Chapter 10-Families notes Jan 21

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23 Aug 2010
January 21, 2009
Chapter 10: Families
x Gendered Division of Labour: the difference in the work that men and women do
Exploring The Familiar: Families In Western Society
x Dilemmas of Contemporary Family Life
o Nuclear Family: man is main breadwinner and the women has primary
responsibility for the children
o Conventional family parents on decline
o But society stills seems to be mostly based around nuclear families
x Myths About Family
o Traditional European families consists of 3 generations
o Extended Family Households: three generations in one house
o The family in question is the heterosexual breadwinner/homemaker family, and
deviations form these ideals are held responsible for myriad social problems
x The Myth of The Natural Family
o Popular fixation on the heterosexual nuclear family is that it seems to derive
from the biology of reproduction
o Biological determinism: the argument that individual behavior or social
organization is directly caused by biology or biological processes
o Evolutionary Psychology: type of biological determinism that views human
behaviour as the product of human evolution
Certain behaviours are adaptive because they contributed to
³UHSURGXFWLYHVXFFHVV´± specifically males (more aggressive), females
(nurturing -> more offspring)
x Conceptualizing and Defining Family
o Structural Functionalism
Heterosexual nuclear family exists because of the useful functions it
performs for the larger society
o Definitions
Family: as the sets of relationships people create to share resources daily
in order to ensure their own and any dependants welfare
Social Reproduction: wide range of activities that maintain existing life
and in most cases reproduce the next generation- the feeding, clothing,
looking after peoples subsistence needs, as well as emotional (adult),
nurturing (children)
Family Wage: trade union movement in the 19th century; refers to a
wage that is paid to a man and is sufficient to support him, wife, children
A Look At Other Family Patterns
x Foraging Societies: The Communal Household
o People acquire subsistence by gathering edibles and hunting live game
o Small camps, bands
o Comprised of ppl by marriage/blood
o Nomadic
o Sharing resources
o Women: gather, men: hunt
o Collective/shared responsibilities, decision making, child care
o Communal basis of life, absence of private households
x Preindustrial Agricultural Societies: Household Economies
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