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Lecture 3

SOCA02 - Week 3 - January 24, 2013

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Sheldon Ungar

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SOCA02 – Introduction to Sociology – Week 3 – January 24, 2013 Families Key Issues - Family is valued but seen as threatened o Divorced, teenage pregnancy , violence - We look back at the family in history o Avoid nostalgia o Argue: Behaviour is a function Functional View of Family - Nuclear family as beneficial o Regulates sexual behavior and reproduction o Socialization  Has shrunk quite a bit o Protection o Affection and emotional relatedness o Economic unit, confers status Conflict/Feminist View - Family (especially under capitalism) o Economic rather than emotional unit o Oppressive o Women as dependent labour  Being exploited in the family Historical Approach - Pre-industrial European Family - Not idealize past, but seek out the “facts” o Piece it together from Church records, graves, medical reports and etc. Guiding Hypothesis - Behaviour is a function of the social conditions under which it occers o Ex. The oldest son gets the family fortune OR they break it up - Ex. Lack of Resoucres o Lead to medical rationing  Ex. Britain; They get their medical help for cancellation (Knee Surgery or hip surgery) Family Hypothesis - Pre-industrial family as extended o Underlies the nostalgia  Family was the unit that stays together, including uncles and aunts and etc. o The reality is more complex - Industrialization leads to isolation of the nuclear family o Is this good or bad? Pre – Industrial Home - There were often just one room; there was no proper ventilation o The air was dark and musty Variables - Births & Deaths o Maybe 1 in 3 make it past five!! (Up to late 19 century)  Many women die in childbirth - Marx’s favorite daughter died before him; most of his kids died before him - Household size and Composition o Crowding  When people first started to do these studies they were smaller than expected  Only the rich were able to have larger extended families  They were also smaller because they left when they were 7 – 8 years old for apprentice  Eldest son would be kept home to keep the inheritance  The wealthy would keep their daughters at home to keep their innocence/virtue/chastity  There were also fewer adults as they tended to die young  Women died in childbirth  A lot of older women married younger men because it was:  A form of birth control  Mothers died young  People would get remarried; creating lots of stepchildren  And the wicked stepmother  There were also non-family members in the household  There were lodgers in the house to help pay  Homes had virtually no furnishing  They would usually share it with animals (Ex. Cows, sheep and etc)  Kids see births, people die , arguments, sexual relations, there was no “go to your room” - Children o “Good Mothering is an invention of modernization’  Edward Shorter, The Making of the Modern Family o Many mothers didn’t breast feed, they usually went to a wet nurse  Even the rich
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