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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 Is he Nuclear Family Universal?

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC214H1
Professor
Bonnie Fox
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 3 SOC 214 Sept 27, 2011 Is the Nuclear Family Universal? Cross- cultural Patterns, and a description of Foraging Societies -nuclear: two adults and children -historical materialism --> family is a product of social history, not biology -evolutionary psychology --> biology determines certain behaviour --> prof: wrong, too simplistic, but a popular approach -social explanations for behaviour are much clearer --> custom, institution, I. Cross-cultural Evidence on Family Patterns A. our common-sense assumptions about gender and family -it would SEEM that nuclear families are natural --> gender roles B. the evidence on the range of human socitieties F.Edholm's summary -Edholm: don't see any fact showing nuclear families are natural -facts of human reproductivity are irrelevant 1) conception and sex: understanding the relationship? -many cultures didnt know/believe sex led to pregnancy 2) the mother-child-relaitonsihp- not always close -not true: women know how to take care about babies naturally... bodies responds.. -women are actually confused -in toronto, the first thing a women does when they're pregnant is to buy a how-to book 3) fatherhood- biological vs social -sometimes fathers are more responsive to the baby than the mothers -fatherhood= socially defined 4) marriage - different forms -monogomy is less than common 5) household - diverse compositions -nuclear household are usually embedded in a larger family 6) incest- variable -not universal -marrying counsins... keep the land/money within the family -there's nothing univseral about family patterns, they're different in different cultures -btwn 95-99% of human history was spent living if foraging societies -Jesuit notebooks are handwritten daily records written by J missionaries --> J were to civilize the natives, change their ways of living II. Foraging Societies (Hunters and Gatherers) Evidence: !Kung San, Botswana, Africa Montagnais-Haskapi, Labrador and Newfoundland, Canada Pygimes, Zaire A. General organization: small groups (10-50ppl) --> these people get along well tgt, don't necessarily have to be blood related >ppl come and go in these groups -nomadic: living off resources in the area, once used up they move to other areas with more resources >these ppl virtually have no private property/no poessesion >they can only carry things they can carry it on their back >native culture didnt even have a SENSE of private prooperyty B. Organization of production 1) no storage or surplus so a need to organize a regular basis to acquire necessary food 2) simple technology 3) simple, non-rigid division
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