nov 28 making families.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Women and Gender Studies
June Larkin

MAKING FAMILIES - Definitions - Normative families - Regulation - Historicizing - The smallest building block of society - Household vs family Household  Commensality (eat together)  Co-residentiality  Pool resources (money, food, caring for children)  Not everyone related Family (popular understandings)  Kinship relations  Socially acknowledged/approved sexual union between two adult individuals  Fictive kin – people who have become “like family”  Primary way in which members are included in a household Vertical extended family = nuclear family + other generations Horizontally extended = aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, etc Normative  A standard or pattern or type  The nuclear family  “counting” which type of family counts?  Statistical dominance – most familes are heterosexual couple families in Canada  Sets the standards/rules of behaviour - Enforced through entertainment - Increasing diversity in terms of Canadian studies Having a family, being married is a sign of a good politician, someone to lead the country? – harper - Society’s expectations of women: be mothers, take care of children only - Stereotypes disclose society’s expectations of what people should be like - Women to remain in home, be self-sacrificing, consequences of any expression of female autonomy, legally sanctioned heterosexual relations only sanctioned expression of desire, burden of proof is heavier than for men and always on women - Statistical dominance of nuclear family – related to the organization of our society in ways that offer the greatest rewards to such families, other types of families penalized. Do we like organizing ourselves in this way naturally, or is it because of the incentives to live in a nuclear family, and penalties of various sorts for people who don’t comply?
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