Class Notes (839,522)
Canada (511,364)
Sociology (2,434)
SOCA01H3 (591)


10 Pages

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Sheldon Ungar

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Lecture 6 Family Nuclear family: -cohabitating man and woman who have an appropriate sexual relationship and have at least 2 children -wife works at home and husband works outside of home and is the primary source of income (traditional) - there has been a decrease in the nuclear family since the 1940s -many moral entrepreneurs: -moral entrepreneur = someone who makes a living telling society that its falling apart because its taking an immoral direction -the family is changing and shifting away from the traditional nuclear family -marriage rate is decreasing -divorce rates have been stable for decades but it is very high (~40-50%) -since the 1950s, divorce is 50% more often than not -marital breakdown combined with an increase in the number of children born outside of marriage (illegitimate) -means more divorces, fewer getting married, shift away from the nuclear family, 50% of children today will spend some time in a single parent set up -a bit harder on boys than girls because single parent families are mostly led by females -boys need fathers -if not, there is a greater likelihood for them to do poorly in school and get into trouble South Africa: -in one of the national parks male elephants became more numerous -they shot the bull elephants -the young male elephants became rogue elephants because there were no older ones to keep them in line -may be a combination of nature vs. nurture -the family is also changing -17% married with children -13.9% lone parents 200630% married without children 39% married with children -common law is creeping in (people who live together but dont get married) -blended families: -man gets divorced and gets custody of his kids -woman gets divorced and has her kids -they get married and blend their families together 1950s traditional nuclear family was called the Cleavor model (refers to an old sitcom husband, wife, 2 boys) -there was a husband who worked, a wife who stayed at home and did housework and looked after the kids -it was the first and only marriage for both -therefore this is the traditional nuclear family -today, the traditional nuclear family is a minority family type in Canadian households -many people say the family is the fundamental unit of society and that social health depends on the family - controversy: the traditional nuclear family reproduces the class hierarchy, and has been unfriendly to women Theoretical outlooks on family: -the family performs several functions -from functional analysis: -responsible for regulating sexual activity: what is legitimate and permitted -economic cooperation: in the past men were stronger and women were incapacitated when pregnant -reproduction: in the past, having children was you old age security -in the past, if you had lots of children, when you get old they will look after you -thus, there was an economic incentive to have kids - theres a tendency now not to look after their parents when they get old just put them in an old age home -socialization -emotion support Socialization: -family is the first and most important source of primary socialization -parents teach their children how to integrate into society and how to contribute to society, while looking after themselves - sometimes parents have a hard time with this when their kids reach their teenage years and start to become more independent, and parents become a bit scared -sometimes children socialize their parents -siblings socialize each other (especially older brothers and sisters) -all of this comes free of charge to society Regulation of sex activity: -every culture does this -marriage is encouraged in order to maintain kinship organization with extended family - kinship organization/network = aunts uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. -the fundamental unit of any kinship network is the family -the transmission of property is part of the family -the incest taboo forbids sexual relations or marriage between certain kin -some variation in this cross-culturally -some break it under some special circumstances Matrilineal Navajo: -Navajo = aboringinal people, first nations people in America, located in Arizona and New Mexico - Matrilineal = traces descent through the mothers line -Matrilineal Navajo say that sexual relations with any of the mothers relatives is forbidden -Canada has a bilateral system -we trace descent through both mother and father - for us, the incest taboo applies to both sides -Patralineal = trace descent through the father -bilateraltaboo on both sides but more on close family like aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings - Inca (Mexican), Hawaiian, ancient Egypt permitted brother and sister marriage Hawaii: nobility brother and sister marriage wanted to keep royal lineage Ancient Egypt: - same thing - brother/sister marriage permitted in the royal family Inca: -violate incest taboo -in Mexico -when Europeans (notably the Spanish) arrived they destroyed society - Inca civilization permitted brother/sister marriages, especially in leading families intended to keep the royal family pure Why do we have this regulation of sexual activity? probably both nature and nurture are involved - Nature - the incest taboo rules out the possibility of recessive genes becoming too frequent- recessive gene: a gene that transmits an undesirable trait -in order for the trait to be expressed, both mother and father have to possess it (need to inherit the same recessive gene from both parents) -therefore, youre more likely to get it when you marry a close relative Hybrid Vigour: people that marry other people (unrelated) - children tend to be more healthy - Nurture - prohibition minimizes/reduces sexual competition in the family - sexual regulation defines kinship rights and obligations, and it prevents the family from collapsing into chaos (a social reason) - another social reason the incest taboo forces people to marry outside of family and form alliances with other groups (therefore, more likely to survive) doesnt apply as much nowadays -ex. in tribal and agricultural societies -marrying outside of family led to broader alliances Social placement: -the family is not biologically necessary for people to reproduce -pair bond both male and female stick around and raise their young -therefore if two people are doing it, it will be more successful than if only one -fairly common in animal species as well as in humans -the family isnt biologically necessary for reproduction, but it helps reproduction and makes it more successful - the family provides social placement -social identity is transferred from parents to children -social identity can also be based o
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