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SOCC24H3 (2)
Lecture

c24 wk 2 readings.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCC24H3
Professor
Rania Salem

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Wk 2 Readings Ambert, 2012. “Chapter 1: Introduction to Family Studies.” (1-33) -families analyzed as basic institution of any society; through them citizens are born, sheltered and begin socialization (children learn how to think and behave according to the ways of society and the group in which they are born and raised, however children also respond according to their own personalities, needs and experiences) Why families are called an institution? An institution is a recognized area of social life that is organized along a system of widely accepted norms that regulate behaviors. The element of organization and norms contribute to the predictability of life; people know to expect, it is shared culture -over-time, each society evolves a set of norms or rules that guides the behaviors of family members toward one another and institutions. -another key institution in a society are the religious, educational, economic as well as political contexts. -Canadian society is constituted by people from many different backgrounds, and changes have become a part of the institution of family, as it is in nearly all large societies of the world. -although family forms may change, the institution itself remains while its functions evolve and even multiply How can families be defined? -a family is a social group, an institution, an intergenerational group of individuals related to one another by blood, adoption or marriage/cohabitation. It is a group that endures over several generations -the minimum requirement to meet this definition at the nuclear level is the combination of two generation in one household. -also refer to persons living together who are related to one another through another generation such as siblings/cousins -families are a system existed among pre-humans and still exist among primates and other animals -it is an evolutionary and necessary system for the care of the young and helpless, and for the survival of species; in this respect, families shouldn’t be equated with marriage which is a late cultural invention; thus, family doesn’t include unrelated single people living together even though they constitute a household unit or share an address; these persons are members of the family but don’t constitute the family. -a person can call anyone their family; best friends, neighbors, former partners, relatives etc. the emphasis is on ‘intimate relations’, which are more egalitarian and inclusive than families. Such an inclusive family group overlaps with the concepts of social networks and support networks. (2) social policies designed to facilitate family life do need a modicum of definitional precision (3) if we broaden the definition of family, it runs the risk of becoming useless -if we choose to include anyone we are close at the moment as a family member, the concept of family will become so elastic that it will be meaningless and will have no continuity overtime. -membership in a family is an ascribe status while friendship networks are acquired ‘status ascription is one of the reasons that family relations tend to be enduring, whereas friendships change overtime. Especially when significant changes take place in a person’s life’(family is enduring; when a couple has children and seperates, they each take responsibility of that child and remain apart of their lives as parents; this is called a binuclear family and remains in both nuclear family systems) Typology of Families and Unions Families Nuclear family: atleast one parent and one child living together Conjugal: Husband, wife and children cohabitation with child, same sex parents with child Single parent: one parent and his or her child living toether Grandparent/grandchild: one grandparent or two grandparents and grandchild living together Reconstituted: remarried soused or cohabiting spouses when at least one had a child from a former union Horizontal: sisters or brothers or cousins living together without the parent generation Extended family: all the members of a family, including child, parents, grandparents and other ascendants plus uncles, aunts and cousins (by blood, adoption or marriage) In one household: generally involves three generations; one parent, and his or her child living with another relative, usually the child’s grandparent or aunt or uncle In multiple households: members of a family, including child, parents, grandparents, and other ascendents plus uncles, aunts, cousins (by blood, marriage or adoption) living in separate dwellings and interacting on a regular basis Unions Legal marriage: socially, legally, religiously sanctioned union, which is generally heterosexual but could also be a same-sex partners, depending on the jurisdiction involved Cohabitation: consensual union that is not legally (common law) sanctioned but is legally protected in Canada; it can involve same sex or opposite sex partners Living apart together (LAT): unions which the two partners maintain separate residences Monogamy: a legal marriage or cohabitation involving only two partners Serial monogamy (serial polygamy): sequence of spouses or parents over time as in the sequence of marriage, divorce and remarriage; spouses or cohabitants succeed each other Polygamy: multiple partners or souses at the same time Polygyny: one man married to more than one woman at the same time Polyandry: one woman married to more than one man at the same time Nuclear Families -a parent his or her children as well as two parents with their children form the most elementary type of family—referred to as the nuclear family. When a person or a couple has a child, whether by birth, adoption, or surrogacy, a nuclear family of procreation is formed. -binuclear family: half of their nuclear family is constituted by themselves and their mother and the other half by themselves and their father -horizontal nuclear family: when brothers and sisters share a household together without parents Extended Families -there is a fluidity between nuclear and extended families; most people belong to both -multigenerational households have never been the norm in Canada, except amongAboriginals -in N.A, most relationships between members of an extended kin system are optional—if two brothers and their wives or children don’t get along, theyre not forced to see eachother -among Latin American descent, friends may be assimilated into the family as they become godparents to kids; this is called compradazo; when a fathers friend is a frequent visitor to the house, he may be called an uncle, thus creating fictive kinship bonds Type of Union and Marriage -in Canada, the only two type of marriage and cmoon-law union that are legally accepted are between one man and one woman or between two persons of the same sex. -polygamy (polygyny: a man married to two or more woman) illegal since 1878 Polygamy as a Conjugal and Family Type -polygamy in the form of a man married to two or more wives has resurfaced as an issue in N.A. -polygamy is see as a practice in islam, not a requirement; it is a minority phenomenon even in countries that recognize it legally. -polygamy practiced mainly by well-to-do men that may support all his wives; it was rooted in agrigian socities where men who owned a great deal of land, and benefited from the help of several wives and extensive progeny; wives and children were a sign of wealth -plural marriages were also useful for the purpose of integrating widows and their children into another household in countries where women had no independent standing -sex ratio imbalance: polygamy is practiced by a segment of population, even if it’s a minority one; that is, a proportion of men acquire more than one wife, there are not enough potential wives left -as a result, less fortunate ones cant marry, or wait until theyre much older -polygamy practiced in rural areas where agricultural activites can benefit from the birth of many sonds and co-wives establish quasi-separate residences within the patrilocal compound; outdated with no economic benefit today -the success of polygamy (how happy and functioning the spouses and children are) depends on the sociocultural context within the polygamous family lives (fair treatment between wives which is difficult to achieve) Theory: a set of interrelated propositions that explains a particular phenomenon and guides research Structural Functionalism: analyzes a society’s organization, its structure, and the linkage between its various systems. The family is an important unit that fulfills key functions for society, such as child socialization. In turn, a society’s social structure provides the overall cultural and organizational contexts that influence family life. The analogy is organic; an organism (society) is a system with may subsystems that collaborate or function together to optimize its success; system fulfills functions for one another -instrumental role: father as the breadwinner responsible for linking the family to the society at large Expressive role: mother cares for children, maintains relations, and does housework Dysfunction: characteristic such as hyperactivity, prevents child from doing well in school or integrating himself within the peer group -a dysfunctional society is so disorganized or debilitated by conflict, incompetence and deficiencies that it is unstable to care for its members and socialize its children. This has made such families socially marginalized by poverty or discrimination Social Exchange and Rational Theories th -both a product of sociocultural environment of 20 century and influenced by economics. Social Exchange Theory -people interact and make choices so as to maximize their own benefits or rewards and to minimize their costs -resource and power occupy a central position; the spouse who has alternatives outside a marriage weighs the advantages of these alternatives against those secured in the current marriage; focuses on rational choices, resources (capital) Rational Theory -rational theory is more of capital and community than of individual choices (opposite of exchange theory) Human capital: abilities, skills, education and positive human characteristics inherited or acquired by a person. Skills largely shaped in early childhood education Cultural capital: parent’s general knowledge and aspects of their lifestyle that can promote their children’s achievement Social capital: resources that individual families are able to secure on the basis of membership in social networks; social resources enhance families’sense of belonging, child socialization and acquisition of human and cultural capital Social closure: social networks are closed so that children are less subjected to conflicting norms. Another type of social capital refers to friendships, contact with neighbors, volunteer work etc. Symbolic Interactionism -sociopsychological theory in which the self, social self and role occupy singular position, as do societal contexts whose meanings and structures are perceived by individuals while interacting with one another -people develop their
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