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Socio Family.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Ali Zaidi

Lecture 6 – Family Nuclear family: -cohabitating man and woman who have an appropriate sexual relationship and have at least 2 children -wife works at home and husband works outside of home and is the primary source of income (traditional) - there has been a decrease in the nuclear family since the 1940’s -many moral entrepreneurs: -moral entrepreneur = someone who makes a living telling society that it’s falling apart because it’s taking an immoral direction -the family is changing and shifting away from the traditional nuclear family -marriage rate is decreasing -divorce rates have been stable for decades but it is very high (~40-50%) -since the 1950s, divorce is 50% more often than not -marital breakdown combined with an increase in the number of children born outside of marriage (illegitimate) -means more divorces, fewer getting married, shift away from the nuclear family, 50% of children today will spend some time in a single parent set up -a bit harder on boys than girls because single parent families are mostly led by females -boys need fathers -if not, there is a greater likelihood for them to do poorly in school and get into trouble South Africa: -in one of the national parks male elephants became more numerous -they shot the bull elephants -the young male elephants became rogue elephants because there were no older ones to keep them in line -may be a combination of nature vs. nurture -the family is also changing -17% married with children -13.9% lone parents 200630% married without children 39% married with children -common law is creeping in (people who live together but don’t get married) -blended families: -man gets divorced and gets custody of his kids -woman gets divorced and has her kids -they get married and blend their families together 1950s traditional nuclear family was called the Cleavor model (refers to an old sitcom – husband, wife, 2 boys) -there was a husband who worked, a wife who stayed at home and did housework and looked after the kids -it was the first and only marriage for both -therefore this is the traditional nuclear family -today, the traditional nuclear family is a minority family type in Canadian households -many people say the family is the fundamental unit of society and that social health depends on the family - controversy: the traditional nuclear family reproduces the class hierarchy, and has been unfriendly to women Theoretical outlooks on family: -the family performs several functions -from functional analysis: -responsible for regulating sexual activity: what is legitimate and permitted -economic cooperation: in the past men were stronger and women were incapacitated when pregnant -reproduction: in the past, having children was you old age security -in the past, if you had lots of children, when you get old they will look after you -thus, there was an economic incentive to have kids - there’s a tendency now not to look after their parents when they get old – just put them in an old age home -socialization -emotion support Socialization: -family is the first and most important source of primary socialization -parents teach their children how to integrate into society and how to contribute to society, while looking after themselves - sometimes parents have a hard time with this when their kids reach their teenage years and start to become more independent, and parents become a bit scared -sometimes children socialize their parents -siblings socialize each other (especially older brothers and sisters) -all of this comes free of charge to society Regulation of sex activity: -every culture does this -marriage is encouraged in order to maintain kinship organization with extended family - kinship organization/network = aunt’s uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. -the fundamental unit of any kinship network is the family -the transmission of property is part of the family -the incest taboo forbids sexual relations or marriage between certain kin -some variation in this cross-culturally -some break it under some special circumstances Matrilineal Navajo: -Navajo = aboringinal people, first nations people in America, located in Arizona and New Mexico - Matrilineal = traces descent through the mother’s line -Matrilineal Navajo say that sexual relations with any of the mother’s relatives is forbidden -Canada has a bilateral system -we trace descent through both mother and father - for us, the incest taboo applies to both sides -Patralineal = trace descent through the father -bilateraltaboo on both sides but more on close family like aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings - Inca (Mexican), Hawaiian, ancient Egypt – permitted brother and sister marriage Hawaii: nobility – brother and sister marriage – wanted to keep royal lineage Ancient Egypt: - same thing - brother/sister marriage permitted in the royal family Inca: -violate incest taboo -in Mexico -when Europeans (notably the Spanish) arrived they destroyed society - Inca civilization permitted brother/sister marriages, especially in leading families – intended to keep the royal family pure Why do we have this regulation of sexual activity?  probably both nature and nurture are involved - Nature - the incest taboo rules out the possibility of recessive genes becoming too frequent - recessive gene: a gene that transmits an undesirable trait -in order for the trait to be expressed, both mother and father have to possess it (need to inherit the same recessive gene from both parents) -therefore, you’re more likely to get it when you marry a close relative Hybrid Vigour: people that marry other people (unrelated) - children tend to be more healthy - Nurture - prohibition minimizes/reduces sexual competition in the family - sexual regulation defines kinship rights and obligations, and it prevents the family from collapsing into chaos (a social reason) - another social reason – the incest taboo forces people to marry outside of family and form alliances with other groups (therefore, more likely to survive) – doesn’t apply as much nowadays -ex. in tribal and agricultural societies -marrying outside of family led to broader alliances Social placement: -the family is not biologically necessary for people to reproduce -pair bond  both male and female stick around and raise their young -therefore if two people are doing it, it will be more successful than if only one -fairly common in animal species as well as in humans -the family isn’t biologically necessary for reproduction, but it helps reproduction and makes it more successful - the family provides social placement -social identity is transferred from parents to children -social identity can also be based on race, ethnicity, religion, social class -these are given to you at birth through the family -thus there is a preference for “legitimate birth” -it provides a stable platform for transmitting social identity (knowing who they come from) -also important in terms of inheritance rights – parent property is passed on to their children Material and Economic security: -we often find that the rest of the world doesn’t care about you but when push comes to shove the family provides financial support, physical protection, and emotional support -therefore they will help when no one else will - the family is also a place of violence and conflict (paradox) – the family as a paradox - domestic violence Health: - people who live in families live longer (especially men) -unmarried men live ~8 years less -therefore, the family is a paradox -it will do things for you in times of crisis but it can also be a violent place to live Economic cooperation: -families pool their resources -parents throw their resources together -they support their children -on occasion, children support their aging parents -men share their income with their wife and vice versa -sexual division of labourcomplimentarity; men and women complement each other -not as much today as in the past – this was more frequent in the past, before technology -in agrarian past, the sexual division of labour had more complemetarity to it -one of the reasons why nuclear families are not as complementary is because women don’t need men as much -even today, women tend to do lighter, more domestic work whereas men do less frequent strength jobs (ie. shovelling the driveway) -Functionalism and various aspects of functionalism: -several dimensions of socialization -regulation of sexual activity -social placement -material and emotional security Economic cooperation: -family is a place where you find particularism and affect (the family provides emotional support) as said by Parsons -there are rewards of affect when raising children -the family is based on emotions -people within the family relate to each other emotionally -therefore, the family is different from the larger society -family is treated differently and given better treatment -the larger society is treated with universalism/impersonality – in the wider world, you’re treated with more impersonality -the family pools their resources and the parents support their children -relationships between parents (especially mothers) and their children are very close -mothers can divorce their husbands and never see them again but the children and their mothers usually don’t break up -parents support children emotionally, physically, and materially -sometimes children support their parents in old age – not as common in modern societies as it is in traditional societies -there is also sexual division of labour – men did strength work that women couldn’t do; the introduction of appliances eliminated this division -not as important as it used to be -with the introduction of modern appliances, the difference between the strength of men and women is not as important -complementaritydivision of labour; men and women do certain work, and that work complements each other Critical evaluation: -the functional approach tends to overlook the diversity of family life -the critics say other institutions can play the same role as the family -the functional approach also tends to overlook the problems of married life -ex. violence and conflict is also common in the family -the family is a paradox (has both positive and negative characteristics) -functionalists tend to emphasize the positive -ex. Japan in 1970 -20% of Japanese women haven’t married by the age of 30 -today, 40% of Japanese women haven’t married by the age of 30 Why? – Many people say because of Patriarchy; the Japanese family is more patriarchal than the typical North American family -North America is not so patriarchal -the marriage rate is going down here as well (NA) -poor people decide to stay single -women want to pursue their career -there is also the option of in vitro fertilization -men are not as inclined to marriage as they once were, because they say family law is biased against men -men are denied visitation rights etc. -some men try to get around this by pre-nups -a pre-nuptial agreement in which if divorce takes place, you divide the assets according to the pre-nup - even pre-nups are falling into trouble becase some people hide their assets Conflict and feminist theorist approach to the family: - feminist and conflict theorists are critical of the family - a theoretical approach that looks at the way family life perpetuates inequality = the social reproduction of inequality -the family is a situation in which inequality is inherited, and people who are born into a poor family are more likely to remain poor -people inherit the social standing of their parents (although there can be some upward mobility) -Engle’s book: the origins of the family - Engel says that the origin of the family arose out of the need of higher class men who wanted to transmit their property to their sons - the family concentrates wealth and reproduces/creates a class structure for generations to follow -functionalist say the family gives people an identity and that people need an identity -conflict theorists say that part of this identity is economic, and what the family does is perpetuate economic inequality - a 2 defect with the family, according to conflict and feminist theory, is patriarchy - the family promotes patriarchy - men can identify their heir’s through the sexual control of women - the family transforms women into the economic and sexual property of men - this refers to the traditional nuclear family - a century ago, the wife belonged to the husband - today it is said that women still bear the major responsibility of child and housework - Canadian women with at least 1 child spend at least 5.3 hours of housework per day, husbands spend 3 hours per day rd - the 3 problem with families: the family perpetuates racial and ethnic categories - these persist over time because people tend to marry other people like themselves - it’s true that people do tend to marry within their group (called endogamy) - marrying outside your group = exogamy - in a multicultural society like Canada, there are trends towards more intermarriage - Japanese Canadians – about 50% of them have intermarried - this also applies to Jewish people – many are intermarried - some Euro Canadians as well Critique of Conflict and Feminist Theories - a family has many faults, according to the conflict and feminist approach - one criticism: when the communist revolution took place in the Soviet Union, it abolished the family - they had to reinstate it because things didn’t work out (children were out of control, etc.) - the family is extremely important when it comes to socializing children - another criticism: has to do with the notion that the family perpetuates racial and ethnic hierarchies - feminists and conflict theorists see this as negative - then how do they square that with their approval and support of multiculturalism, which is based on the retention on racial and ethnic and country of origin identities – when you take a position, you have to be consistent with your ideas, can’t be contradictory - a problem is the patriarchy argument in connection with
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