CHAPTER 7 – FAMILY
Video “Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood”
Functions of family:
1. Providing emotional support
2. Taking care of elders
3. Raising children
o A parents or parents and their children.
o Includes parents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Another way of looking at Family Types
o Unrelated adults with or without children.
o Two or more adults who are related but not married to each other.
General Social Survey (GSS)
1. Gather data on social trends in order to monitor changes in the living
conditions and wellbeing of Canadians over time.
2. Provide immediate information on specific social policy issues of current of
The Mythical Family
‘Ideal’ family is based on:
o Formal marriage between two people of different sexes.
o Monogamous and enduring relationship.
o Reproduction and the rearing of children.
Single parenting, stepfamilies, commonlaw relationships, and same sex
couples a “departure” from ideal.
Family: Structural Functionalism
Sees family as:
o Microcosm of society
o Central institution
o Nature and socialization
o Gendered division of domestic labor is functional
Family division of labor is the key to a family’s success.
o Regulation of sexual behavior and reproduction
o Provision of physical and psychological needs
o Socialization of children Family: Conflict Theory
Shouldn’t be assumed that families operate as unites, perform function, or
accomplish tasks for the good of society.
Rather, Men sell their labor power… Woman control the home (but without
Resulting in Inequality: economic patriarchy, marriage.
Family: Symbolic Interactionism
Family requires continued interaction.
o Maintained by shared myths and beliefs
o Main role is to socialize the next generation
o A married couple builds a shared definition of their family’s goals,
identity, and value.
Family: Postmodern Perspective
Social Life in contemporary societies.
o Global Communication
o Mass Media
Postmodern family as permeable, dynamic.
Changes in the Canadian Family
Marriage rate decreasing.
Cohabitation rate is increasing.
o Crude Marriage Rate (CMR)
The number of marriages per 1000 people n a population.
• 1950 the CMR peaked at 7.9
• 2001 the CMR hit a low at 4.7
• 2003 the CMR still at 4.7
The numbers of commonlaw unions (CLU) are rising.
• 1976, CLU = 0.7%
• 2001, CLU = 16%
The age of first marriage is rising.
• Hit a high in 2001:
o 28.2 years old for first time brides
o 30.2 for first time grooms
• In 2003
o 28.5 for woman
o 30.6 for men
More woman are having children in their 30’s
• 1976, 24%
• 1996, risen to 37% • Issue Fecundi