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Inventing Family.docx

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Sociology 1020
Kim Luton

Family Basic Concept Social institution that unites people in cooperative groups to oversee the bearing and raising of children Kinship: A social bond based on blood, marriage or adoption Family Unit: Two or more people who are related by blood, adoption, marriage or some other form of extended commitment and who reside together (cohabitation) Nuclear Family (SNAF): 1 or 2 parents and their unmarried children. Most common. With increased industrialization and mobility, there is an increase in SNAF. Extended Family: Nuclear family plus other kin (e.g. immigrant family, Aboriginals, First Nations) Marriage: Agreed mating agreement, usually a ritual. Endogamy: Marriage between people of same social category (marrying within) Exogamy: Marriage between people of different social category (marring out) Propinquity: Spatial proximity (60% will marry someone within 20 blocks of you) Homogomy: People marry those like themselves regarding religion, ethnicity, education, etc. (think characteristics) Heterogamy: Marriage between people who are dissimilar “The World is your oyster” BUT… Each society governs norms/values, so our marriage choices are governed by social choices. Lone Parent Families - Since 80’s, lone-parent families are the fastest growing (cohabitation is 2 ) - 3.2% male vs. 12.7% female - 1951: Almost all widowed Now: 58% due to divorce & 20% due to never married parent - Lifetime probability  women = 34% vs. men = 23% - Females: o More likely to have lived in common-law relationships, had children earlier, and have less education than married women of same age o Double Disadvantage: Have to do it all: work + children’s needs o Most disadvantaged are those with no support, no education, and no working skills o “Feminization of Poverty”: 80% of females live below low-income family Structural-Functionalist - Society depends on families  Family is a key institution in society - Critique: o Glosses over diversities in family life o Only considers SNAF o Doesn’t look at negative aspects - The family performs vital tasks: 1. Socialization 2. Regulation of Sexual Activity  Kingsley Davis said marriage is important to maintain sexual behaviour 3. Social Placement  Everyone knows their status, and place in social hierarchy 4. Material and Emotional Security Social-Conflict Analysis - Family plays a role in social stratification - Family perpetuates social inequality: 1. Property and Inheritance:  1 generation to the next, maintains status hierarchy  Wealthy gets wealthier 2. Patriarchy:  Perpetuate gendered order  Male = Dominant vs. Women = Subordinate 3. Racial and Ethnic Inequality:  Society in terms of social forces encourages endogamy Symbolic Interactionism - Explores how individuals shape and experience family life - Family living offers an opportunity for intimacy - Family members share activities and build emotional bonds - Courtship and marriage may be seen as forms of negotiation - “The Best Deal” = Social Exchange theory - Family = Social Exchange 1/6 = heaven | 1/3 = average | 1/3 = good | 1/6 = hell Feminism - Family perpetrator of gender roles - Rethink notion that famillies in which no adult male is present are automatically a cause for concern - Better a child lives in lone-parent family with low conflict, than family with both parents and high conflict Future Change and Continuity - Marriage not likely to go out of style - Biggest Change: Liberation of gender roles and an unlinking of gender and caring - Women work and men care for children more - Within a decade, 2%-3% of births result of New Reproductive Technologies (NRT) “Test Tube Babies” - 62% of families are dual-earning - Not as gender bound as feminism make it out to be Descent System Descent: The way people trace kinship (who belongs, inheritance rights) over generations Bilateral: Descent traced through both mother’s and father’s side of family (  gender equality) Patrilineal: Descent is traced only to father’s side (legitimate son’s inheritance, resources, etc.) Matrilineal: Descent is traced only to mother’s side Residential Patterns Patrilocality: Married couples live with or near the husband’s family Matriolocality: Wife’s family Neolocality: Alone Marriage and Arrangement Marriage: A legally sanctioned relationship, usually involving economic cooperation as well as sexual activity and childbearing, that people expect to be enduring Marriage can be defined as a commitment and an ongoing exchange: - Commitment: Fairly explicitly contracts with rights & obligations - Ongoing Exchange: Growing interdependence - Expressive Exchanges: Emotional demand, intimacy of thoughts (builds) - Instrumental Exchanges: Task oriented dimension  work, providing for family, etc. Marriage Patterns - Monogamy: Most industrial societies prescribe this and only legal form in Canada - Serial Monogamy: Marry, divorce, remarry, etc. -
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