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Final Exam Review It's 9 pages of the full exam study required for the soc100 class taken in Spring 2010.

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Barry Green

Sociology Exam Study Chapter 10 The Family: The Site of Love, Exploitation, and Oppression Functionalists Views society as an integrated and self-maintaining system, analogous to a living organism. It is consisted of a number of institutions that meet the needs of the social system as a whole. The order of the whole is maintained despite major changes in structure. The whole system is held together by the mechanisms of normative consensus and shared role expectations. Functionalists argue that family is important for the survival of society. Socialization occurs primarily within the family. Functionalists say that without family there would be no humanity and therefore no society. Functionalist Theories of the Family You can look at any institution in two related perspectives: 1) the contribution of that institution to the functioning of society as a whole or 2) the institutions internal functioning as a subsystem of itself. There are 4 main functions that the family performs: 1. reproduction of societys members 2. socialization of new members; especially the newborn and younger children 3. regulation of sexual relations 4. economic co-operation to sustain adults and their offspring Family happens in different forms within different societies. Extended families are where several generations of kin live in the same dwelling usually under the authority of the most senior male or most senior female in a matriarchal society. Nuclear families are isolated couples with their dependent children. Although there are countries that practice polygyny (one man having more than 1 wife), there are countries that also practice polyandry (one woman having more than 1 husband). The nuclear family is seen by functionalists as having an essential biological foundation. People are not like animals that have instincts. People rely on their brains for everything. People have biological drives such as jealousy and territoriality which create strong impulse in humans to form families. Functionalists argue that sexual differences promote heterosexual bonding. Only women perform pregnancy, menstruation and therefore they are biologically predisposed for caring for their children. Males have greater strength and aggressiveness which creates predisposition to male dominance. Tiger said that this is why women concentrate on nurturing roles within the home, where as men concentrate on the role of the economic provider. In functionalist analysis, family consists of a social system with its own internal needs which must be met if the family is to maintain its equilibrium. Bales says that small groups develop two kinds of leaders: instrumental leader who gets tasks done, and an expressive leader who supports and encourages group members and calms tensions. Parsons says that within families, one adult (preferably the male) performs instrumental tasks, while the female has the expressive roles. Functionalists also say that the typical nuclear family is mandated by the requirements of industrial society. The explanation of the family view for functionalists is pretty clear: that to change family life or sex roles in any significant way is impractical. Critique of Functionalist Theory It ignores a wide diversity of family forms. It is challenged by the feminist and Marxist theories as an ideology that justifies the status quo while ignoring the ways in which family life is constrained by interests associated with capitalism and patriarchy. Eichler claims that this kind of theorizing is flawed by 4 biases: monolithic, conservative, sexist, and microstructural. Monolithic Bias Conservative Bias Its the pervasive failure to focus upon changes that are transforming family life. The combined effect of womens longer life expectancy and mens older age of marriage leads to very different experiences for women and men. These changes are very dramatic and only happen within a decade and they receive little attention from the functionalist theory. Sexist Bias Its the stereotyping of female and male roles around images of the pregnant woman and man the hunter. This stereotype shows that women are barely involved in the workforce and men are barely involved in caring for their family. Microstructural Bias Its the primary focus on the internal workings of individual family units. There is little consideration given to the way the government and the economy affect the family life. Marxist Theories of the Family Argue that both the organization of economic production in the wider society and the way people earn their living critically influences the organization of family life. Marxists challenge Parsons notion of a separation between the private realm of family life and the public realm of industry. Marxist Theory of Patriarchy Engels speculates that the earliest form of family was communal, based on free sexual relations and organized around matriarchal households. Engels says that this type of family was undermined by two factors: 1) the knowledge of patriarchy and 2) male control over private property. He also said that awareness of the male role also showed a leap of knowledge. Men gained control over land and domestic herds and therefore over the economic surplus. As they gained wealth they wanted to control inheritance. Monogamy and patriarchy emerged together. Capitalism and Family Forms in Canada During early homesteading period, a man and woman relied on each other to produce everything they could for the family to survive, and they shared all property. When the mortgage was paid off, the farm belonged to the husband only. Later on, men were the first to leave to go work for wages, where as women did domestic work and cared for children. The Social Construction of Class Relations in the Home No matter if women work outside the home or not, they are responsible for the homework. It is known that married men are more stable workers than single men because it is much harder for a married man to leave work even if he doesnt like the working conditions because he has a family to support. Women must wake up before the men and prepare him for work, and then wait with his dinner for him to come home. She must keep the children quiet and out of trouble while heis at work. Practically, she is as much of an employee to the mine as he is, but she doesnt get paid. Middle-class women support the careers of their husbands by taking the responsibility of the household and childcare. To be a good homemaker, a woman must make her husbands success visible, she cant let him fail. If a womans child fails at school it is as if she doesnt love her child enough. Both men and women usually feel trapped by her dependence on his wages. Luxton says that this is the root of much of the domestic violence that occurs in the home. The Radical Feminist Critique: Capitalism or Patriarchy? Radical Feminist perspective has an appreciation of the impact of capitalism on family life (same as Marxism). Radical feminists dont believe that the privatization of women was not evident in the precapitalist era. They also dont agree that it will decline with the transition to socialism. Women could not go to court for rape if they didnt have at least 4 male witnesses, if they do go to court and dont have these witnesses they can be charged for having unlawful sex. The Roots of Male Power Men power over women is not automatic. Men can struggle to control women but women have control over reproduction. Radical feminists predict that men will strive to minimize the level of economic independence and they will also strive to gain control trough other ways like domestic violence and medical and legal control over reproduction. Limits to Economic Freedom for Women Men return to work relaxed and refreshed where as women come to work exhausted from domestic work, child ca
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