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Lecture Notes

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October 12th 2010
What is family? A source of contention
They have leading role of shaping the habitus
Different kinds of families:
Nuclear family:
Traditional family
In north American traditional nuclear family is an ideology cause is a set of ideas built in to the
concept of tradition
Heteronormativity: ideology that we often dont question has there components (slides)
Only minority of American adults live in these forms of families, new families have erupted
Conservative argument: decline of nuclear traditional families have benefitted men women and
children, economic and political views
Rise of working women
Functionalism : For any society to survive, there are five functionalist a family must do: sexual
regulation…refer to slides
George Murdas : 1940s Nuclear family is known family for society in every society, saw that
nuclear family was based on marriage
Sexual Regulation: why ? In orderly social life is impossible without sexual regulation, marriage
prescribes sexual activity…if we didnt have this everyone would screw everyone
Economic Cooperation: Women weaker than men, tasks include cooking, cleaning, laundry, men
like superior work, specialize lumbering, land clearing, house building, this division of labour
enables more goods and services to be produced, optimizing time
Reproduction: before contraception sex often enough results in birth, functionalist: children do
chores, economic value matures, parents become old support parents
Socialization: investment in children, teaching children rules, skills, religions
Emotional Support: Providing emotional support, PARSONS one of the Functionalists: primary
function was love affection, in nuclear family is the mother who has to ensure the emotional well-
being, wifes: EXPRESSIVE ROLE, nurses children. Husband: INSTURMENTAL ROLE
earning living, caring protecting family
Depression WW2: postpone marriage because of poverty, when this passed everyone wanted to
settle down, have children, secure family,
Immediate post war era: incredible prosperity, government assistant programs (1940s-50s),
allowances, people got married more, more children, less divorce, middle class women engaged in
orgy in domesticity: is how to become a good wife, concerned with providing love and
However, ^ meaning before and after it, we dont see the nuclear family as the predominate family
Throughout 19th century, crude divorce rate increased, raised in 1960s
1941: a lot of people got married
Crude fertility rate has declined: bounces up post world war 2 era,
1950s: Looking back today, functionalists and conservatives: era knew best was 1950s
Gradually weakening family form
Women report higher rates of depression
Rosie the riveter: women who supported war effort, worked in industry to help country, work
assembly lines, planted crops, cut down giant trees, universally praised, many did not want to
leave this job when war was over, management fired most of these women or downgraded them to
make room for returning soldiers…key historical event, led women to be unhappy in nuclear
families, many families too poor
Two approaches came important: Conflict approach and feminist approach/ work together
Conflict: Marxist: traditional nuclear families base of social inequality ENGELES argued
nuclear families produced out of mens breed, if you look at the evolution of human families how
it provided the essential of life, food clothing …
Hunter gatherers =nomadic, followed food and seasons, no private wealth, accumulation of
private wealth could not occur, individual people cant acquire wealth
Agricultural society: people settle down, stop moving around, begin ti accumulate private wealth,
once an individual have more goods than another family, interest of the wealthier family to protect
the private wealth, cheap ways men became concerned to hide wealth: protect that wealth, how it
would be transferred when the men die inheritance, father wants to make sure the wealth is sent
to his children; traditional nuclear family, men could ensure there life would be passed to their
children. (BY ENGELES)
Father right/Mother right: Theres a reason why she took his last name not hers ,because marriage
is a contraction ownership, wives are the property of husbands ad by enlarge he could do anything
he wanted with her, as well any money wife earned belonged to her husband…history of marriage
Fifty years ago, women could not get a loan or rent a car without a man
25 years ago no such thing as marital rape
Monogamy is love: he doesnt love you just want to own you (ENGELES)
Feminists: looked at nuclear family not only is a husband is interested in preserving his
property to his children, but a husband thrives when a women does household work for free,
monogamous marriage have ensure that as long women do domestic work for free, then men have
a best way of maintaining a nuclear family. Some Marxist :capitalism itself in north America has
built on the backs of womens free domestic work, men be free to work and be in politics
Feminists: even way before capitalism its also true that patriarchy exist before private property
contrary to ENGELES
Patriarchy: men control society and are in charge
How families changed: Most dramatic change, women have entered the labour force, has effected
Relations between men and women change when women work
Women work outside home, generate source of income, no longer depend on the husband, birth
control pills in 1960s made it easier for child birth, time when you had sex youd have children
every few years
A married women with a job outside home is less tied to her husband, dissatisfied with husband,
women with economic status can leave their husbands, new power, law has changed makes
divorce more easy and divide property equally
Divorce: 40 percent end in divorce, women divorce not men…
Successful marriage: fives bases of marital satisfaction