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Lecture 24 - Transition to Parenthood Chapter 19/20 - Fox  Sociological Research on Parenting  transition to motherhood and parenthood varies cross culturally and historically Sociological research tells us:  o social context - birth and parenthood is not just about biology we have to look at social relations between women and medical professionals, women and their partners  Sociological research puts a emphasis on social support and especially in respect to Postpartum Depression  Social support is important in labour and delivery processes  gender differences in the transition to parenthood  social organization of mothering - women take primary responsibility to caregiving in a privatized context - they lack social support Medicalized Childbirth (Fox and Worts) giving birth in hospitals, medical intervention (ie. drugs for pain)  Feminist Critique of Medicalized Childbirth  argues that having doctors supervise a woman’s pregnancy essentially decreases women’s control over their bodies and the entire process  critique argues that: medicalized childbirth ultimately alienates women from something that is actually an empowering experience  medicalized childbirth disempowers women doctors/nurses define childbirth in a very medical way - even though it is a  natural process  feminist critique is the idea that pregnancy labour/delivery is not just about a woman’s body but it should be about everything - emotions  Western medicine undermines this idea - according to this critique the focus of medicalized childbirth shifts away from the wellbeing of the mother to the baby  women’s emotional well-being is overlooked -  medical interventions carry unnecessary risks - such as the risk of unnecessary c sections and postpartum depression when you have increasing medicalization - it results in a greater likelihood of  postpartum depression  main critique: woman are losing control over their bodies  Emily Martin: argues that social relations in childbirth parallels social relations of capitalism (between workers and their bosses)  under medicalized childbirth - women’s bodies are seen as machines - women are seen as unskilled workers and doctors are seen as managers  Findings:  the absence of medical intervention did not leave to a great experience or leave women with a positive experience or any empowerment  medical interventions didn’t necessarily result in women feeling alienated or disempowered  findings suggest that this feminist critique is inadequate  What factors do make a difference in women’s experience in childbirth? o social support - o how they evaluated their childbirth experience was directly reflected by the quality of support they got during delivery and after going home with their babies o biggest difference: whether baby care was shared or not o women who had strong social support from husbands and relatives - they were more likely to resist medical intervention (pain relief) - those women who had this type of social support requested pain relief later in their labour o women who had weak social support were more likely to find medical intervention more helpful  women with strong social supports were less likely to experience baby blues/postpartum depression  experiences reinforced the message that mothering was a private responsibility put on them  majority of the women were given little or no assistance or help on how to take care of their babies - giving them the message that they were on their own with their babies  small group of women that had medical problems - did get help with baby care - they were defined as patients as the other women were not.  Warts and Fox say - women’s own personal networks are influential to their birthing processes  social support shaped: o evaluation of birth experience need for medical intervention o o baby blues/postpartum depression Rosenberg (Chapter 20)  postpartum depression: medical vs. feminist model  in Western societies somewhere between 60-80% have emotional problems after childbirth  the dominant popular explanation for postpartum depression is the one advanced by the medical establishment - postpartum depression can only be understood as a medical problem with underlying physiological causes linked to changing hormones  Feminist model: depression linked to how mother work is socially organized  individual level kinds of explanations are inadequate - instead we need to look at how mothering is socially organized  Argues: postpartum depression stems from mother-work being socially organized as a private responsibility - meaning that it is the sole responsibility of women and they becoming isolated and lack support  Rosenberg compares working conditions of mothers to the working conditions of front line employees  nurses/teachers/social workers - these kinds of jobs have a high degree of burnout  She argues: these kinds of jobs share characteristics of a job of being a mother  Characteristics including: low level of control over the work - mothers and workers have very little control over the timing and pacing of their work - workers experience high pressure and high demands  We see high burnouts and postpartum depression in mothers - because women don’t get on the job training they are often confused after childbirth  Factors associated with a higher risk of postpartum depression: o loss - women who have lost a connection to their paid work are vulnerable to postpartum depression. Also women feeling like they have been deserted by friends and family - loss of relationships. Also loss of personal identity o dependence - women being more dependent on others - financially dependent on their partners. Also becoming dependent on ‘experts’ - running on the schedule of the baby and their husbands work o isolation - expression of social isolation - most fathers continue their role but women are socially isolated in their homes and the work of parenting is done in private homes they can’t get out with their young babies - because they are isolated they are not getting feedback on their mothering. o lack of social support - losing confidence in their ability to cope  by increasing social support available to women - you can reduce postpartum depression  need for more dense networks of support - helping women deal with the stress - drop in centers, maternity leave Lecture 25 - ..continued Transition to Parenthood Chapter 19 - Fox  parenthood may be the most important experience producing gender differences in our society  gender based inequalities are reinforced in the transition to parenthood a much more rigid division of labour was created - men more into  breadwinning and women more into housework and baby care  even couples who shared housework after parenthood the housework shifted towards women  Decision to have women stay at home: belief that babies are best cared for at home - and by one of the o parents o breastfeeding o gender gap in earnings - most men had earned more than their wives o time out from careers - allowed them to give up some of their anxieties about their appearance/weight o motherhood solved identity problem - in light of occupation failure it gave them an identity  Factors associated with women doing more housework: o women home more o role models - they learned from their own mothers housework is a break - break from baby care o o facilitating a relationship between dad and baby - allowing their husbands to spend time with babies  These mothers felt more dependent on their partners and worked hard to protect or shield fathers from the demands of having a newborn (sleep deprivation)  Gender was being reinforced as women’s unpaid labour was devalued and men’s breadwinning was valued and protected  women worked hard to facilitate a positive dad-baby relationship but at their own expensive (having to do more housework)  Walzer, 1998  focuses on gender differences  what she found was despite all the differences between the moms - they seemed to have more experiences like each other than not.  new mothers were more similar than those of the husbands  marital satisfaction declines after couples have children - she wanted to understand why this happens.  she found: marital dissatisfaction linked to increasing polarization in men’s and women’s lives - whatever their plans had been everything changed  a lot of parents went into parenting in the hopes of sharing everything - but that wasn’t the case.  among couples where men and women did different types of works - were associated with lower levels of satisfaction  Gender differentiation: o cultural imagery and social norms which define what it means to be a good mother and good father o cultural model for mothers revolved around maternal presence: always having to be there o women had the perception that they were expected to do it all o for fathers: it was largely defined by father absence - most fathers could live up to these cultural models and even exceed it o fathers who did anything - were considered to be good fathers. o Inner changes:  women’s sense of self merges with caregiving  at the same time for MEN - there was a focus on breadwinning  women’s experience a different “consciousness” about their role  women spent more time thinking about their babies than men  moms experienced stress because they didn’t spend enough time with babies - men stressed because they spent time with babies and other things couldn’t be done  men were disappointed in not being there and missing special moments - whereas the women were looking at it as a loss for the babies dads describe spending time with their kids as pleasurable but  the moms describe motherhood as a job harder than other kinds of work they have done  men were talking about the extent to which their job and parenting would fit - women engaged in a debate whether they should be working at all or not women expressed feeling socially accepted upon becoming a  mother “part of a club” - in contrast the dads felt a commonality with other parents but they didn’t focus on being accepted  Outer changes: o men doing more breadwinning work Lecture 26 - Childhood and Child-rearing - Chapter 5 Baker  Sociologists were interested in how childhood and child-rearing are socially constructed  childhood has a biological underpinning, but sociologists are interested in how childhood are childrearing are socially constructed  ideas about children vary by time and place this includes: o ideas about how children should be raised o Ideas about the roles of mothers and fathers, educational institutions in the lives of children o ideas about what we can expect of children the inherent ‘nature’ of children - (at one time children were seen as being inherent of evil, more recently children are seen as innocent) the place of children in larger society (one time children were largely imbedded in the daily lives of their parents - now parents shield their children from adult lives) Aries, 1962  he argues that childhood as a distinct period is actually a fairly recent idea  our own contemporary society childhood is seen as a time of innocence where children require a lot of intense care by their parents specifically their mothers  in earlier centuries, children were viewed quite differently - they were immersed into the everyday lives of adults  For example: looking at the art of earlier centuries - children were dressed as mini adults in adult settings - sent to others homes to work.  children and young adults are much more dependent on their parents than ever before  children were independent a lot sooner (because they worked) before but this changed with industrialization  Childhood and Child-rearing  childhood has become prolonged in our more recent history  Impact of: o social reformers ->  intent on protecting children and concerned about children’s well being -  Child Labour Laws  were comprised of different groups  setting out to try to improve the lives of children o child developmental psychology  had an impact on child rearing literature geared to women  child rearing advice in the early 1900s was heavily influenced by the growing influence of medical science  goal in 1900s was to keep babies alive because of the high rates of infant mortality o Medical science  domestic labour in the 1900s was very intense  because of this the advice that was offered was very often pitched at the idea of trying to reduce the demands placed on the mothers -> try to free the women up to do the household chores  emphasis was placed on things like having children play on their own and be independent - early toilet training, and keeping children on tight rigid schedules  By mid to late 1900s, the emphasis shifted to a concern over children’s emotional well-being.  this allowed women to be full-time homemakers Spock, 1946  advocated throwing out routines and rigid schedules - he suggested a much more lenient and easy approach in which women should just go with whatever they felt they should do and whatever their gut was telling them to do.  what was important was that the focus on babies being very vulnerable  if babies were not properly mothered they would be very damaged by this.  focusing on what the babies need  Attachment theory  mothers are central  what babies need is intense time with their mothers and quantity time - if they are deprived of this quantity time they will be permanently emotionally harmed.  As the 1900s continue - the shift of emphasis away from women’s needs but being focused on children’s physical then psychological needs  More recently: intensive mothering - used to describe all of the discourses that are used to impact childrearing  Impact of new brain science -> influential ideas about very young children. That the first few years of life are very crucial because that is what sets children up for future success or failure  focus on pregnancy and the fetus -  Lecture 27 - Paid and Unpaid Labour - Chapter 17/18 Fox Reitsma-Street  set out to understanding young girls involved in delinquency  sample of girls who were delinquent  she found: girls were learning that females were the major providers of care  girls learn how to care for others including their siblings, fathers, and even boyfriends  she argues: that these young girls are policed to care - like its really enforced upon them to care for other people  girls are pressured to take care of other people - pressure could be quite subtle or overt  it is through this process of gender socialization that caring for others comes before thinking about themselves Studies of Family Finances  women were socialized to put others economic needs ahead of their own  they learned it from their own mothers and learning it from other new mothers  these women had to constrain their person spending  as a consequence, wives had lower levels of personal spending (as compared to husbands) Gerson - Chapter 17  beginning in the 80s and 90s sociologists shifted away from their theories of gender socialization not entirely but shifted their focus and started looking carefully at what happens with women and men later in life  part of her findings - she wanted to examine the factors associated with paid employment and child caring  she wanted to see how some women become homemakers and embraced domesticity while others became career women or working mothers and embraced their career exclusively or both mothering and working  4 Groups/Paths o Traditional Model  early ambitions to become a homemaker  women chooses the domestic life of being a mother and wife which is what she was prepared for as a child  life goes as planned  these women were insulated from events that might push them into the labour market  no change in life goals or emotional priorities o Veering Away from domesticity  these women had a dream of a domestic life but this changed to overtime having more aspirations around work and job career  overtime - more feelings of ambivalence about motherhood  this group of women experience opportunities in the labour market and work advancement - a lot of these women experienced unanticipated career advancement  overtime they had increasing work ambitions - diminishing their feelings of mothering  early plans to become a homemaker changes because of career opportunities, marital instability, or financial pressures to work.  the women in this group that had kids were not defined by domesticity as the women in the first/last group o Non-Traditional Model  always wanted to be career women and life goes as planned  supported by institutions and people in their career goals  always seen themselves as career women and people in their lives support them  mothering didn’t represent what they wanted in their lives  mothering was a trap - that they wanted to avoid  they continued to be career women Veering towards domesticity o  initially had ambivalence about motherhood  overtime - coming up against barriers led them to view domestic life in the home as a really wonderful thing  motherhood viewed as solution to blocked job opportunities  husbands could financially support wives overtime, they experience stalling aspirations about their jobs  making domesticity look like a better life.  this group of women were married to men who were strong breadwinners  a lot of these women worked in pink collar jobs with little autonomy  “reluctant mothers” in group 2/4 - they worked out coping strategies o limiting the number of children o bringing men involved o changing their ideas about rearing children they were worried about the costs o  emphasize the benefits working women can help their kids  women who work full-time can bring resources to their children that women who were home full-time couldn’t bring  focusing on the benefits of having a second income  childless women usually had partners that didn’t want kids Gerson - Study of Men  looks at men that didn’t intent to follow the traditional path of a breadwinner and who has teenagers and young adults didn’t want to conform to societal ideas about being a responsible breadwinning father  these men were non-conformists men  2 groups of men who in their early years did not want to become traditional breadwinners: o reluctant fathers/breadwinners (eventually become traditional breadwinners)  had not initially planned to become breadwinners o stably autonomous (do not become breadwinners)  did not planned to become breadwinners they absolutely rejected this idea - this group did not become breadwinners so they were able to continue this care free life.  she argues: this wasn’t a change in attitude and behavior but social forces like opportunities and options explained how these lives of the men unfolded  group 1 were disproportionally exposed to events and social forces that caused change in their life plans - more likely to experience employment opportunities - because many of these men were working in jobs that provided advancement -  group 2 - were far less likely to receive employment opportunities  therefore - it made breadwinning possible for group 1  among the first group - wives were either stay at home wives or part time workers Lecture 28  Explanation for Difference between 2 groups  Group 1 experienced employment opportunities  Group 1 married to wives who do not work full-time  Group 1 had children Gaskell - Study of High School Students  late 1970s  it is not about gender socialization - girl wearing pink boy wearing blue  majority of girls did not accept the dominant ideology - because of this she argues that their gender socialization was not enough to convince them that paid work was important  girls and boys envisioned traditional gender roles for themselves in the future  yet girls were not traditional in terms of their beliefs  Key Findings:  girls believed men would be unwilling to share unpaid labour  after interviewing the boys the girls beliefs were accurate  girls believed future husbands would have higher earnings  lack of acceptable childcare - women felt that the availability would be problematic leading to believe that mothers were best to take care Defining Unpaid Labour physical, mental, and emotional labour   unpaid labour is invisible - we don’t really see it but without it families wouldn’t be able to function  one example of invisible unpaid work is kin keeping - work of keeping family in touch with one another - making sure family stays connected and in touch Measuring Housework time use diaries Surveys: who is mostly responsible? how much time is spent? men tend to over estimate how much they do and women tend to under estimate what they do Multiple Meanings of Unpaid Labour expression of love - chore - unpleasant - men tend to experience housework and childcare as leisure compared to women “creating family” - through unpaid work that women create a sense of family important vs unimportant skilled vs unskilled women’s work Lecture 29 - ..continued 10 Key Research Findings Women do more unpaid work Gender inequalities persist among dual-earner families Hochschild - coined term second shift third shift: emotional work resulting from time crunch women bear ultimate responsibility for the mental labour - food preparation (husband and wife are sharing the cooking but its very often the case that the women will be responsible for the mental piece) Time bind - constantly rushing and managing time by setting time limits Men in dual-earner couples do more then men in male breadwinner couples Gender inequalities narrowing over time Women doing less - they are doing less work at home Gender task segregation - men/women doing different tasks (women doing inside labour and men doing outside labour) Social Factors (age, educational attainment) younger couples = greater sharing women’s educational attainment is linked to the amount of household labour they do Hard to Change a spouse Women’s reactions: protest vs. conflict avoidance force change? Accept status quo? some women demand sharing - view fairness and housework relevant to them staying in the marriage - not doing housework shows not caring some avoid conflict - financial cost of divorce is greater for them Women’s health Avoid conflict; lack of power, aware of cost of divorce, 2nd shift = women’s health is adversely impacted Functionalist couples agree that person with higher earnings will do less housework and childcare problem is: women are dissatisfied when they have to do more housework than their husbands this inequality becomes an important predictor in marital satisfaction Resource Perspective person with the lower income will have less power to resist doing housework less power to negotiate housework economic resources give person the power to avoid doing it doesn’t explain why among women in these marriages do more housework than husbands Limitation: women who out earn their husbands do more housework; they are “doing gender” women who out earn their husbands will keep it a secret so the mans manhood is not threatened Time Availability Perspective the person with the more free time will do more housework the person who is not working as many hours will have more time to work at home Limitation: second shift persists among women who work the same number of hours as their husbands Gender Role Ideology men with traditional attitudes about gender will do less household labour than men who hold non-traditional and feminist ideas Problem: there is a difference between what people say they believe in and what they actually do Lecture 30 - Work-Family Conflict Lecture 31 - Chapter 8 - Baker Chapter 32 - Fox Divorce Why the increase in Divorce?  divorce is a new phenomena that has increased since the 60s - this impression is based on the fact that people compare what they are seeing in contemporary society with the earlier generation married in the 1950s (unusual decade)  divorce and separation has steadily increased throughout the 20th century -  very big increase after 1968 when the divorce act was passed - prior to this act adultery was the only grounds for divorce in Canada.  Expanded for fault related grounds including: adultery, substance abuse, desertion, and cruelty  one spouse bringing another spouse to trial  Big spike after 1968 - continuing into the 70s/80s - 1995 - New Divorce act and then in the 1990s there is a leveling off of divorce.  divorce rates in Canada are higher than other countries, lower than the US -  slightly 30% of marriages are expected to end in Divorce. legal changes have made it easier for people to get divorced changes in the economy overall decline in men’s real wages - and a decline in the availability of well paying jobs. because men’s earnings have decreased (1970s) - economic stress on marriages have increased. the stigma surrounding marriage has declined. expectations around marriage have shifted towards a partner -> increased expectations Why is the US’s divorce rate so high? Historian argued that: the American family is unique. It is “born modern” -> because the country is a newer country and also that his perspective states that American’s have historically believed that marriage should be voluntary and based on mutual satisfaction - so when it doesn’t meet their satisfaction they are ready to divorce. Furstenberg Says: Americans standards for marital intimacy are more exacting and our willingness to tolerate infidelity is lower than Europeans pointing the finger @ Americans Women in the 50s needed a husband to be an economic provider - it was sufficient to be married. Women today want more out of marriage -> women want more than just a spouse to be non-abusive - omen want emotional closeness, friendship, and personal growth in marriage. Women in particular have heightened expectations of themselves and their husbands. - sharing unpaid labour. higher expectations lead to dissatisfaction of both people. The 2nd Shift stalled gender revolution -> it is stalled because on one hand we have women willing to put on a new hat and become workers in the labour market - but its stalled because we don’t have sufficient numbers of husbands picking up an equal share of unpaid labour. She argues: gender revolution is stalled - men are not meeting the wive’s expectations. there is a difference in expectations between husbands and wives. this leaves women feeling resentful no marital satisfaction Furstenberg: in this debate about families being in crisis because of the high rates of divorce -> theres people on both sides of this debate. both sides of the debate having very different ideas of what we need to do. political left side argue -> we need gender equality in marriage, and economic security for families in order to reduce the prevalence of divorce. political right side argue -> people need to be less selfish and that is the only way to reduce the prevalence of divorce. Sociological evidence reveals that few couples divorce easily. - it is not an easy process. researchers find that women file for divorce more than men do - this doesn’t mean that they are more likely to want a divorce - it might be the case that men are acting in ways that prompt women to initiate the divorce. Demie Kurz “For Richer For Poorer” Why do women initiate divorce? 20% of women cited reasons specifically to do with gender - men failed to carry any emotional weight. these were men that didn’t know how to care, open up emotionally, and leaving women to do all the emotional and caring work. men expected to dominate/control what was happening in the relationship -> According to the women the ex husbands were acting in conventional dominated ways 20% of women cited abuse adultery was the 3rd most common reason. hard living -> drug/alcohol abuse, long absences at home What does this mean for families? Sociologists like Furstenberg look at the effects of divorce on children. INSTEAD -> we should look at when/why does divorce sometimes have negative consequences and when/why does it not have negative consequences? we need to move beyond the question of whether divorce affects children because it does not have a general effect on all children. Rather, we should ask which children does it affect? and how? researchers note that divorce does not occur randomly to couples -> “selection affects” -> if you want to compare two groups - you need to control for anything that might shape the probability of being in one of those groups because it has an impact on the outcome. Risk Factors for Divorce (US) poor have low levels of education are unemployed or underemployed get married when they are young get married because of pregnancy have poor physical or mental health. Risk Factors for Divorce in Canada couples raising stepchildren individuals who have a larger age difference at marriage individuals whose parents had divorced women with higher incomes have higher divorce prospects, but lower rates of dissolution of cohabitation Factors that reduce the incidence of Divorce in Canada: presence of kids higher men’s income Researchers try to figure out whether it is the divorce or these certain other factors that cause problems for children. Chapter 32 - Walerstein concluded that many kids of divorce suffer negative consequences as a result criticisms: Walerstein studied families who sought counseling -> these were couples who had gone through divorce in counseling. there was no comparing group that wasn’t in counseling. as a result - the study exaggerated the findings of the effect on children many couples that divorce have conflict leading up to divorce for many years - this conflict is obviously harmful for children. Researchers have found that children who live in two parent homes where parents have a lot of conflict -> these kids have greater behavioral problems compared to kids that live with one parent growing up in a 2 parent family is important but only when it is a harmonious one. divorce does increase problems for children but most children who experience divorce don’t experience these problems. Furstenberg & Shirlen’s work: talk about the kinds of factors that determine how well a child copes following divorce. how well the custodial parent (often mother) copes as a parent. kids whose parents are divorced do better when their mothers keep their work and home lives running smoothly custodial mothers/children experience a declining economic standard -> material standard of living is vastly compromised. children thrive on routine - and when that is disrupted it is harmful kids of divorce are also affected with the level of conflict between parents kids do better when they have relationships with non-custodial parents After Divorce Factors: economic deprivation relocating to a poor neighborhood having to change schools being subject to less supervision loss of social capital from parents Is it the divorce? or the experience following the divorce? Lecture 32 - Divorce CONTINUED .. Terry Arendell (1992) Fathers and Divorce many men become absent fathers - problematic for fathers/families and children. Why do fathers become absent fathers? It is problematic to view them as bad/villain men Research done by Sociologists says - these men did care about their children but there were a lot of factors that made them absent fathers. these men ‘faded’ from their children’s lives and becoming absent was an action that they undertook quite consciously in order to try to retain control and power and to deal with their emotions - they felt tremendous anger at their situation/ex wives and absence was a way to handle that anger. they distanced themselves from overwhelming feelings - sadness/loss - many men are not socialized to deal with these feelings these men employed a ‘discourse of father’s rights’ men did not
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