OutlineWhat do you mean when you say family?
Some approaches to defining family
Variation in Family
How do sociologists think about families?
“Start a family”▯Reproducing, perpetuate the next generation “intergenerational connection”
“My family is from..”▯Ancestor/heritage, extend backward into time
“Family friendly” ▯ Nonoffensive, appeal to old and young, mutigenerational morals.
“My friends are like family”▯emotional concerns eat together. Stress family reunification, particular
3 Approaches to defining family
“SNAF” (ideological family)
“Census” (official family)
“Process” (sociological family)
1) Standard North America Family
male is the breadwinner, married to a female (homemaker, caregiver) raising joint children.
social group that has common residence, economic cooperation, and reproduction. (Adults from
both sexes, 2 maintain sexual relationship, one or more children owned or adopted)
NO LONGER REFLECT SOCIAL REALITY, ONLY IDEOLOGICAL POWERFUL
peaked during babybooms, 70% in 1961, 15% in 2003 minority in Canada today.
Nuclear familybigenerational family, lateral marriage, vertical parents and children
2) Census Family
Married couple and children if any
A couple living common law ▯ children if any of either or both partners or a lone parent of any
marital status with at least one child
All members of a particular census family live in the same dwelling
A couple maybe opposite sex, same sex, children maybe children by birth marriage, or adoption
as long as they have lived in the same dwelling and do not have their own spouse children living
in the dwelling
REFLECT change in social life
EMPHASIS ON CORESIDENCE, GENERATIONAL, OR MARITAL STATUS
27% single person household
4%unrelated person household
Families are where things happened
• Mutual dependency
• Resource transfer
*Broadest definition, emphasize relationship and actions not formal status
income transfer, sharing resources? Economic success?
Building identity saying who you are Variations in Families
• Formation and dissolution
1) Formation and dissolution
When do you start a family?
Partnership? Marriage? Childbirth? Interdependency?
When do families end? Death? Divorce? Drifting apart?
Who are your family members? How do you trace your kin?
• Through female line (matrilineality )
• Through male line (patriliniality)
• Through both male and female (bilieanlity)
• Who is your immediate family?
• Who is your extended family?
• How many people are there in family network?
• Who is it important to know about?
• Nucleation of family?
• How do sociologists think about family?
feminist theory and big bang
Changes in Canadian Families 18 century to 1950s
1) Dimensions of variation among families
2) How do sociologists think about families?
3) Families and “big picture” change
4) Major trends in Canada First Europeans and first nation contact
Trade and collaboration
Power and domination
5) From rural to urban
6) Social reforms
7) Five waves of immigration
Individual within families have roles and functions to fulfill in order to keep families strong
Families prepare individuals to function in other social institutions, such as workplace
Divisions and specialization of role is good.
• Internally differentiated, specialization • Men stress on instrumental tasks, women specialize on emotional work, compassion and
• Role conflict and chaos if this does not happen properly
• Families are created and maintained by one to one interactions among members
• Interactions have symbolic as well as obvious meanings. Focus on meanings, values, norms and
how family produce these things within themselves.
• How they interact with one another. I.e. Permission slips.
• Who talks to who about what? Why? Who negotiate with whom? Look at the ways individual
connect and relate to one another.
• Layer of meaning, if he goes to mom instead of dad, the symbolic meaning maybe establish
mom as the primary negotiator. Big sister and brother? Basic function gets carried out but
symbolic meanings are different.
• Observe and took meanings out of the ways people relate to one another.
Feminist Theory and Division of Labour
• The “big bang” in family studies
• Feminist scholars discovered GENDER not just “sex roles”
• Inequality and imbalance of power.
• Masculinity and femininity
• Who is the boss of you? Asking questions that are associated with power distribution.
• Who makes the decisions for family?
• Whose will gets done?
• Who prevails in conflicts?
• Who is responsible for feeding, cleaning, childcare, emotional labour (create emotional state for
others, making others feel like they have been cared for, connections and feel loved) , financial
• How are these responsibilities decided on? Who agrees to them?
• Labour that creates value.
• Differentiate work and labour. Work is the thing you do. Ie) chopping cucumber. Labour:
generating value. (work plus value)
Families and Big Picture Changes
• War and peace (affect marriage rate)
Marriage rate goes down when there’s war. Don’t make commitment because the future is
uncertain. Men are off fighting, opportunities for women to work. Goes down again after
war, and jump up as soon as there is peace. I.e) Baby booming
• Modernization and new technologies (affect divisions of labour and living patterns) Under
appreciated impact on family life. Access to information.
• Economic boom and recession (Affect marriage and childbearing)
During economic booms people are getting married at higher rates and having kids at a
younger age, economically feasible, or vice versa because people are too busy working, have
no time for kids and marriage.
• Changes in population size and composition (affect intergenerational relation) Demographic
aging. Setting up dynamics that are different for only children. With population aging, emotion and
responsibility will be generated as a result of these changes?
Caregiving for elder generation tend to fall on the female generation than the male
Types of care provided are differentiated as well.
Major Trends: First Nations and European Contact
Trade and collaboration:
• European men incorporated into First Nations families.
• First Nations as source of knowledge for new European families.
Ie)Sophia Lolo Tod
European men and first nation women country marriage.
Childbirth was difficult because of the lack of knowledge, do not have physical or emotional
support, few medical professionals.
Power and Domination
European rejection of First Nations marriages
• Easy of entry/ exit
• Authority of women within marriage
Removal of First Nation children
• Residential school program. Damaging and breaking the bond between parents and children.
National truce and reconciliation association. Testimony about the schools and the people in
these schools are forced to leave their family and how they affect their later lives.
• TB hospitals –Children 67 taken from community and kept for 23 years, unable to return to
families. Good intentions however had destructive impact.
• Sixties scoop. Policy decisions at a federal and provincial level for first nation children. Make
them available for adoption by nonaboriginal families. Families are broken, bitterness, social
workers along with RCMPs took the children and they are never seen again.
Major Trend: From Rural to Urban
• Movement of population to urban areas.
• Rural families
• Integration of work and home
• Family is production and consumption unit produce and consume together. Joint production and
consumption. Tend to be characterized by flexibility of gender divisions of tasks. Crossover.
• Cooperation among genders and generations
• Value of children’s labour. More likely to involve in production.
• Interdependence of families. (services are unavailable, need to help each other, dense network
• Homogenous social environment. Not often a lot of culture diversity. Similar background, views
of the world, etc.
• Work and home separated not as beneficial for women because their works have been devalued.
“Invisibility of housework” • Family is primarily consumption unit. Individuals engage in separate work.
• Separation of genders and generations (Intergenerational contacts are reduced.)
• Children are net cost rather than benefit. Benefits are smaller and less.
• Diversity in urban environment.
Jan 16 2th4 th
Later 1 –early century
• Response to high (infant) mortality, vice and oppression (alcoholism and prostitution )
• Political, religious. Health….(social gospel)application of new knowledge, scientific
advancement. Ie) nutrition program for children,
• The age of light, soap and water (democracy, make the world a better place)
How doe this affect the relationship between families?
• Family dynamics
• Origin of pediatrics as a profession
• Expert advices
• Women could not own land that their husband owned before the 1970s.
• Issues with men who would abandon family and are still entitled to the farm. Wife and
kids had no resources.
• Achievement was to change the law. Cannot be done without the wife’s consent.
Rights of women within families
Reduction in infant mortality (highest in Canada) terrible surge, lost children to preventable
diseases. Motivational propaganda from common causes than soldiers in the great war.
Protection of children from exploitation (Passing laws, children aren’t used for labour and for
other purposes) Age of consent, minimum age for marriage. Not preyed upon by older adults.
Reinforcement of “separate spheres” for men and women. Unemployment conditions, family
wage should be high enough that a man could earn enough money to support his wife and
children and will not have to suffer the tragic faith of having his wife and kids working as well.
Emphasized that the paid work places are where the men belonged, women were out of that,
women’s sphere is at home.
Home is the domain of women, child labour banned for having the same effects. Mothers are
taking care of them.
Tied to the notion of the SNAP
Major Trend: Immigration
• 18 century
o French, English, Irish, Scottish
o Quebec, Ontario, Maritimes
o Large rural families
• Early 20 century
o British Isles and ventral and eastern Europe
o Ontario and west o Chain migration ▯ one family comes and they are able to communicate back to their home
country and families come. Good communication is vital.
o Ural and urban. More and more immigrants arrive at urban areas and stay there.
o >400000in 1913 alone.
Ideal family ought to want hard working families that will help us fill up the spaces.
Rejected the Chinese families, head tax. Paying special tax per person, which people from other
countries did not have to pay.
Need workers, but are racist.
Only men are wanted, they leave their wives and children at home.
o Chinese families
• 1885: Chinese head tax
• 19231947: Chinese immigration stopped
• Black Families
• Up to a few years ago there was practically no Negroes here, then a few families arrived,
these found the climatic condition congenial and sent back for their friends. It is hoped
that the Dominion Government might devise some means of stopping this undesirable
influx. Resolution passed by Edmonton Board of Trade 1910_
o Indian families
• Continuous journey requirement (straight from point A to point B)
• Did not stop European from coming, however, Indian families had very little access to
o Jewish families
• Canadian government refused to admit refugees from Hitler
• “None is too many.”
• Particular ones with wives and children, ones with skills are okay but we don’t accept the
o 1967: changes in immigration act favouring skills and ability over ethnic origin
• Asia, South America, Africa
• Refugees and family reunification(even if they are not as skilled themselves, they can be
brought over by families that are still here already). Credible fear of prosecution
Post War Canada
• Affluent, growth, and urbanization
• Government support for families (ie) Sherwood park.
• Shortterm rise in birth and marriage rate
• “Domesticity and security” (Adam)
Young single men came back after war, social and political instability. Disordering chaos.
Get a degree, have university paid for
Encourage childbearing, economic stability to families, family allowances, families get cheques
for having children. Introduced to encourage family formation n and stabilize it. SNAP
The Big Story
o Fertility Transition
Women give birth to fewer children
• Births occur at older age
greater odds of infant survival
• Changing cost/benefits ratio of having children
• Changing ideologies of parenting
• More options for women outside home.
Infant mortality drops, give birth to fewer children
Cost benefit ratio of having children people respond to that and have fewer kids.
Intensive parenting –nurture, cultivate and pay lots of attention to the child. Enrichment activities and
Opportunity cost of women having to stay at home with children goes up.
No incentive for delaying childbearing if you don’t perceive that your prospect will change by it.
Women postponing because of the incentives, age goes off and off. Especially for those who believe
there are options for them beside being a mom. Fewer addition kids going to have on top of that.
2.1 children per person. Replaceable fertility.
The only reason Canadian population is contracting is due to immigration. Eastern European countries
are already shrinking. Birth rates are low and they do not receive immigrant.
Medicine/ safety, fewer children but death rates are going down. Not as dramatically.
Life expectancy goes up. Increasing numbers of years lived per person.
• Few children per woman
o 1959 :3.9
o 2010:11.58lowest in Canada history
• aging population. Caring for elders, relationship between grandparents and grandchildren
o median age
• Longer life expectancy
o 1956: Men: 67.3
o women :73
o 2006 men:78.7
o women 83.2
Gap between men and women began to shrink, but women still outlive men.
Live longer, not parenting as much, more time spent as a senior, twoyear age gap between
female and male, longer life spent single in seniors
Implications for families
o Fewer siblings (one child policy in China)
o Less role division between men and women o Increased women’s participation in paid workforce
o Intensified parental focus on individual children
o More of adult life spent outside of raising children.
Despecializaiton of tasks between men and women, more dual earning families, balanced
economic sphere, breakdown in task specialization in families. Women participation in the work
force in the previous generations, intensified parenting. How does that change the parent child
relationship? Entitled children?
More adult lives spent outside of raising children.
Marriage before and after fertility transition
Interviewed older generation of women and then their daughters who became adults. Experience of
parenting has changed. *Cooperative marriage. Led very different lives, married to have children for
Younger ladies value partnership, seem to share more activities with their husband, expect to be more
involved with them. Increasingly spending time together, intimacy and friendship. Changes in marriage
where people are companions and partnership not so much as a cooperative venture and living separate
lives. Quality of people’s relationships have increased.
Marriage Leisure and Old style.
1) “Baby boom” interrupted fertility transition
2) Postbabyboom trends
• Extended lifespans
• Life paths
3) What influences dating and courtship?
• Mid 20 century to early 21 century
• Relationship ideals
• “Compulsory heterosexuality” and sexualization
4) How do people end up in longterm relationships?
• Exchange theory
• Triarchic theory
• Social influences
• Postwar baby boom
• Legislation encouraging early household formation
• Early marriage and no effective contraception (high birthrate) Not legal in Canada until 1969
• Lower rate of transition to post secondary education, marry right off high school, resulting a rate
of longer exposure to sexual activity.
• Expansion in post secondary, deferring and pushing off marriage. 1970s greater movement into
the paid work force, has an effect on reducing birth rate and change in gender roles. Inflation
making it more expensive to have more kids. The baby boom peaks and falls off again. • US is higher among low fertility rates. Birth controls and abortion has been politicized issues.
• Hispanic population have higher fertility rate than nonHispanic population. (second generation
it falls off and start to resemble the destination country) US has ongoing Hispanic population.
Post baby boom trend: Marriage: getting less popular. Declining in 2003. Seeing fewer people getting
married in any given year, its happening later in life, average age of first marriage is late 20s for men
and women after 2003. Age gap between men and marriage still, the gap is shrinking but women tend to
marry men who are on average older than they are.
1968 Trudeau’s reform of divorce law ▯made divorce ore accessible.
1985Divorce Act (“no fault divorce”) m▯ uch easier for couples to bring it to an end rather than having
to find faults to blame.
Divorce rate has actually been decreasing since 1987
Marriage dissolution used to end in the death of the partner, now it’s the dissolution of marriage.
Parenthood: Happening later in life, women are having children in later points in life. ~27 years old
*attachment to the paid work
*spend more and more time not raising children
Longer life expectancy: Life expectancy at birth, Canada, 19312002
And sandwich generations Age composition of Canadian population, 2006.
Fewer kids, more old people, growth is all of the oldest population, and the youngest population is
shrinking, sandwiched population is shrinking. These are the ones that are raising the kids and looking
after the aging population.
Diversifying life paths
Variation in timing (biological), not a lot of spread, most people marry young) and sequencing (What
comes before/after marriage, life events in different orders) of life events
Variation, equal marriage, marry first time in their 30s or 40s, timing of marriage. Cohabitation, child
and then marriage, etc.
• Living single
Single ▯ marrie▯ pouse dies, or die before spouse
or remain single ▯ die
Marry, CommonLaw, Remain single variable in when these events happen and what order they happen
in. Proliferation of path.
What influences dating and courtship?
• Changed overtime.
• Dating and courtship among the young has moved from ritualized to something that is much
more various and diverse and individualized.
• VideoBaby boom, taught after high school. • Cultural expectations about this phase of life at that time
• He asks her out to an event with a lot of other people (avoid isolation where people could
start talking about what’s going on)
• Plan a date; agency is handed to the masculine partner. Her agency is limited. Man takes
the initiative and action, women can refuse but can’t pick up the phone and call him.
• Rehearsal of end role, becoming engaged and getting marriage. Gender behavior/ role.
Nick does the “masculine works” such as hammering, while Kaye hands out the cookies.
To the 2 cent ry
• Rise of “hyperpersonal” courtship (technological/electronic filters for selection). May learn
about them on the social media work.
• Decoupling of courtship and sexual activity (hook up culture)
Lots of evidence that its broken down, sexual activity entirely removed from that.
Consistently assume you are not the average because of the massive responses. We attribute that
we are on the lower end. Inflated sense of lots of sexual activity than there really is.
• Decreasing importance of romantic dyad (friend group, “urban tribe” )
No longer where you get your identity from.
• Historically significant
• Gendered, idealized, passive woman (sleeping beauty)
• Active, heroic man ( Prince)
• Highly ritualized ▯ irst kiss, dozen roses, engagement ring, love songs, etc. Powerful and
• Orientated to lifelong commitment l ▯ ived happily ever after. (trapped under the relationship that
they are not happy?)
PURE RELATIONSHIP (GIDDENS) relationships only concerned the two individuals that are
involved. Not tied to marriage, having children, baggage, ideal of romantic love. Emerged and became
stronger since 1980s, 1990s. Enter into voluntarily, two individuals choose each other.
• Voluntary communicative (two way street)
• Intimacy valued over guaranteed commitment (emotional, intellectual is greatly valued)
subjective sense of closeness. When intimacy is no longer present, the relationship dissolves, not
held together by external force.
• Increasingly individualized culture ▯cultures where people are more inclined to independence
and free of social pressure.
• Arises in a culture where people think of themselves as disconnected, independent individuals
• However, these people lack the commitment, social support and are less likely to stay married.
• Heteronormativity (assuming that this is the way to go) • Belief that heterosexuality is only natural, normal, and universal way to organize
• Distinct “script” for men and women
• When did you first realize that you are heterosexual?
• Men and women are different and that’s what make them complementary.
• Younger generation tend to have a less heteronormative view than older adults. .
• More people are more aware that there are more options to just one way of dating.
• Fear or irrational hatred of homosexuality
One can have heteronormativity but is not homophobic.
HOW DO SEXUAL PARTNERS FORM?
• Perceived commitment of both partners to relationship
• Intensity of emotional feelings
• Physical attraction
• Perceived peer norms
• Belief about sex and marriage. Sex belongs within marriage or marriage potential relationship.
• Shape the timing and occurrence of sexual relationship
Jan 23 Marriage
1) paradox of marriage
why get married?
Ideological power of change
2) Is marriage in decline?
3) Alternatives to marriage
Same sex partnership and marriage
How do people end up in longterm relationships?
Social exchange theory 1953
• Human nature of motivated to get something better in exchange, , higher value than what
we are putting out there
• Look at what each person has to offer. Enter into relationship if they are getting a good
deal. Ideally, each party thinks I’m getting more than I’m giving.
• Cost benefit ratio ▯Do advantages exceed disadvantage? Weighing and calculating. If there are
too many disadvantages, then alternative solutions are seeked.
• Satisfaction ratio ▯ Does satisfaction exceeds expectation? How does it compare to the
expectations that we might have? Ie) high maintenance ▯ reality isn’t matching their expectation.
High ratio ▯ stick around, low ratio ▯ married unhappy or bail out. • Dependence level ▯Are there better options than current partner? Do we perceive that there are
better options out there? OR are we completely dependent on this relationship. IF other ratios are
low and dependence level is high, then people stay in their relationship. Dependence level is low,
then they become married unhappy or bail.
*Alternatives? Resources offered? Disadvantages vs advantages?
LOVE LOOKING AT ONLINE DATING SITES
Women talk about appearance and men talk about their financial success.
Jan 30 2014
Gender dimension of marriage
Benefit to men
• Happiness ( regardless of quality) just the fact that they are married is associated with
Benefits to women
• Happiness if quality is high
• Life satisfaction is high only when marriage is perceived as happy by the woman
(quality is shaped by the marital status)
• Men derive a lot of benefits, women are only benefitted when the marriage is satisfying
Is marriage declining?
• 1980s married couple proportion has declined, before that, the concept of
common law wasn’t existed
• Demographic has a lot to do with the decline of marriage
• People are postponing marriage
1. Post secondary education
2. Economical self sufficiency
• People aren’t embracing marriage, putting it off for the future
Why the decline?
• Age cohort size
• Secularization has less affect on the strong emphasis of marriage (religious values/
• Delay of economic prosperity (more difficult to set yourself up for life)
• More economic opportunity for women (investing for their future, deferring
• Alternative to formal marriage (weren’t any options beside getting married before,
now there are more acceptable options in adult lives) *also feasible to exit marriage and be selfsustainable
Alternatives to Marriage
• Living together apart
• Same sex marriage
i) Common law
ii) Changing legal status
iii) Formly associated with lower SES
Legal things don’t happen for common law, but happens in cohabitation 2 years or more or
When there is a child
9.8% in 1976
16.7% in 2011
How does cohabitation differ from marriage?
• Shorter duration
• Greater gender equality
• Private commitment with extended family ( Common laws are not as integrated into the
extended family, married couples are more known to the extended network.)
• Higher rate of domestic violence (not know. Shorter duration of cohabitation
• Cohabitation: we are committed, marriage: We made a commitment, made a vow..etc .
• Kids especially daughters tend to have a magnetic effect for parents and extended family.
• Is cohabitation trial for marriage?
Yes: 5 years after cohabitation, 44% women and 41 percent men are married (pregnancy
tend to be the trigger for marriage)
No: increase the likelihood marriage will end in a divorce
Why? Different view sanctity of marriage? Greater independence of partners?
Living together apart
• Partnership across distance
• 5%10% of partnered adults
• effect of technology and employment migration
• post partnership marriage ( don’t wish to share domestic commitment, not mobile, in
school with new jobs etc)
Same sex couples
• Not even 1%
• 2001 0.5% to 2011 0.8%
• from invisible to visible
• can be marriage/ cohabitation
• increase in childbearing • supported by domestic partnership legislation
• 2001 same sex couple legally married 0% to 37% 2011.
Having Children Feb 6
Childbearing as choice
Broad trends in parenting
and public policy
Dimensions of parenting and parenthood
1) Childbearing as choice
Before this was a foreign concept, there was no conscious control of childbearing
19 20 century Canada
Fertility becomes part of “calculus of conscious choice”
(Coale 1973 )
Childbearing is not up to nature its up to God (beyond human control)
Reduced childbearing is seen as advantageous
Effective birth control is accessible and socially acceptable …fertility transition (beginning of
the 20 century)
1892 Canadian Criminal Code
When birth control was a crime.
……liable to two years imprisonment who knowingly, without lawful excuse of justification
offer the sale, advertise…. Any medicine, drugs or article intended or represented as a means of
1960can be prescribed only for “therapeutic purposes” protect the health of the woman.
1 in 5
will not have a child
Timing? Priorities? Motherhood no longer “master status”?
Is it childless of childfree(chosen state, not someone that lacks something)?
Involuntarily childless is on the rise, it is difficult to determine whether actual involuntarily
childless is increasing or not.
Historically, the trend has been seen, but only in times of difficulties
Ie) Depression in the 1930s, or generations where men have been killed in the first WW, women
did not marry and have children.
Sequence of life event, personal development, enjoyment of oneself, motherhood has lost its
salience of master status. Ie) I’m Canadian VS I’m a mom. Mothers don’t identify themselves so
strongly with motherhood.
Women without their children preferred being called “childfree” while mothers like to consider
those women “childless” Choosing to have Children
• Part of marriage
• Sign of psychological maturity and selflessness
• Duty to religion, society and family (carrying on the family name)
• Companionship and joy
• Romantic notion of parentchild bond
Choosing not to have children
• Economically unaffordable (not have children, or delaying until there is enough
resources, only play out mainly among educated people who expect their future to be
better. For those that have no expectations for the future, this doesn’t make sense)
• Competition with other life projects
• Emotional needs for children
• No desire for parent status
• Lack of partner (coercion of having children, but does not always work)
Broad Trend –Lifetime birth rate per Canadian women (posted on Eclass)
Average to 3.5▯depression 2.8▯after war 3.6 ▯ baby boom 3.5 ▯ introduction of birth control 2.1 ▯ still
going down to 1.6
Replacement fertility rate is 2.1 children/ couple.
If Canada weren’t an immigrant receiving country, the population would go down dramatically.
Age at birth of first child for Canadian women
Baby boom 23.5▯now is at 28.2. The five years that people get their lives set. Developmentally what
does this mean?
Threshold for high risk used to be 35, now its bumped up to 40, in response to the large number of
women that were having kids in their late 30s.
Later and Fewer
• Decline in teen childbearing (better birth control and less teens getting married, good because
most of teen pregnancy aren’t planned)
Increasing proportion outside marriage (30% birth in Canada are from women who are unmarried
maybe cohabitating, doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have partner. 40% in the United States)
• Single mothers by choice (SMBC) Parenthood over partnership.
Nonmarital childbearing is clustered among the poorest, and the high end of the SES spectrum.
Proliferating path to parenthood
Single you either marry or you don’t marry
Marry biochildren/ no children/stepchildren
Marry biochildren/no children/stepchildren/adoption/ assisted reproduction. Don’t marryadopted children/no children/ assisted reproduction/biochildren
• High cost
• Diverse range of procedures
• Driven by older maternal ages and medical infertility
• Lowe success rates (not nearly as effective)
• Relationship of child to bio parents?
Adoption (in the 70s, people who adopt are considered odd)
• High cost
• Diverse forms of adoption
• Less secrecy than in past
• Relationship of child to bioparents
• More acceptable now.
Both can be undertaken by people who are economically privileged, both can cost a lot of $$
$. Open adoption is available today, bioparents can know adoptive parent.
Both open up relationship between parents and children. (Do the children have the right to
find out who donated the sperm? Rights and responsibilities?) Creating entirely new types of
Baby shock and Public Policy Feb 11
Eagerly anticipated event, with unanticipated consequences
Income decreases (one parent out of the workforce long term or short term)
Expenditures increase (childcare, school fees)
Marital satisfaction decreases (drop dramatically, U shaped curve) high quality of
marriage after children get lodged. Immediate impact is usually an increase level of
Global life satisfaction decrease
Gender relations more traditional
Lifetime wealth potential decrease (for women)
Men are more likely to have an unchanged labor force whereas women tend to make more
adjustment upon the arrival of the baby.
If parents aren’t contributing to a pension plan,
What you are doing in your 20s and 30s may have great impact on what will happen when you
Couples as (new parents)
Caregiver earner women are typically caregiver, doing unpaid work Manager: helper may both be doing the work that is unpaid i.e.) helping them with the
homework) he/she completely sharing everything. Perceive that he/she is doing majority
of the work.
Gatekeeper: Outsider One party protects and the other party advocates. I.e.) don’t feed
them that for dinner, don’t hold the child like that. Especially for parent who view the
child as their resource. NOT A GREAT DYNAMIC
Equal: equal –share finance responsibility, balance career and share unpaid work
Alternate: Alternate—one parent was the primary caregiver and their role switches. May
not look like an equal parenting setup at one point in time, but over decades, the parents
alter between working. Associated with broader economic trends.
Young women more likely than young men to live differently from how their parents have
lived. Comes from all socioeconomic background. Want to be financially superior
because they have realized the problematic consequences for their mother.
Young men prefer egalitarian setups.
Influence by the parents is complex, some model their parents and some do the complete
Younger grandparents contribute to more caregiving.
Grandfathers display more of the behaviors associated with women and mothers. Late
life transition in gender role and gender relation upon retirement. Gender is NOT set
stone, instead it changes throughout the persons life.
Would you take this job?
Flat salary scale and career ladder
Low control/ high demand
No inservice training
No limit an hour worked
No pension or benefit
Poor occupational healthandsafety ( sleep deprivation, tripping over things, getting
The most important job in the world.
*For years sociologists are trying to make people understand that parenting isn’t just about love
and nurture, it involves A LOT OF WORK!!!!!
o Gender equality
• Dual earner status
• Agreement on childrearing philosophies
• Adequate financial cushion
o Network of extending family and chosen family
o Public policy that support family
• Postpartum depression support—physiological, social (isolation), psychological,
important for mothers to be adequately supported. Routinely screened fo