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Lecture 5

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Social Development Studies
SDS 353R
Geoff Malleck

[ LECTURE 5 ] THE CHILD AND THE FAMILY: INSEPARABLE CONCEPTS? Definitions of the Family  George Murdock: “a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation, and reproduction; includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom are in a socially approved relationship, and 1/more children owned/adopted” - family performs 4 f’ns: sexual, economic, reproductive and educational  Vanier Institute for the Family: “any combo of 2/more persons who are bound together over time by ties of mutual consent, birth and/or adoption, and whom together, assume responsibilities of some of following: discipline, maintenance and care of members; addition of new members t/ procreation/adoption; socialization of children; social ctrl of members; consumption and distribution of resources; nurturance or love” - includes all types of families  Statistics Canada (census family): “now-married couple, w/ or w/o never married sons/daughters of either/both spouses; couple living in common-law w/ or w/o never married sons/daughters of either/both spouses; or lone parent of any marital status w/ at least 1 never married son/daughter living in same dwelling Family Structure  Over last 30 yrs, Canada has seen i↑’d rates of separation/divorce, declining popularity of marriage, growing # of common-law unions, i↑’g recognition of same-sex marriages - aar, more complex lives for children who grow up in many diff family env’s - gone is homogeneity of common family structure  79% of cdn children btwn 0-11 yrs-old live w/ both parents 16% lone/single family 4% live in step family Number of Children  Century ago, avg # of children born was 5 - today is slightly under 2  Pregnancies are occurring later than before  1998: costs > $150 000 to raise a child to age 18  Calling a child an “accident” and getting abortion ~ to notion of birth ctrl t/ infanticide and abandonment  Sometimes adults say parenthood is sth they dN want to miss out of, so they have children for their own sake and not for sake of children  More voluntary childlessness - sometimes children seen as interfering w/ finer things of life  Idea of perfect child: prenatal tests to make sure child is “alright” - greater expectations on children even before they are born  w/ smaller families, children are closer in age b/c fewer siblings - closer to extended families as well Number of Parents  1991: 73/100 children lived in families of married couples  1901: 7/10 families composed of married couples w/ children  1996: 50% families composed of married couples w/ children  1901: 14% families led by single parents  1996: 15% families led by single parents  1996: 35% families dN have children  1996: 84% children in Canada lived w/ two parents - (TF) almost 1/5 lived w/ single parents, and 84% of these children lived w/ female grown parents - ¼ living w/ single mother had never married mother (figure i↑’g) *note: not married = not married at time of having child; dN mean mother not married afterwards
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