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Sociology of the Family

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University of Toronto St. George
Adam Green

Sociology of the Family – January 30th, 2013 • Nuclear family - composed of a cohabiting man and woman who maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and have at least one child • Traditional - the wife performs free domestic labor while the husband works outside the home for money; this family form is based on a gendered division of labour • Heteronormativity ◦ A set of interrelated ideas about the traditional nuclear family, including: ▪ a) the idea of that heterosexuality is normal and morally superior to homosexuality ▪ b) that heterosexual monogamous marriage is normal and morally superior to any other kind of family arrangement ▪ c) that a woman's natural role in life is to bear children tin marriage and do the domestic labor of the household; a man's natural role s to provide for and protect his family • Functionalism ◦ The Five Functions of Families ▪ Sexual regulation ▪ Our world requires institutions that define the boundaries for legitimate sexual activity ▪ Society as a consequence provide sanctions for those who break these boundaries ▪ Economic cooperation ▪ Based on the notion of natural gender differences; cooperation of the division of labor when women/men specialize in what they're good at ▪ Women are responsible for caring for the home; cooking, taking care of the children, general household duties ▪ Because men have superior strength men should be in the labor force hunting, fishing, building, etc. ▪ Reproduction ▪ Children add economic value to the family, this will only increase as the children become older
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