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soc103 chp11.docx

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Lorne Tepperman

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Chapter 11 - Families And Socialization - families are highly variable, more variable today than in the past. - norms for ‘family’ are changing rapidly and this social change and social diversity causes confusion. e.g. polygamy (more than 1 wife) and monogamy (only 1 wife). - today, people tend to postpone marriage to their 30s and have fewer children than a generation ago - Families also act as an social school teaching children how to behave and act properly. WAYS OF LOOKING AT FAMILY LIFE - functionalism - view the family as a central institution in society. - see family as a microcosm of society, with individual family members coming together in a unified and productive whole. - they expect changes in the family to mirror changes in the larger society. - in modern industrial society, family life is complicated, requiring more coordination and specialization. - Talcott Parsons and Robert Bales’s functionalism analysis - views family’s division of labour as the key to its success. - husband, father performs the role as a breadwinner, decision-maker, source of authority and leadership. - wife, mother performs the role as homemaker, nurturer, and emotional centre of the family. - Ronaldo Immerman and Wade Mackey - argues that almost all marriage systems across the world support monogamy. this reduces the number of sexual partners people have, hence limiting transmission of STDs, reducing unwanted births, etc. Monogamous societies tend to function better than communities that do not form pair bonding. Monogamy also increases the survival capacity of the community - Linda Waite - argues that cohabiting relationships are often less permanent, fail to provide the economic and psychological benefits that marriage offers to both participants, are less likely to draw support from extended families. - critical theories - do not look for universal truths about family life nor do they suppose certain forms fulfill social functions better than others - Take a historical approach and focus on political and economic changes in society to explain changes in family life. - due to industrialization, families moved from being self-sustaining productive units to consumption units. - symbolic interactionism - focus on the micro level of sociological phenomena. - study the ways members of a family interact with one another and the ways they resolve conflicts within the boundaries of their roles in the family. - social constructionists focus on the development and use of family ideologies such as the ‘family values’ promoted by right-wing religious leaders and conservative politicians in the US. - tries to channel hostility away from exploitive employers and unresponsive governments to people who are most in need of support and understanding. WAYS OF LOOKING AT SOCIALIZATION - 2 main views of how the socialization of children occurs - 1 associated with functionalist perspective - 1 with symbolic interactionists perspective - functionalists assert that socialization normally occurs from the top down, as children internalize social norms and learn to conform to the roles and expectations of society. - such top-down learning is necessary for society, since it creates social conformity and consensus. - the more people of society accept these norms and values, the more smoothly the society will function. - ideal society is characterized by social integration, which is an outcome of internalized behavioral expectations. - although this functional perspective has many criticisms - denied that people are completely shaped by norms and expectations of their society. - feminist also criticized on socialization, since it seems to assume that the differences (inequality) between men and women are natural and inevitable. - it also fails to address the evidence that a great deal of socialization is from bottom up, that is children teach themselves and one another. - Adorno has a different view of this perspective - strict, top down socialization may work well to produce conformity and conventionality but has undesirable by-products to this kind of socialization: anger, superstition, prejudice etc. - symbolic interactionist approach is the most widely accepted view of socialization in sociology, by Charles Cooley and George Mead - this approach notes that people participate in their own socialization, through social interaction. - interested in how a child develops a sense of self, and in the role of the family in this development. - Cooley believes children have the capacity for self-development, which they achieve through social interaction. - parents train the child through top-down, language, punishment etc. - children also self-evaluates through the looking-glass self, according to how others view them - Mead believes that self concept is made up of 2 components - I and ME - the I is one’s spontaneous, creative and unique self - ME is the self one develops for social purposes, by internalizing societal norms and values. e.g. you love singing. although you may sing in the shower, you are less likely to sing in the subway. the I part is that your self want to sing, the ME part is where you are socially conscious which conform to public expectations, hence not singing. - generalized other, is an individual’s notion of the attitudes and expectations of society at large. you take another person’s point of view before acting on something. e.g. when you imagine what other passengers on the subway might think if you suddenly burst into sining. - if a child reaches the generalized-other stage, the child must have already developed a self-concept and is now able to act in a socially approved manner. -> classic studies - world revolution and family patterns (Goode) - Goode examines the relationship between changing family patterns and industrialization. - draws attention to several major cross-cultural trends - family patters everywhere are moving towards the nuclear family model - nuclear family is a group that usually consist of father, mother, and their children living together. there are nor more than 3 relationships. Spouses, parents, and children. - family unit is smaller today - now it is a self-sustaining unit of production and consumption, separate from the larger kinship group. - parental authority over children has declined - increase in women’s rights hence husband control over wife is less. - change in social morals and values, greater acceptance to divorce, contraception, abortion, premarital sexual relationships. - these changes are attributable to the industrialization and urbanization of social life. - as family units are smaller, they become more flexible to adapt to the industrial changes. - housework, childcare became a ‘barrier’ to a complete takeover of family life by work. - although some extended families have persisted despite the industrialization. - extended families are multiple generations of relatives living together, or several adult siblings with their spouses and children who share a dwelling and resources. - goode also predicted that canadian families have become increasingly diverse. - also marriage rates in canada have been declining. IDEA OF FAMILY - some people may think those changes are signs of trouble as people are turning away from traditional responsibilities of marriage and parenthood. - in fact though, many canadians still take marriage and having children very seriously and is an important issue. - functionalist consider the family to be a social institution with one preferred structure, a structure that they believe meets the largest number of social requirements. - this traditional notion of family focuses on the legal obligations of family members, which contribute to the survival of society. e.g. reproducing population, supporting the work force etc. - in canada, extended families are common among newly arrived immigrants. - although they no longer share a household with extended family members, they often live close by but rely heavily on one another. this type of family arrangement is a modified extended family. - census family is a household that include 2 spouses with or without never-married children, or a single parent with one or more never married children. - we have traditionally assumed that social units that meet the formal or structural requirements, for survival. - 2 problems wi
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