Lecture 2 WGS250.pdf

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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) ▪ parents ▪ siblings ▪ a marriage contract ▪ a relationship ▪ love ▪ moral/emotional support ▪ blood relations ▪ money ▪ 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 ▪ 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 Canada ▪ Married couples remained the predominant family structure (67%) in 2011 but the share has decreased over times ▪ Between 2006 and 2011, the number of common-law couples rose, more than four times the increase for married couples ▪ Lone-[arent families increased 8% over the same period ▪ bout 8/10 lone-parent families were female lone-parent families in 2011, while male lone parents families were 1/3 of that amount ▪ Same sex couple families increased 42.4% ▪ 2011, counted step families for the first time, it was about 12% of families ◦ you can see that common law couples are becoming more common ◦ same sex couples are becoming more common ◦ married couples have decreased over the past 50 years ◦ common law is increasing and lone parent in increasing ◦ but married couples is still the majority ◦ The number of single fathers raising their children is steadily increasing ◦ CTV and CBC articles are identifying that family forms are chaining and family can mean anything in Canada • Nuclear Family ◦ Nuclear family: the part of a family that includes only the father, mother and children ◦ In its discussion of stats units, the Final report and Recommendations of the Canberra Group, Expert Group on household Income Stats comments • Nuclear Ideology ◦ What does this mean for families who do not “fit” this ideology? ◦ Westernized ideology of the nuclear family as the primary social unit ◦ socially constructed as “idea” ◦ hyped in the 1950’s and the “American Dream” ◦ Why do you think this happened? ▪ because thats the norm ▪ it seemed advantageous to Parent children and to reproduce them ▪ perpetuated middle class white families ▪ economically efficient ▪ because both partners are bringing in an income ▪ in some cases you have the breadwinner and the other taking care of the children ▪ when you think of funding and who gets more support ▪ automatically it would go towards family that fit this ideal ▪ even today the families that don’t fit in don’t get the proper support • Although the dominant ideology case the nuclear family as the sold province of child rearing, people other than parents necessarily are involved in children’s lives at virtually every developmental state (From a book, Not so Nuclear families) • Fox and Luxton (Chp 1) ◦ normalized and universalized- the nuclear familist is often what we think of as “family” ◦ historically and culturally specific ◦ nuclear family, marriage, children, heterosexual, blood relationships • Nuclear Family, Natural? Human Nature? ◦ Nuclear family is assumed as universal ◦ it isn’t found in all societies ▪ you have examples of cultures and societies that don’t have that in the textbook in this weeks readings ▪ therefore it is socially defined ◦ challenging the notion of “natural” ◦ seems self evidently biologically, but not seen as such universally, ◦ socially defined • Types of Families ◦ Nuclear ◦ Blended ◦ Extended ◦ Single Parent Family ◦ Childless Family ◦ Adoptive Family ◦ Polygamous, polygynous and polyandry ◦ monogamous family ◦ Matrifocal and Patrifocal Families ▪ the focus is on the mother or father ▪ patriarchal is patrifocal ◦ Cohabiting families ◦ Grandparent led families ◦ Same-sex Families ◦ Commuter Families ◦ Poster and Group Home Families • 5 Critica
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