Lecture 1 - soc244- tuesday sept 6
family form is very tied to the economic forces - eg industrial families 1940s- domesticity
- impact of the bourgeoisie on the family structure- in particular women.
- this reinforced the positioning of the family
What does family mean?
- vague sense of identity and belonging to individuals
- a mind field and contested value system- who belong and who doesnt.
- eg nannies, grandparents of divorced children, specific issues around the family
-families are very diverse
common def: in sociological terms of families: (slide3 - consensus family)
Sociology examined the movement of society - from traditional to modern settings
middle 19th century. (industrial revolution - agricultural to factory based production -
very irreversible changes in peoples lives- in he way people constructed their families.
ppl moved from farms and villages - life altered.
Monshaft- life was intimate - everyone knew everyone- neighbours new each other - type
of society more common in dense urban society - more impersonal relationships - more
mechanical solitary- a group staying together because they were involved in the same
group - shared the same work for example - emerged out of interdependence - despite the
division of labour there still exists a strong sense of cohesion that emerges from organic
how did the traditional ways of thinking which relied on religion and god - did it impact
the family ?
individuals were no longer looking to god to answer their questions- imperialism -new
colonial empires from asia to africa - north America and europeans exposed to new
cultures - this contact altered and destroyed traditional family structures - eg aboriginal
families changed from egalitarian to more isolated families.
structural functionlists: tend to see social institutions - family, economy, educational
system - all sort of working in harmony and all of these have a common fucntion to fulfil
for a society as a whole - they stress and share values. Durkhiem uses the body as a
whole, just like society 0 u need every part of soceity to be working good - otherwise it is
a dysfucntional society
classic functionalists: Bronislaw Malinowski : 1913: attempted in his aboriginal studies
to challenge the proponents of social evolution: who argued that primitives were
promiscous and this is why they were not able to have families: therefore, children were not able to idfnety a single father. But malinoswki- that they did in indeed have rules and
regulations about who would have intercourse with who- there was a sort of
differntinations between marriage and other partners. - thereofre, approved that groups
did have marriages and that childrenw ere able to identity their father. This particaulr
form is universal even for societies that are vastly diff then other european socities. to
accord to malinkski - there are three functions :Family have to distinguish isides from
outsides - who belongs to the family
2. family had to have a place where family came together into one single place- frog eg. a
place around the fire
3. over many years, family members tend to feel affectionate with each other - close
emotioanl ties betwen husband wife, and children over the course of the length that u
spend time with these individuals.
Children were considered the primary function of fmilies in industrilized societies.
Gerorge f murdock - the nuclear family is a great distinct - socially approved - a union
between a man and a women - rights and responsibilities sbetween spouses and their
children and between spouses and spouses.
3 types of families which he identifies.
there is a social utility to the nuclear family
theer are 5 functions of the family -
1. provides some sort of sexual regulation. - marriages gives some sort of legality to sex.
2. economic populations - efficient economic union
3. reproduction: there is economic advantages - children add economic value to the
family as they mature
4. socialization: emotional support, love companionship
5. ? (look for slides)
Talcott parsons husband, mother, children, - each has a role to carry out- he viewed the
family as a sub system- metapheryst - looked at the family as part of a larger system - he
said institutions are connected - he writes about four basic institution- education,
religious, family and economic religions -- all work together to keep things regulated.
the family consisted of parents - ordinarily occupied as a separate dwelling. - only
husband wife an children and the household is economically dependent towards the
nuclear family - suited for industrial capitalism according to parsons.
socialization in children so they become members in society
so the family allows for the healthy development of adults.
he also instrumental leader (father is the one bringing the money) vs emotional leader
(the women is the more expressive work)
because of these assumptions of white European families - other families were seen as
dysfunctional such as aboriginal families.
these assumptions were only based of cohersiona nd inequality and this ideal family - and
this abused other dysfunctional families. ***Symbolic interactions : based on webers work- university of chicago - they look at
symbols and how individuals come together and create symbols and put value in those
symbols and pass value to future generations and how we are able to commucaite with
eahc other - interworkings of marriage for example, :you can be interviewing two
individuals fromt he same marriage but they have be talking about two diff marriages
because they have can diff interpretations of what is going on in their marriage. (max
Weber - interpretive and subjective feelings)
a science that attempts the interpretive (individual motives were essential of how they
were suppose to be carried out)
understanding of social actions.
the idea that humans are reflexive and constantly rethinking their actions - comes to mind
when thinking of symbolic interactions- self reflection- what could ihave done better?
what were not going to do, what were going to do and what we are going to pass to our
childrne and make them value .
symbolic interactions: leads to a very specific methodology , have to look at the
viewpoint of the individual and understand them - place yourself in their shoes when you
are examining a particular method - of an individuals expiernces
people they are not passive recipients- rather they are active agents- constant reflexive
dialogue. the stregnth of the focus is the making research how the respond itself is feeling
looking for ***subjective motives- symbolic interaction- can be blind to other larger
structural forces - such as the larger economic sphere and changes in the cultural
Lecture 2 - soc244 - - sept 13 2011
- find something more focused for assignment - eg. rise of multi generational households,
impact of divorce
- peer reviewed journals! no newspaper
last two pages - reflect on what you've learned on the articles - does it drive with your
own experiences ? Does it relate to your experiences ? Be reflective, common themes,
and give some questions that were not fully answered.
- Title page, name, id number, date of submission.
If they're long articles, photocopy first five- six pages.
Lecture 1 Review:
Structural functionalists: mother is emotional and expressive and father is breadwinner.
Symbolic interactions - is individual experiences within the family and how individuals
experience impact how they interact with each other - individual interpretation. used to
understand the dimensions of marriages etc.
Lecture 2: The Enlightenment
The enlightenment is characterized by a period of reason, knowledge , science - self
actualization- fulfilling yourself all that you can be in the course of your life - women
took an active part in the course of enlightenment. Central theme in enlightenment- human progress- to promote equality - for others
oppressed peoples and for themselves. Civilization wanted had this struggle to overcome
tradition which kept people in particular roles - so this was time to challenge traditional
ways of living.
Liberal feminist theory for eg emerges.
A major shift in the way people thought about themselves and stuff around them. A new
field of knowledge, physics biology geography and challenged how people understood
the world. eg Charles Darwin.
Important to think about this type of thinking on families and women too.
- it is also an age of colonialism - beginning of industrial capitalism .- rethinking
individual rights, freedoms, greater equality, they were crushing other indigenous
populations - eg slavery.
A great interest in preserving rights and freedoms, this did not translate into greater
freedom and liberty for people.
Important to know, these contradictions emerged from the enlightenment.
Feminist Theories :
The Marxist Conflict: observed a certain passing of life - a particular way of life was
being lost. Peaseants and villagers moved to crowded cities to work in factories, (the
industrial revolution) exploitation, human misery, - lay between the proletariat and the
bourgeoisie 0 owns the means of production. social change was based on the overthrow
of the capitalist class.
the wealth of the bourgeoisie - gave work for the proletariats.
***1846 - Marx furthers his analysis on exploitation by featuring the family as the
original site for the unequal distribution of labor. Wives and children constitute the first
property of men. Despite the family observation, gender is not a basis of his focus .
- he offers a critic of capitalism - so with the growth of industrial economies -
increasingly relied of families.
- rather then consuming what they produced, it is easier for families to purchase and buy
things from the market - so there is increasingly dependency on the market.
- there was somehow a naturalness to the family - and to the family structure.