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SOC 3391 (34)


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SOC 3391
William M.Last

-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 t
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