Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (620,000)
UTSG (50,000)
SOC (3,000)
prof. (3)

SOC246H1 Lecture Notes - Alvin Ward Gouldner, Ibm 7070, 18 Months

Course Code

This preview shows pages 1-2. to view the full 6 pages of the document.
Sociology of Aging
Winter 2012
Week 7 Class Notes: Aging and Families
I. Introduction Aging and Families
“The family, as a fundamental social institution, influences daily life and life chances through the life course.” –
McPherson and Wister (2008), pg. 263,
Aging as a Social Process
Families are unique as social institutions in that they are fundamentally age-integrative
Defining “family” is a notoriously tricky task.
compositional definitions
e.g., The Canada census definition of family:
“A married couple and the children, if any, of either or both spouses; a couple living common law and
the children, if any, of either or both partners; or, a lone parent of any marital status with at least one
child living in the same dwelling and that child or those children. All members of a particular census
family live in the same dwelling. A couple may be of opposite or same sex. Children may be children by
birth, marriage or adoption regardless of their age or marital status as long as they live in the dwelling
and do not have their own spouse or child living in the dwelling. Grandchildren living with their
grandparent(s) but with no parents present also constitute a census family.”
Social scientists often see clear limitations of a narrow compositional idea of families:
functional definitions
“A unit of intimate, transacting, and interdependent persons
- who share some values, goals, resources for decisions and …

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

- who have commitment to one another over time
e.g., “The intimate group in which reproduction, socialization of the young, economic cooperation, and
social status placement occur.”
II. Emerging Trends in Kinship Structures
1. Kinship system has become longer (
beanpole families
“vertical extension” but “horizontal shrinkage”)
2. Shift from an age-condensed structure to an age-gapped structure in many extended families
3. More truncated families
4. Increasing number of blended or reconstituted family after remarriage
III. Norms and Expectations of Intergenerational Kinship Relationships
Norms of intergenerational family life…
(a) Depend on the family roles in question (e.g., norms for spousal relations differ for relations between
parents and children)
(b) Vary by social class, ethnicity, region, and other relevant basic social factors
(c) May vary between specific families
(d) Change over historical time
Key norms related to intergenerational kinship relationships
Figure adapted from Morgan, Leslie A. and Suzanne R. Kunkel,
Aging, Society, and the Life Course
, 2007, NY: Springer
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version