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Lecture 1

SOCA02H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Love Marriage, Domestic Violence, Artificial Insemination

Course Code
Francisco Villegas

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Week 1: Chapter 15 – Families
The family
- Basic structure that reproduces societal values
oThere have been connuous concerns over perceived dangers of weakening or changing
family es
Includes concerns over shis or changes in the makeup of the family
oThe family has oen been gloried as safe and a key site to the producon of well-
adjusted cizens
Can also be a site of signicant violence
Types of family
- Nuclear family: 2 married opposite-sex parents and their biological children who share the same
residence (this is the type of family in ‘decline’)
oKey features: heteronormave, monogamous, child-rearing, spanning two generaons
oMisguided in history – not all sociees are male-dominated
- Tradional nuclear family: husband works outside the home for money and wife woks without
pay in the home
oKey features: same as nuclear but more male-dominated and single earner household
oNot the norm anymore but
Women are sll discriminated – paid less, hired less oen, considered to be
unreliable, emoons, bias against women and potenal pregnancy
Gendered labour persists – they do more at home sll
Now there is more variance; single parent family, same sex family, no children, etc. because people are
more free to make those choices. Other reasons include rising rates of crime, illegal drug use, poverty,
etc. common trope (not true) includes perceived need for an irreplaceable father gure
Family boundary ambiguies: state in which family members are uncertain about who is in or out of
their family or who is performing tasks or roles within the family system
Vercalizaon of family structure: increase in # of living generaons in a family, with fewer members
within each generaon
Funconalists see this as bad – rising rates of crime, drugs, poverty, etc. and try making divorce di6cult
- Nuclear family is ideal
- Five funcons of nuclear family: regulated sexual acvity, economic cooperaon, reproducon,
socializaon, emoonal support
- Nuclear family is be7er suited than polygamy and extended family
- Polygamy: expands nuclear family ‘horizontally’ by adding more than one spouse
- Extended family: expands family ‘vercally’ by including spouse’s parents and ‘distant cousins’
- Marriage: socially approved, presumably long-term sexual and economic union between a man
and a woman. Involves reciprocal rights and obligaons
- Foraging sociees – groups of 100 or less people where people hunt for a living, where gender
division of labour is not as strict as funconalists think
- Canadian family in 1950s
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