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SOC 503 (26)
Stan Benda (26)

lec 8 functionalism

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SOC 503
Stan Benda

SOCA01-Lecture 8 Families cont’d: -Functionalism and various aspects of functionalism: -several dimensions of socialization -regulation of sexual activity -social placement -material and emotional security -economic cooperation: -family is a place where you find particularism and affect (the family provides emotional support) as said by Parsons -there are rewards of affect when raising children -the family is based on emotions -people w/n the family relate to each other emotionally -therefore, the family is different from the larger society -family is treated differently and given better treatment -the larger society is treated w/ universalism/impersonality -the family pools their resources and the parents support their children -relationships b/w parents (esp. mothers) and their children are very close -mothers can divorce their husbands and never see them again but the children and their mothers usually don’t break up -parents support children emotionally, physically, and materially -sometimes children support their parents in old age -there is also sexual division of labour -not as important as it used to be -w/ introduction of modern appliances, the difference between the strength of men and women is not as important -complementaritydivision of labour, they complement each other Critical evaluation: -functional approach overlooks the diversity of the family -critiques say other institutions can play the same role as the family -tends to overlook the problems of married life -ex. violence and conflict is also common in the family -the family is a paradox (both positive and negative characteristics) -functionalists emphasize the positive -ex. Japan 1970 -20% of Japanese women haven’t married by the age of 30 -today, 40% of Japanese women haven’t married by the age of 30 Why? Patriarchy; the Japanese family is more patriarchal -North America is not so patriarchal -the marriage rate is going down -poor people decide to stay single -women want to pursue their career -there is also the option of in vitro fertilization -men are not as inclined to marriage b/c they say family law is biased against men -men are denied visitation rights etc. -some men try to get around this by pre-nups -pre-nuptial agreement in which divorce takes place and divide assets according to the pre-nup falling into trouble b/c some people hide their assets Conflict and feminist theorist approach to the family: - theoretical approach that looks at the way family life perpetuates inequality=social reproduction of inequality -the family is a situation in which inequality is established -ex. people born in a poor family usually remain poor -people inherit the social standing of their parents (although there can be some upward mobility) -Engle’s book: origins of the family -says the origin of the family is more out of the need of higher class men to transmit their assets to their sons -therefore, the family accumulates wealth and produces the class structure for all -functionalist say the family gives people an identity and that they need it -conflict theorists say that the family is economic based nd 2 defect w/ the family according to conflict theorists and feminists: -patriarchy -the family promotes patriarchy -men have sexual control over women, therefore, the family turns women into sexual and economic property of men -refers to the traditional nuclear family -reached peak at 1950s and is now declining -a century ago the earnings of the wife belonged to the husband -today, women still bear most of the work raising the children and housework -Canadian women with at least 1 child under 5 today spend 5.3 hours a day doing housework - husbands spends 3 hours a day 3 problem: -note conflict theorists and feminists are critical of the family -family is under the heading of race and ethnicity -therefore, the family perpetuates racial and ethnic categories and these persist over time b/c people tend to marry others like themselves -the family props up the racial and ethnic hierarchy -people do tend to marry w/n their own group= Endogamy -if you marry outside of your group=Exogamy -trends w/n a multicultural society like Canadatowards more intermarriage -ex. Particularly true of Japanese Canadians ~50% of them are intermarried -they don’t come to Canada anymore (stopped coming around the 1900) -also applies to Jews -some Euro-Canadians b/c Japanese and Jewish Canadians will marry these Euro-Canadians Critique of these theories: -the family has many faults according to conflict and feminist approach -so what can replace the family? -when communist revolution took place in the soviet union it abolished the family -always been this hostility towards the family in their politics (specifically by Marx and Engles) -then it had to reinstate it b/c things didn’t work out -children were uncontrollable, did not do well in school -the family is extra important when it comes to socializing children -the family perpetuates racial and ethnic hierarchies: -conflict and feminists see this as negative -the family is criticized for maintaining racial and ethnic identity -BUT conflict and feminist theorists will support multiculturalism -therefore, they are not consistent rather they are contradictory -problem w/ patriarchy argument in connection w/ housework: -shows up w/ women doing more of the housework -but have to take into consideration that men spend more time at their jobs -therefore, when you take that into consideration, the contribution to the household is pretty equal -the family may thus be patriarchal in other respects but not in this case -men put more hours in work -conflict theorists talk about the 19 century when treating women as property of men -today, the family is based on legal and constitutional equality -the bias you find in conflict and feminist theoryanti-family bias - has not produced a viable alternative to the family -apparently we have a psychological need to know where we come from (our ancestry) -ex. Many adopted children when told they were adopted when older, what happened to them is that they will spend years trying to track down their biological parents -the need to find that parent can be powerful -a group of adopted children formed a group and approached the Ontario government and requested that they make it law that people who give children up for adoption cannot hide their identity -when people give their children up for adoption they don’t want them to know their identity -some people said that people will not give their children up for adoption and more men will stop donating sperm if that became law -thus, it was not made into law -therefore suggests that other family forms that exclude biological parents fail to meet these needs -conflict theorists and feminist theorists fail to take into account that “blood is thicker than water” -therefore, cannot just get rid of the family Stages of family life: 2 types: 1. Arran
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