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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 Oct 25.docx

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Bonnie Fox

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Sociology 214H1F Family Patterns Week 7: Creating an Ideal: Companionate Marriage & the Reality of 1950s Families Assignment- point of getting two families in 2 different contexts and show they have changed - Today look at 1950s the family we all assume. Nostalgia about 50s. Prior though we will talk about early 20 century, cannot just skip to 1950s. I. The early 20 t-century: social forces that helped create an ideal of love-based, companionate marriage +we will be sexually fulfilled in this relationship (active sexuality for men and women) + HAPPINESS - Important new image of marriage that developed in the 20 century th Last week: marriage based on love, developed over several centuries, and looked at the CAUSES which are CRUCIAL- EXAM QUESTION - Notion of home as a haven (domestic ideals) - Gender and separate spheres - Modern ideas of motherhood = these ideas did not naturally evolve over time, these ideas were socially produces, products of a particular history, they did not just happen!!! - There have always been people who have lived outside the norm, through that 19 century- 20 century history, there have always been people who do not subscribe to ideas: Ex: those living single lives (30% of women in Europe never married), same-sex partners, living in larger communities, women resisted restraints of marriage, women avoided motherhood. = people who lived differently. - Vast majority of 1950s 90% of Canadians got married as adults mass ideal, most people adopted conventional gender roles, so separate spheres, these ideas came into realization in the 1950s. - Early 20 century this idea is pretty new- An idea of marriage based on love, partners should be companions, with such a word we think equals - Also new in early 20 century- part of marriage, is that active sexuality will be implicit in what one wants in marriage, that came to be part of the ideal th - 18 century and Tilly and Scott- they said the only way for a women to achthve a measure of economic security and adult status was to marry 17 century this was the only way for women to not be dependent and thus be an adult in society, it was not about marrying for the sake of happiness then, it was about becoming an adult! - SO WHY DID THESE ADD-ONS HAPPEN? (notion of companionship, active sexuality etc.) We will assume that people are not naturally drawn to marriage. - 20 century evidence- there were some groups in US and Canada who worked hard to convince people that marriage was the way to go and orient self as adult, selling marriage they create additional images of what it should be. - So why were people working hard to convince others marriage was what should be invested in? Why did people promote marriage? = General sense of anxiety in early part of 20 century coming from: changing status of women (below point #1 under section A.) from mid 19thcentury on, women were winning important legal battles Cohen article) and had won right to own property, control any additional property or money acquired (by 1907 in every province in Canada women had these rights) in marriage (Quebec and Alberta were the only exceptions) o By the early 20 century they won admission to university 1988, won access to medical school, and carved out suitable jobs for women (clerical work, nursing, telephone operators etc.) o With these changes, women began to get a sense of own abilities and notions of equality emerged in air, womens rights movement o WWI this was solidified when there was a shorter of workers, so more jobs for women o New Day- new set of possibilities for women this generation of middle class girls now have a choice of getting married or live a life as a single women pursuing a career (presented in stories etc.) - Such equality raised anxiety for certain sectors- fear this new generation may abandon families, abandon role of mother and wife! response to this fear (Ellen Richards first PHD at Harvard founded a whole discipline called Home Economic and did it to raise the status of housework and child-care, she was afraid women would not take on these roles so thought if we could talk and create propaganda to know housework, know economics to balance household budget, this is skilled work we will need to train you) Home Economics implemented into high-school - THUS THIS WAS ONE RESPONSE to womens equality fear - Another section where there was fear was among men- - #2) a) BACKLASH among men creation in early 20 century of all male organizations starting with the Boy Scouts- to make boys into men and also all men fraternal organizations. Historians think this was a reaction to women possibly being equal to men. th - B) Men also had anxiety due to a self-identified gay community late 19 century- what began to happen on both sides of Atlantic was that single men flocked into towns and cities to work b/c end of family economy. This is the beginning of single people being able to live on their own, not in anothers family, servant etc. o With this kind of liberation, living outside of family, we think gay men could self-identify and congregate in open areas. o They began to see themselves as different, we are different mentality o Sex experts classified peoples sexual behaviour o Same-sex classified as deviant and sick o What is important about this is that there developed a notion that sexual practices said who you were- and word homo sexual developed in late 19thcentury, same with heterosexual new words and new idea that depending on your sexual practices, that was a symbol or clue to what your nature was o Point is that with visibility of gay community insecurities of gay men th surfaced early 20 century evidence we see beginning notions of heterosexuality as badge of manhood as opposed to being those other men thus opposition between gay and straight becomes central to the idea of masculinity.C) 3 source of anxiety among men is growth of white collared work. 1800s had been manual work. Manual jobs were central to ones identity seen to be masculine job due to nature of the job. So with development of white collar jobs- these are emasculating work, feminine work, typewriters etc. thus anxiety around this white-collar work as emasculating = this period of time was a source of anxiety 3) WORRIES ABOUT THE FAMILY- birth rates were going down; divorce rates were going up in early 1900s. Strong current known as eugenics movement (notion of different races out there and some being superior- Ex. Nazi Germany Canada called it Social Purity Movement a racist reaction inthtates especially to immigration due to different sources of immigration early 20 century had dominant current of immigration concern whites were lowering birth rates and if immigration increases, percentage of whites would go down) both in US and Canada - in social purity movement they were weary of working class neighbourhoods- urban crime was historical social phenomenon, prostitution made people crazy - all of these things were reacted to with reform movements by protestant church leaders in movement known as Social Purity- they said problem with the city was that there was a moral weakness and failure in the sinful people. (Moral Failing- thus fears about THE FAMILY) - The Family is a place where we are supposed to
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