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Lecture 3

WGS250H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Nuclear Family, Egalitarianism, Polyamory

Women and Gender Studies
Course Code
Karen Kus

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Lecture 3: History of Families and Family Forms!
!!Session outline!
!!Cross cultural families!
!!family types in history!
!!changing family forms and economic impacts!
!!social reproduction and the roles of women in families!
!!Last week’s review!
!!she did a quick summary!
!!Talked about Malinowski, Popenoe, Collier and Coontz!
!!Collier suggests the characteristics Malinowski claims is neither natural or
!!Popenoe and Malinowski were defenders of the Nuclear Family!
!!Is the Family declining?!
!!it challenges you think, how is the family declining if there was never a
true universal family type"!
!!the concept of family is diversifying"!
!!Deconstructing Assumptions!
!!(Continuing with the review)!
!!Challenging the nuclear family ideology - assumed as ‘natural’ and ‘universal’!
!!Socially defined - families not self evidently biological"!
!!5 critical areas of kinship: conception, incest taboos, adoption, marriage,
household and residence!
!!Co-residential household as the ‘ideal’ unit: economically and socially!
!!relationships are distinct from outside the family!
!!Family- the sphere of social relationships of social relationships shaped by the
state and economic forms!
!!Reviewed the 5 critical areas of kinship slide from last lecture!
!!Family - expanding out definition!
!!families change in relation to social forms and social orders"!
!!beyond the nuclear-other individuals play a role in families"!
!!hold property!
!!care for young!
!!provide care and nurturance"!
!!future of the state!
!!Historical periods (Europe and North America)!
!!Pre-industrial period: Family/Domestic Economy"!
!!Rise of industrial capitalism: male breadwinner model, women in charge of SR!
!!Post-war period: male breadwinner, elevation of motherhood for women
(changes in roles of motherhood-forced to work)!
!!Advanced Capitalism/Neo-liberalism: dual earner (labour intense within families)!
!!i-clicker Montagnais Naskapi: economic family!
!!The Montagnais Naskapi (ch 4)!
!!shift from hunting to fur and trapping resulted in shifts in family relations and
gender roles!
!!egalitarian culture in the foraging society"!

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!!division of labour not particularly gendered"!
!!changes in family type: shift towards the monogamous gendered based nuclear
!!This is an egalitarian culture: everyone contributed equally, everyone
played different roles regardless of what their gender was!
!!Sexual relations were pretty much open in this society!
!!they had polygamous family roles that weren’t necessarily binded by
!!Polygamous Families!
!!Monogamy: having one spouse/ significant other!
!!bigamy: having two spouses"!
!!polygamy: two or more spouses in the same dwelling!
!!polygyny: more than one wife at the same time!
!!polyandry: more than one husband at the same time!
!!group marriages: a family of multiple husbands and wives!
!!polyamory: having many relationships which may or may not be married to each
!!According to this the Montagnais Naskapi were polyamory"!
!!Egalitarian Culture!
!!small groups dependent on one another for survival, production, consumption,
residence, and child rearing!
!!co-operation as one unit, autonomy"!
!!no leaders!
!!disbelief in punishment!
!!If a couple had a child it was treated as a community of the child, no
children were left alone"!
!!they all worked together to raise children!
!!didn’t belief in punishment!
!!LeJeune’s ‘Civilizing’ Mission!
!!referred to Montagnais as ‘savages’!
!!permanent settlement"!
!!Chief authority"!
!!physically hurt if you do something wrong!
!!education of children!
!!european family structure: nuclear model, male authority, female fidelity, not right
to divorce!
!!Shift toward patriarchal family!
!!economic shifts to fur trade!
!!Colonized Families!
!!changing definitions of marriage and family!
!!smaller family units, limited to blood relations!
!!relations altered toward patriarchal norms!
!!Colonialism in Canada!
!!genocide and eugenics!
!!eugenics: improving the genetic quality of the human population!
!!what happened with aboriginal tribes, they were punished for
speaking their native tongue (physically hurt), to eliminate their
culture entirely!
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