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Families Lecture note

Course Code
Mc Kinon

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Decline of Traditional Nuclear Family
Concern expressed by some about decline of nuclear family, which consists of
cohabiting man and women who maintain socially approved sexual relationship and
have at least one child
Traditional nuclear family
oWife works without pay at home
oHusband works in labour market with pay
oDecrease in traditional families since 1940
oIncreasing prevalence of new family forms
oEntrepreneurs say its a tragedy, because marriage rates are decreasing,
divorce is rising,
o50% of people will get divorced
oCereal monogamy, when you have a whole bunch of partners
oDivorce may be very expensive
oLarger number of children are getting raised outside of marriage, and single
parent families, and lots of children are being born outside of marriage
o50% of Canadian children spend at least some time in a single parent
situation before they reach the age of 18
oHusbands work outside home, wife worked inside home for no pay, and t was
the first marriage for both of these individuals
oSecond marriages have higher divorce rates than first marriages
oToday the traditional nuclear family is a minority of most Canadian
oA lot of people live together, without getting married-common law
oIf you are in a common law situation, the Ontario government sees it as a
kind of marriage
oIf the common law marriage splits up, you may still be looking at payments
The Functional Outlook

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It looks on families as curtail for society
Society could not survive without the family as its most basic and fundamental unit
Functions of the Nuclear Family
Sexual regulation
Nuclear family defines boundaries within which legitimate sexuality activity is
permitted, thereby making orderly social life possible
Economic cooperation
Historically, women-restricted in physical activities, because of pregnancy and
nursing-traditionally preformed lighter tasks close to home
Men-with superior physical strength-specialized in more arduous tasks, such as
lumbering, mining, land clearing, house building, hunting, fishing, and so fourth
Regulation to sexual activity
oEvery culture regulates sexual activity
oInterest of maintaining kinship organization
oThis includes aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc
oParents pass on their property to their children
oThe incest taboo forbids sexual relations or marriages between certain kin
oKin varies from culture to culture
oNavajo has a matrilineal decent system
In this culture people trace their ancestry through their mothers line
You cannot marry of have sexual relations with any relatives of your
Today, we have a bilateral decent system, in which both sides are mentioned
oIncest taboo implies to close relatives, parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts,
uncles, and sometimes first cousins
oEx. Ancient Egypt allowed brother sister marriages in the loyal family

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oMaintain the purity of the aerostatic blood line
oIn Hawaii, they offered this as well
Canadian Métis (half French Canadian and aboriginal)
Is this incest taboo nurture or nature?
oA recessive gene is something that carries genetic information
oDown syndrome, club foot, sometimes show up if a recessive gene shows up in
both male and female
o The likelihood of both male and female having it is if you marry with a
oOut marriage has been widely practice because it decreases the likelihood of
a recessive gene showing up
oNurture: what the incest taboo does is that it restricts sexual competition
from families
oWhat the incest taboo does it reduces that problem from the family. It keeps
it out of the family and the wider kinship network
oAnother reason for out-marriage is to form alliances (applied in the past)
oImprove your social standing
Social identity is given to you by your family. Can be based on race, ethnicity,
religion, etc
The family is not biologically set up to reproduce
Emotional material and emotional security of the family
oHarwole did some important experimental work with monkeys
oA child found that for primates that close physical contact is necessary for
sexual socialization
oThe family provides people with emotional security
oThe family is particularistic (family solidarity is based on your parents
accepting you for who you are) you are my child and therefore i accept you
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