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SOC101Y1 (985)
Lecture 4

SOCA02 LECTURE 4 JAN 31 2013 .doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Ivanka Knezevic

Families-governmental definitions • Governments generally encourage heterosexual marriage and childbearing because they provide citizens, taxpayers, voters, customers, and workers • Census family: heterosexual or homosexual couple with or without biological or adopted children, or a sole parent with children. • Nuclear and extended family • Baker: a modified extended family does not share a dwelling, but shares resources • Stark. 1874. All our kin: Aid to families with dependent children makes presence of men, in conditions of unstable employment, irrational. Family is based on a network of female relatives who share resources. The traditional nuclear family • The traditional nuclear family is comprised of: a father-provider, a mother-homemaker, at least one natural or adopted child. • Parsons: economically efficient, because the man is normally the highest-wage earner. It would be economically irrational of him to spend potential working time on unpaid household and child care. • Biologically possible to have 17 babies Other types of families • Foraging societies: children belong to a tribe/clan (not to individual parents); collective responsibility for children • Marriage without children • Common law couples • Same sex marriages • Lone parent families • Astronaut/transnational families (e.g Hong Kong and Vancouver)- always moving between two r4esidences in different countries • Homosexual and heterosexual couples if have lived together for more than a year are considered to have same rights as married ppl Families- a sociological definition • Family is a set of relationships people create to share resources daily, thus ensuring their own and their children’s welfare, and socially reproducing their society • Focus: family processes (same as Baker) • Family Processes: substantive relationships among members and their ability to satisfy the members’ biological, psychological, economic and social needs. • Family structure: membership and formal relationships among members • Family-values ideology: assumes primacy of family structure: only one family structure adequate to raising of children and it can be individually chosen. Sociological theories of family • The political economy (Marxist and neo-marxist approach) • Structuralist approach • Symbolic-interactionist approach (baker: social constructionist) • Knezevic: relies on qualitative interviewing and field observation-NOT experiments. Social constructionism is a neo-marxist theory: actors’ power determines acceptance of their views. • Feminist theories • Post-modernist approaches (Baker: post-structuralism): focus o
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