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Lecture 2

WGS250H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Nuclear Family, Kinship Terminology, Group Home

Women and Gender Studies
Course Code
Karen Kus

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Lecture 2: Deconstructing Gender Norms and the Nuclear Family
you need to register your i-clicker with your UTORID and not the i-clicker (this is
indicated on the syllabus)
if you registered your clicker last semester you should re register it this semester
Session outline
defining family
evaluating family changes
deconstructing the nuclear family
understanding the feminist terminology
What is a Family
How do you define family
socially constructed: not a specific definition to it, it’s what been
said and thrown around throughout history
What are the ingredients that make a family
to call yourself a family what do you need to have? (brainstorming)
a marriage contract
a relationship
moral/emotional support
blood relations
a leader (go be parental, patriarchal, family figure
common place of residence
do you find these qualities necessary?
Legal definition of Family
Determine who is responsible for providing financial and emotional
support for children
rights over and to children (custody, foster care, adoption, etc)
Referes to who is responsible for house whole maintenance: payments for
rent, or mortgage, or taxes, or utilities, etc
Access to pensions, benefits, assists, etc
Immigration Law (sponsorship, custody, etc)
Marriage Law
Ontario Family Law Act
We have to be critical of how some people can’t fit these moulds
Census Family (StatsCan)
Married couple and children (if any)
Common Law couple and children (if any)
Lone parent and at least one child
Grandchildren and grandparents (no parents
all family members living in one dwelling
couple may be opposite or same sex
children by birth, marriage or adoption

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Children not living with their spouses and/or children
Disclosing Identity and Family Form
Schools, hospitals, immigration services, banks, businesses, and
community organizations determine access and decision making power
based on the definitions of “family”
Stats Canada
Mandatory short form census questionnaire
penalties ranging from fines to jail time may be faced by those who
do not complete the census
Inaugral National Household Survey (NHS, voluntary)
showed a sample census form
showed a graph of census families by the presence of children
since 2001 the number of families without children has grown both
in married and common law relationships
She was showing a detailed classification of families on the stats Canada
website, doesn’t include gay families, or grandparents for example
Economic Family
a group of two or more persons who live in the same dwelling and are
related to each otter by blood, marriage, common law or adoption
a couple may be of the opposite or same sex
foster children are included
broader concept than census family
all persons who are members of a census family are also members of an
economic family
What’s missing?
Are definitions inclusive of all family forms?
Room mates haven’t been identified
aunts and uncles living with nieces and nephews
live in care giver wouldn’t be considered a family
sometimes live-in care giver will bring in her own family but they are
also not classified as family
people living together in an orphanage are not considered a family
parent who only gets to see their child only on weekends
senior group homes
two brothers living in the same house; they wouldn’t legally be identified
as a family (without the parents)
they are not considered families according to stats Canada’s definition
when we think about he definition of family and how families are
recognized, it is not inclusive of all family forms
Family Forms Changing
Families and living arrangements
2011 Census of Population counted 9 389 700 census families in
Married couples remained the predominant family structure (67%)
in 2011 but the share has decreased over times
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