Thursday, October 6, 2012
Lecture # 6 – Social Analysis on Families
SOCI 1010 – Introduction to Sociology
Family is a Social Institution
- Regulation of Sexual Activity
- Maintenance and Support
- Heterosexual family…Norm. Lone parent, same-sex…Abnormal/dysfunctional/deviant.
- Family breakdown is a primary social problem – Leads to secondary social problems
including crime, poverty, and substance abuse.
- Caused by rapid social change and social disorganization.
- Influence of Social class and Power.
- Unequal power part of the problem of domestic violence.
- Marriage –An institution to protect property.
- Male dominance.
- Wives as property.
- Unequal distribution of wealth and income.
- Sexual division of labor.
- Family policy and social programs shaped by and serve the interest of the powerful and
- Corporate interests often conflict with needs of families.
Symbolic Interactional Perspective:
- Human behavior dependent on meanings and definitions emerging from social interaction.
- As social meanings change, behavior changes.
(UP) Removal of stigma, social acceptance – Increased divorce rates
(DOWN) Stigma and Social sanctions = Low divorce rates Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: A concept referring to the tendency for people to act in a manner consistent
with the exception of others.
- Labeling affects the family
- Visitation rights: Divorced Dads see themselves as visitors to their children.
- Father’s rights advocates suggest replacing with terms “parenting plan” or “time-sharing
Useful perspective for understanding family violence:
- Emotional abuse: Often involves using negative labels (e.g. “stupid”, “whore”, “bad”) to
define a partner or family member. Such labels negatively affect the self-concept of abuse
victims, often convincing them that they deserve the abuse