Families

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Published on 2 Jul 2011
School
UTSG
Department
Sociology
Course
SOC103H1
Professor
Topic 4 t Families (Week 4 Lecture + NS Chp 10 + SIQ Chp 18-19)
z A family is:
-- constituted by source of contention;
-- important agent of socialization;
-- leading role in shaping the habitus
z Nuclear Family VS Traditional Nuclear Family
-- Nuclear Family: -- composed of a cohabiting man and woman;
-- socially approved sexual relationship
-- have at least one child.
-- Traditional Nuclear Family: -- On top of a nuclear family, the wife performs free domestic labor while
the husband works outside for money.
-- Based on a gendered division of labor.
-- This form of family is in decline.
z Traditional nuclear family is criticized by sociologists as heteronormativity: a set of interrelated ideas
about the traditional nuclear family:
1) heterosexuality is normal and superior to homosexuality;
2) heterosexual monogamous marriage is normal and superior than any other form of marriage;
3) women[s natural roles are to bear children and do free domestic labor;
men[s natural roles are to provide for and protect his family
z 1940s -50s:
-- Traditional Nuclear Family is the ^ideal_ type of family;
-- working women are total disaster; stay-home mom is more socially accepted;
-- e.g. 1950s High School Home Economics Textbook teaching girls how to be wives:
^prepare yourself before his arrival; a warm 3-course meal is what he is neededY..his boring day
needs a liftYYeliminate all noises before his arrivalYwarm smileY.be happy to see himY.prepare
the childrenY._ ^don[t greet him at the doorYdon[t complain if he is late for dinnerY.. arrange his
pillow and take off his shoeYsoothing and pleasant voiceY.make the evening hisYtry understand
his pressureYthe goal is to make your place peace and clean and your husband can relaxY._
z Growing Diversity of Canadian Families (from 1981 - 2006)
1) non-marriage population increases from 16.9% to 31.3%;
2) nuclear family (traditional) decreases from more than half to about one third
z Functionalists argue five functions about family:
1) Sexual regulation
-- define and set boundary legitimate sex;
-- make life orderly; prescribe sex regarding to when, where, with whom;
2) Economic cooperation
-- men are stronger; specialize in lumbering, land clearing, mining, hunt, trade;
-- women are physically weaker; specialize in lighter tasks that are closer to home: gathering food,
making and preparing clothes, caring children.
-- labor division and trade result in more goods to be consumed; the family is better off.
3) Reproduction
-- children are investment of the future;
-- children are of economic value to the family (do chore)
4) Socialization
-- teaching children languages, religions etc.
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-- influence within family members
5) Emotional support (Parsons)
tprovide companionship, love;
--mothers/wives are the main providers and have primary expressive role;
--fathers/husbands have instrumental roles which include earning & protecting.
George P. Murdock (1949):
^Nuclear family is a distinct and functional group in every society, and in every way based on marriage._
z Statistics and its Trends
1) Crude Divorce Rate
-- number of divorces that occur in a year for every 1000 people in the population;
-- Crude Divorce Rate increases and decreases again;
-- 70% of all divorces are initiated by women;
2) Crude Marriage Rate:
-- number of marriages that occur in a year for every 1000 people in the population;
-- highest in 1941 (WWII open more job opportunities & avoiding possible conscription)
-- decreases since then
3) Total Fertility Rate:
-- Average number of children born to women of the same age over their lifetime;
-- steady decrease after 1950s;
4) Replacement Rate:
-- number of children each woman must have on average for population size to remain constant
(excluding immigration and emigration)
-- replacement rate = 2.1
z Growing unhappiness of women (decreasing fertility and marriage rate; increasing divorce rate)
-- t}uv[ increasing dissatisfaction in the traditional nuclear family
-- Rosie ^the Riveter_: working women in WWII want to continue working; in truth many of these
women were fired to make room for the returning soldiers, which led many women to be unhappy
z Problems with Nuclear Family:
-- During 1950s (immediate Post WWII Period) nuclear family boomed because:
-- people just want to settle down after the huge war;
-- government supports nuclear family by welfare program, job program and health care program;
-- people marry younger; having more babies
-- 1950s are the period when Functionalists had the great dominance of;
-- But functionalists generalize too quickly, in the times where they know the best, 1950s
-- Problems appear as the stats show:
-- many families were simply too poor to maintain the nuclear family: women also have to work to
support the family;
z Sociologists began to look at the questions in two ways:
1) Conflict approach (Marxism/Marx)
-- Traditional family are signs of social inequality and conflicts;
-- Inequality in the family are results of class inequality and capitalism.
-- Inequality in the family include husband[ economic control and sexual control;
-- Friedrich Engels: Nuclear family and marriage emerges at a very economic situation --- uv[P
-- Transformation and Evolution of Human Family: (how it provides with food, protection, clothes)
-- Hunting and Gathering: -- move from places to places;
-- not a lot of accumulated private wealth for individual person;
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Document Summary

Topic 4 j families (week 4 lecture + ns chp 10 + siq chp 18-19) - nuclear family: -- composed of a cohabiting man and woman; - traditional nuclear family: -- on top of a nuclear family, the wife performs free domestic labor while the husband works outside for money. - based on a gendered division of labor. - this form of family is in decline. - traditional nuclear family is the ideal type of family; - working women are total disaster; stay-home mom is more socially accepted; - e. g. 1950s high school home economics textbook teaching girls how to be wives:  growing diversity of canadian families (from 1981 - 2006: non-marriage population increases from 16. 9% to 31. 3%, nuclear family (traditional) decreases from more than half to about one third.  functionalists argue five functions about family: sexual regulation. - make life orderly; prescribe sex regarding to when, where, with whom: economic cooperation.