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2u06 final exam review .doc

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Elena Neiterman

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Sociology 2u06  EXAM: Monday Dec. 13 12:30 pm (MDCL 1305/1307)  25%, 40 points in total: 20 MC, 10 TF, 2 Short answers (5/each)  Mitchell: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8  Fox: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 21,22, 23, 24, 27 (traditional way of research = scientific method; deductive approach ->theory then develops hypotheses - quantitative, numbers, surveys or there’s inductive – observations then qualititave research) Defining families  History of sociology of the family  Contested definitions, who is defining family and why Family not families. - Scholars, religious legal or official based meanings of family  Sociology of the family vs. sociology of the families - “the family” was the basic institution of society that it was a social economic unit consisting of two adults of the opposite sex who share resources, intimacy, labour, accommodation, reproduction and child rearing. Also, seen as having two parents, one as breadwinner/other = homemaker(shown in TV shows) – Scholars recognize that previous defin’s were idealized. - Families: are a basic social institution, and in the broadest sense are a group of people who have intimate social relationships and a shared history together  Common elements of families McDaniel and Tepperman – common elements or processes fundamental to the social groups we call family  1) All close relations usually involve some relational type of attatchment, bonding or dependency/interdependency. Family relations tend to include birth to death or long-term commitments, - Families are not a single entity since they take many forms and structures - Typically change and expand as we age  2) sexual relations tend to be regulated, such that certain relations are appropriate whereas others are taboo  3)most families exhibit some degree of power imbalance, such as by gender or age, which means that ideally more powerful family members tend to protect the less powerful family members  4) families tend to guard their members against all kinds of internal and external danger  Role of kin - Procreation, socialization, sexual relations, residence, economic co-operation and emotional ties  Fictive kin: are non-relatives whose bonds are strong and intimate, such as those between very close friends  Family decline hypothesis: refers to the idea that families today are in demise or are falling apart and have serious problems - The family is deteriorating and is in crisis. Family is in unprecedented decline since individuals are in the process of rejecting the bedrock of family function, the nuclear family. The rise of alternative family forms (ie single mothers), absence of fathers, etc may be main causes. - Family is becoming ill-suited to perform 2 basic functions – rearing children and providing sustained emotion sustenance to members. - Others debate that families are no worse than ever before..”Family change perspective”  Family change perspective: assumes that families have always been changing (despite much continuity) and that in some ways, modern-day families may be better than ever) - What is in decline is our normative idea of what a family is, or rather a particular historical ideological vision of the family(prototypical 1950’s family) - The family is not in decline but undergoing metamorphosis as many come to realize that the traditional family is no longer viable.  Challenging the legacy of “the family” Theoretical perspectives  Functionalist (Durkheim, Parsons, Malinowski) - Family as a social institution that performs essential functions for society to ensure its stability. Society is envisioned as a biological organism, made up of interdependent parts or institutions such as family, edu, religion that enable the larger society to function. Malinowski - “the family” consisted of a man, woman, and their children and that this family was universal – this family form could be found in all societies (studied Australian Aboriginees); assumed that this universal family = rooted in biological sex differences, which supports the need for a strict gendered division of labour. Major function of family was to provide a home, organize social reproduction, nurturance Aboriginals in Australia Found families with 3 universal functions: Clear boundaries between insiders and outsiders Clear family place Affection between family members His conclusion: families are universal Parsons – in book Family, Socialization and the Interaction process – maintained that families function best when husbands and fathers carried out and specialized in instrumental roles and mothers expressive. Family as basic social unit-Commitment through marriage and blood -Family is essential and universal -Father “instrumental“ role; mother “expressive” role-His argument was tautological  Conflict (Marx, Engels, Marxist feminist – Luxton) - Power relations, inequality and how poli and econ processes affect family life. Macro level-inequality may be between the family system and work; micro level inequality may occur between family members. (Does not have to be bad) Engels: Mode of production; traced relationship between mode and type of family that exists (ie communal family systems of simple societies seemed to be more egalitarian than patriarchal)  Social Constuctionism: social phenomenon are created in particular social and cultural contexts. What may appear as “natural” is actually an invention or construction reflective of a particular group, culture or society. “social construction of reality” philosophical, idea; instutitions in society (don’t know what’s real), we are born into society believing in institutions  Symbolic Interactionist (Mead, Cooley, Blumer) - Symbolic interactionism term was later adopted by BLUMER. Perspective emphasizes micro or internal family interactions and the ongoing action and response of family members to one another. Fam interactions are a result of reciprocal acts whereby individuals are acting, negociating and responding to on another as minded beings. Interactions occur via symbols, gestures, words that have shared meaning - Mead: Interpretations allow a person to develop a sense of self. Ie through primary relations with sign. Others (parents) a child acquires a sense of competencies and a feeling of self-worth. A person’s self is composed of a socialized component called the “me” plus an I, which refers to the more spontaneous behaviour that arises out of biological needs and immediate sensations Mead: ie concluding something is embarrising (learning from others gives a sense of self) –ME(reflects society) + I(reflects self) Cooley: looking glass self-can assume you have an idea of me” Blumer: coined SI, methodology (insisted on ethnography -> interviews not stats; actual interactions Dramaturgical (Goffman) - social interaction as a carefully staged play: front stage, backstage, defined roles, & wide range of props  Ethnomethodology (Garfinkel) -> Ethnomethodology The study of how people make sense of what others say and do in the course of day-to-day social interaction. How people make sense of their everyday lives.  Ethnomethodology is a perspective within sociology that focuses on the way people make sense of their everyday world. People are seen as rational actors, but employ practical reasoning rather than formal logic to make sense of and function in society. The theory argues that human society is entirely dependent on these methods of achieving and displaying understanding.  Social Exchange (Homans, Blau) Micro view, interactionist and economic roots Family life as “fair trade” Individuals are rational beings calculating costs - A micro level theory that focuses oninteraction between individual actors. However, social exchange theory views family life and decisions in terms of costs and benefits. - Humans are motivated by self-interests and seek to maximize rewards/profits in relationships while minimizing costs. Humans are also rational  Life course perspective (Mills)-> Life course of individuals and their families are embedded and shaped by their socio-historical and cultural locations and social status (age, gender, race) (micro and macro links) .. It is the dominant perspective is social gerontology although not a formal theory. The family is perceived as a micro social group within a macro social context – a “collection of individuals with shared history who interact within ever-changing social contexts. The life course of individuals and fams is embedded and shaped by their relative historical, cultural and geographic location as well as by factors such as age, gender, fam history, ses, and ethnicity. Transitions are subject to reversal Feminist Perspectives  Various aspects of patriarchy (system of male domination in society)  Male domination and female subordination are determined by structures of power and social convention rather than biological necessity  Microlevel and macrolevel social settings  Eliminating patterns of gender inequality _Looks at interview and stats Q#1  The family decline hypothesis maintains that (a) It is a myth that there is a decline in family size (b) Modern day families are much better off due to their smaller sizes (c) Modern day families are in crisis (d) The population will slowly dwindle if families do not start having more children Short Answer Questions  Explain a political economy view on the family - The family is viewed as a unit of consumption. It elaborates the role of economic processes in shapng society and history. Political economists assuet that the dominant class in any society is advantaged and must be obeyed by subordinate class. Focuses on how the Capitalist mode of roduction shapes our choices, lifestyles and behaviours. Family forms are embedded outcomes of global capitalist practices and changes in work patterns and technology. Families are units of consumption that foster cultural values of individualism and hedonism rather than collectivist goles. Famillies must be encouraged to consume goods and services. Ie the advertising industry targets certain social groups of people  Margrit Eichler identifies seven biases in studies of families. List and explain them  Monolithic bias – family as universal structure (a tendency to treat the family as a monolithic structure by emphasizing uniformity of experience and universality of structure and function over diversity of experiences, structures and functions)  Conservative bias – romanticized view of nuclear family in the past (an over- romanticized view of the nuclear family in the past that overlooks problematic aspects of family life throughout history)  Sexist bias – an assumption of a ‘natural’ division of labour between the sexes  Ageist bias – middle class adults (familiar interactions that are considered mainly from the perspective of the idle-aged adults without considering the perspectives of the children or the elderly)  Microstructural bias –( a tendency to treat families as encapsulated units rather than taking external factors into account)  Racist bias (a bias that devalues famiies of culturally or ethically non- dominant groups)  Heterosexist bias ( a bias that assumes that heterosexual family is the only natural unit  Explain what the logical problem is with functionalist arguments about the family such as the ones Bronislaw Malinowski and Talcott Parsons made - The flaw is that because a social institution is observed to perform a necessary function, does nto mean that the function would not exist if the institution did not or that the function is responsible for the institution. For example, anthropologists have challenged Malinowski’s idea that family always includes fathers. It maintains the status-quo.  Logical problems of functional explanations also have been pointed out, namely that they are teleological and tautological. It has been argued that the presence of an institution cannot precede the institution's existence. Otherwise, such a teleological argument would suggest that the institution's development anticipated its function. This criticism can be countered by recognizing an evolutionary or a historical process at work; however, functionalism specifically rejected such ideas. Functional analysis has also been criticized for being circular: needs are postulated on the basis of existing institutions which are, in turn, used to explain their existence. This criticism can be countered by establishing a set of universal requisite needs, or functional prerequisites. It has been argued that to account for phenomena by showing what social needs they satisfy does not explain how it originated or why it is what it is (Kucklick 1996:250). Furthermore, functionalism's antihistoric approach made it impossible to examine social processes, rejection of psychology made it impossible to understand attitudes and sentiments and the rejection of culture led to a lack of recognition of the ecological context (Goldschmidt 1996:511). Challenging notion of the Family  Family as social unit  Family as social relationship  Familism  Social reproduction  Challenges to “natural” families  Anthropological studies (conception, incest, parenting, marriage)  Residencies (3 types) Vivilocal – living with the kin of the husband, matri-local – living with the wife’s kin, neolocal- where couple liv
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