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Lecture 1 - Sept. 13.docx

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Bonnie Fox

SOC214F Family Patterns September 13, 2011- Week 1: Introduction to the course Office hours - Tuesday 3:30-4:30 or Thursday 2-3 First Assignment- 5 page – summarizing a week’s readings Test #1– identify main argument in each reading, common multiple choice questions (answer question according to this writer…know writers and what they said) Second Assignment- more creative, used 3 times, do an interview with someone who has experienced immigration to Canada- but as sociology student use a set of given questions to pull out story- what was family like before in country they came from? And what is family like now? How did they get jobs etc. – write a brief 5 page report on it… do some analysis at the end Final Exam- during exam period Starting point- we are living in a time of change in terms of family patterns Past few decades has seen substantial change in families- there is considerable diversity in family patterns and types of families- DIVERSITY is Fox’s starting point which raises many questions Statistics about diversity: Of families: - 35% are married couples living with children less than 24 years old - 34% are married couples without children at home o Surprising it is only 35% since it is our ideal image of a “family” - 7% are cohabiting couples living with children under 24 - 9% are cohabiting couples without children at home - 12% are lone parents living with children less than 24 - 3.5% are lone parents with older children not living at home Point: Family diversity Where are the kids living? – Of children 14 years and under: - 66% live with 2 married parents (though some are step parents) 1 - 14% live with cohabiting parents - 18% live with one parent Cohabitation: the expectation is that fewer than half of Canadians will marry by age 50 (and only about 1/3 of Quebeckers) A new phenomenon… – Marriage? IS it a dying institution since cohabitation is becoming more popular in recent times? - Are these relationships different than marriages? Lone parents: The probability of marriage ending in divorce is about 38%. It is estimated that about 20% of children will experience parents’ separation by age 15. More of us are living as singles into adulthood. This is not a new phenomenon… the reason has changed, the main reason 100 years ago for lone parents was partner died or abandoned partner. The divorce now has become primary producer of single parents. So what about divorce? Diversity is not a problem but a starting point, something interesting to study 2 reactions to family diversity - nuclear family- a nuclear family based on heterosexual couple is bedrock of society and we are in the middle of a crisis (this is a minority reaction) So some people assume that is the only real and natural family. The other reaction has been there are advantages and disadvantages in every family and has been, if you look at the research we know something about challenges living in all these various families. (#2- This is neither bad nor good, if we research we can find something about different kinds of families- what they offer parents/children) IS diversity adequately supported by government poli
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