critique o Focuses on wage work while overlooking unpaid labour  Unpaid labour is disproportionately made by women, therefore largely overlooking women’s contributions to soc  Accidently Supports capitalism by overlooking this  i.e. Reproduction: women producing the next generation of workers o Day to day life – regenerating the male worker by feeding, clotheing, taking care of him so he can return to wage work the next day  Silent on question of gender based inequalities - Friedrich Engels (late 1800s) o Critic of Conflict Theory  Contemporary of Marx  Drew important connections between the emergence of private property and the nuclear family and in particular monogamous marriage  Argued that wasn’t until private property emerged that we saw development of nuclear family and monogamy and attempts to control women’s sexuality and ensure their fidelity  Why do we see this connection btw emergence of private property on one side and women’s fidelity on the other? o Paternity: men want to ensure that the child he leaves inheritance to is definitely his Update on Marx theory: Marxist Feminist Theory - Stick very close to Marx’s ideas but to understand women’s unpaid labour - Sociologists like Meg Luxton argue that unpaid labour is essential for capitalism o Argues that any analysis of capitalism has to look at unpaid labour o Locates the capitalist economy as the primary oppressor of women o Focuses on how paid and unpaid work are interconnected and how elimination of capitalism would empower women - More Than A Labour of Love 2 o Book by Luxton in 1980s o Looks at 3 generations of women working in the home in an Alberta mining town o Argues that women’s work is essential to economic survival of this mining town - Argue that without women’s unpaid labour, capitalism would collapse - Criticisms of this theory: o Looking at non-capitalist society  gender based inequalities very prevalent, therefore can’t argue that capitalism is main oppressor of women o Focus on gender based inequality overlooks other forms of oppression that can be experienced o Historically not inclusive of all women, including marginalized women such as women of colour Symbolic Interactionism - Change theory - Micro level o Argues that society is not out there making us, but that we are making society - Interactions o How we create families - Symbolic interactionism and families o Suggest that families are actively created by us o Created through interactions, rituals, symbols etc. o Not these external things, we create them o We communicate through the use of symbols o Argue that through rituals we are actively creating family  Our understandings are constantly negotiating, are fluid and constantly changing and that we are actively participating in that - Critique: o Main criticism is that so many of us actually are constrained by the larger social structure, such as inequality o Too much focus on micro level, ignores the macro Feminist Perspective - Change theory o Advocates change - Macro and micro level o Some scholars study macro structures like global-economic and others study micro like gender diffs in online social media o Studies both public and private realm - Gender-based inequalities o Patriarchy – male domination over women - Women’s social reality 3 o Women’s true experiences o Housework, Feeding the Family, Taking care of the Baby – Basic things that weren’t studied until feminist theory - Feminist theory and families o Consider families as a sight of conflict, violence, inequality  Huge contrast to harmonious nuclear family of leave it to beaver o Challenged the notion of romantic love espoused by popular culture o Carefully looking at social policies that can help families and their shortcomings - Critique: o Patriarchy – not all men dominate women, not all women are submissive o Histori
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