WGS250H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Nuclear Family, Egalitarianism, Polyamory
DepartmentWomen and Gender Studies
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Lecture 3: History of Families and Family Forms!
!◦!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"!
!◦!(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"!
!▪!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
!◦!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
!◦!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"!
!◦!small groups dependent on one another for survival, production, consumption,
residence, and child rearing!
!◦!co-operation as one unit, autonomy"!
!◦!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’!
!▪!physically hurt if you do something wrong!
!◦!education of children!
!◦!european family structure: nuclear model, male authority, female ﬁdelity, not right
!◦!Shift toward patriarchal family!
!◦!economic shifts to fur trade!
!◦!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
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