Couple and Family Relationships

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University of Guelph
Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Tad Mc Ilwraith

Couple and family relationships reviewLegal definition familyVariety of legal definitions not fixed but fluid and definitions are for legal medical and family benefits services Various laws and legal definitions define the family as common law or married spouses single parents with one child and samesex couples Social definition familyDifferent groups religious organizations and ethic groups have different definitions of family The nuclear family often called Standard North American Family defined as married parents with children and extended family consists of everyone else considered family are seen as 2 basic family conceptsIdiosyncratic definition familyPersonal definitions of family Eg some close friends or pets are considered family whereas conflict causes some family members not to be considered family anymore Murdocks 3 keys of relationshipscoresidence economic and reproduction A social group characterized by common residence economic cooperation and reproduction including adults of both sexes at least 2 of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children own or adopted of sexually cohabitating couplesSome issues are infertility couples who cannot live together and samesex couples Census family Family as defined by the census a married couple or couple living commonlaw same or opposite sex with or without children a lone parent of any marital status with at least 1 child living at the same dwelling Children in the census family includes grandchildren living with grandparents when no parent is present Household vs FamilyMarket researchers and censustakers attempt to sidestep the family definition issues by focusing on household which is people living in the same house However this causes issues because not all family members live together Process based definitionsidea that family isnt based on marriages or home or rules but that families are people who share experiences develop intimacy etcPhenomenological definitionsNot governed by rules but how the individual defines family often consists of a local subculture and peer community instead of legal family Inclusive definitionsRegards marriages and families as private and voluntary Emphasizes the familial feelings or a family like situation represents our social diversity Postmodern Canadian FamiliesPeople are living longer and marrying later women are having fewer children married people are a minority in Canada more unmarried people over the age of 15 than married peoplemore unmarried people raising children more single parent families more working parents more blended families divorces and remarriagesRise in cohabitating couples 18 and of samesex couples 30Canadian HistoryColonialismFrench explorers discover Canada and set up camps to trade fish and furs with the natives Make permanent homes to stake claim on land men build colonies and settle with aboriginal women and recreate the idea of familyPostIndustrialization Work and family were inseparable the family was the primary unit of production Farming helped create the extended family and close knit communities IndustrializationPeople moved to towns and cities which caused a drift in family members caused a clear distinction between family and work all members worked for pay and caused the nuclear family because large families couldnt move together It also created childhood and made children a liability so people had fewer children men and womens work was less separate need 2 incomes women became more responsible for creating the perfect home and inventions like the vacuum cleaner and fridges created better opportunities but raised the bar on quality WarsWWII brought an influx of women into the labour force through propaganda but when the men came home women were forced to give up their jobs and return to homes ImmigrationImmigration to CanadaThe country of origin and how many people move shapes the identity of culture and family The biggest influx of immigrants came after the war Factors affecting immigration to Canada include the desire to maintain a British culture the need for labour and humanitarian motives Racial discrimination restricts immigration yet Canada has more subtle structured racism Patterns of immigrationChanges in immigration policies since WWII changed the nature of Canadian immigration by the 1960s almost all racial discrimination was gone Many immigrants see Canada as the promised land Children have trouble growing up in 2 cultures Visible minorities are more likely to have poor employment rates and to experience discrimination Racial and ethnic differencesThrough immigration Canada became more racially and ethnically diverse which caused a demand for agencies to develop policies sensitive to the cultural traditionsbackgrounds of their clients Many immigrants choose ethnic organizations for help rather than mainstream agencies StigmaAny quality that is seen as offensive by the majorityMinority groups are often stigmatized and the stigma often spreads to other qualities They tend to be regarded as inferior dangerous or not quite human PrejudiceA negative attitude toward a minority group that is not based on fact the sense of superiority and the fear that what we value most will be destroyed provokes the most violent prejudice notion that the majorities way is right and others are wrongie making the leap that because someone cannot say a word right that they are dumb Minority groups are also judged on whether behaviour or characteristics are voluntary or involuntary Responses to stigma3 main responses separation assimilation or accommodation Separation and assimilation can occur by choice or forced on a particular groupAccommodation is a recognition and respect of both similarities and differences between the majority and minority Dynamics of prejudiceDifferentnot like us physical or social characteristicsRankedNot as good as us incompetent inferior abnormal dangerousPowerNot as strong as us discrimination paternalism colonialism TheoryTheory provides a framework of ideas that can be used to answer questions about the world Theories are a reflection of values of a person or society and can be used alone or in combination with other theories Theories shape government policy No one theory us better than the other or wholly complete
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