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University of Toronto Mississauga
Lina Samuel

LECTURE 7: ABORIGINAL FAMILIES TODAY “Women in an Egalitarian Society: The Montagnais-Naskapi Of Canada.” - Leacock - Hunters (social ethics = cooperation, patience, generosity)  trappers (fur trade) - Trapping was individual task, women and children were left behind - Resulted in nuclear family, smaller living units (married couple & children, less people to look after children), division of labour b/t men and women - Relations were easy b/t men and women (they didn’t meddle in each other’s tasks) - Le Jeune wanted to introduce (1) permanent settlement, recognized chief authority (2) punishment into social relations (3) education/punishment of children (4) family structure w/ male authority, female fidelity, and elimination of the right to divorce Economy & Decision Making - They moved their camp around depending on food source (men and women both had equal importance in the decisions) - Individuals might be chosen as spokespersons to mediate w/ the French but this person had no formal authority (trust based on goodwill, & would never kill each other for leadership role) Jesuit Program: Changing Marriage - “they wish to be free and be able to divorce each other if they don’t love each other” - Polygamy was common for men and women - The Jesuit missionary introduced baptism and Christianity, faithfulness to God = no infidelity or polygamy Long-range Impact th - Observations: punishment of youth, violence, Montagnais-Naskapi became Catholic, by 20 century they became dependent on trapping and father’s wages supported the nuclear family - The fur trade undercut the foundation of Montagnais-Naskapi values “Immigrant and Racialized Families.” - Tyyska - Racialization: processes by which racial meanings are attached to particular issues Colonialism & Aboriginal Families (The Huron) - The economic and political domination of a region and its people by a foreign power - Nomadic/semi-nomadic, collective work efforts, shared resources, the community was responsible for education of children, children treated w/ kindness, reciprocity, division of labour based on age and gender - Family relations: not matriarchal, but matriliny (accounting for family relations through female kin) and matrilocal residence (clans headed by women, men moved in w/ wives’ clan) - Matrilineal clans = egalitarian gender relations, women were able to provide resources and partake in decision making (violence was rare) - Right to multiple sex partners, marriages were monogamous and divorce was a right (and easy b/c women didn’t depend on men as much) The Inuit - Kin relations = flexible, no private property or land ownership, marriages were monogamous - Division of labour was more rigid. Men = hunting, fishing. Women = children, prepared food, clothing, supplementary food gathering - These Artic societies had a patriarchal organization, exhibited in violence against women Analyses of traditional Huron - Political economic perspective (Marxist or materialist): economic systems that are based on ownership of private property tend to be less egalitarian - Feminist theory: economic power & gender inequality - where private property exists, it tends to be controlled by men resulting in patriarchy - Contemporary society is capitalist and patriarchal (elite and male-owned private property, capitalist class benefits from domestic work of women) - Social feminists: it is not only the capitalists but also men as a group who benefit from this gendered division of labour (double day = paid and unpaid work of women is a feature of patriarchal capitalism) Postcolonial Family Lives - Internal colonialism, characterized as the continuing subjugation of the Aboriginal peoples and their being defined as racially inferior (“othering” of the population) - Official categorization reduced to 3 main groups of Aboriginals: NA Indian (First Nations), Inuit, Metis (descendants of Canadian Indian women and European male colonizers who married Native women) - Colonizers reinforced/introduced more rigid economic and gender inequalities, trading relations = elevate male status, reduce female status, harsher treatment of children - Residential school system: imposed on First Nations and Inuit; children taken away from families to be school by non-Aboriginals. Resulted in destroyed links to family & culture. Losses of life due to malnutrition & disease. Harsh discipline, couldn’t speak their own language. - Canadian Aboriginals: poor health, poor living/economic conditions, substance abuse, suicide, unemployment. This lead to disenfranchisement of Aboriginal families who then became targets for govt intervention. Children taken from families, deemed unfit to take care of them. Outcome was removal of entire generation of children & disruption of intergeneration continuity. Foster homes were abusive & exploitative - Family resiliency: ability to bounce back from stress and crisis, built caring support systems and solved problems creatively LECTURE 8: FAMILY DIVERSITY IN THE 20 CENTURY – FOCUS ON BLACK AND LGBTQ FAMILIES “Immigrant and Racialized Families.” - Tyyska Black Families & the Colonial Legacy - Slave trade: 12-50 million slaves were forcibly transported from Africa - CAN was also part of the Atlantic slave trade, having built at least 60 slave ships for the British slave trade - Until late 1700s, almost all CAN blacks were slaves, mostly in domestic service to white colonizers - Large proportion were kidnapped African children and youth b/c they were seen as more controllable (kept from families) - Young female slaves were subjected to their owners’ sexual exploitation, and essentially that of any white male, their most important function being that of breeding children - Institutionalized racist practices, anti-black racism, the colour line, colonialism, African underdevelopment and also that of former slave societies in the New World, duplicity of western govts, white supremacy, economic disadvantage, racialization of black peoples, and psychic distance b/t black and white have all been identified as legacies of the slave trade - Black families are nearly 3 times more likely than families on average to be of a single-parent variety – a consequence of family instability, poverty, racism, and discrimination (stigmatized through govt programs – welfare, child protection) - A challenge of black families in racist society is how to raise children to be physically/emotionally healthy – racial socialization which is a socialization process focused on developing children’s and youths’ pride in themselves and their group - Ethnic/racial identity develops in 4 stages: (1) ethnic/racial unawareness in early childhood (2) ambivalence in adolescence, characterized by preference for mainstream norms and a distancing from one’s group (3) an emergence in late adolescence and early adulthood (4) ethnic/racial incorporation in the adult years, in which any identity conflicts are resolved “Black Families in Canada: Exploring the Interconnections of Race, Class, and Gender.” - Calliste Employment and Education - Blacks in Canada have always occupied a subordinate position in economic, political, and ideological relations. - They migrated to Canada as slaves, refugees, and cheap labour to do mostly unskilled work. They provided a reserve army of labour and were employed in the split labour market where they were paid less than white workers for doing the same work. - Segmented labour-market theory: argues that jobs and industries are divided into primary and secondary sectors. The secondary sector includes work in marginal industries; jobs are low-paying, often seasonal or sporadic, less likely to be unionized, and offer little protection against the vagaries of either the individual employer or the ups and downs of the marketplace. The secondary sector uses the groups w/ little bargaining power such as racial minorities, women, and youth - Labour market: black women portrayed as ‘naturally’ suited for jobs in the lowest stratum of a labour market segmented along gender lines - Educational system: produced and reproduced racial, gender, and class inequality through segregated schools in Nova Scotia and Ontario, a Eurocentric, sexist, and class-biased curriculum that bred low academic achievement and high dropout rates in high school - White middle-class nuclear families = male breadwinner and a full-time housewife. Given that many black men could not earn family wages, black women often had to work outside the home to maintain the financial survival of their families. Women, men, and the extended family shared in childrearing to ensure the family’s survival. Thus, there has been a fluid public/private sphere in black families, offering opportunities for egalitarian relationships - African–Nova Scotian women’s active economic role in their families’ subsistence, their relative sexual autonomy, and the importance of the extended family in black communities partly reflect a West African cultural tradition as well as survival strategies Immigration - Before the late 1960s, blacks were imported to CAN solely for their labour power, not as future permanent citizens. They were stigmatized as inferior and a potential social problem in CAN - Immigration officials sought to avoid the problem by restricting the entry of black settlers and their families - Before 1943, Canadian immigration officials barred black migrant porters’ wives and families from visiting them in order to discourage any increase in Canada’s black population while making Canadian Pacific Railway (cpr) porters more dependent and controllable by their employers - This policy also had economic benefits for the state (for example, it helped to reduce costs for social services such as childrearing and education) - 1910-1966: Canadian immigration regulations stipulated that Caribbean domestics were to be single and w/o children. Some domestics who had children in Canada were deported as likely to become a public charge - 1950s-1960s: immigration officials attempted to obstruct domestic workers’ sponsorship of their relatives and fiancés (had to prove their relationship, but whites didn’t have to do this) - Portrayal of blacks as promiscuous, undesirable immigrants and less deserving of parenthood Immigration & History of Black Families in Nova Scotia - The history of black families in Canada began w/ slavery, to help solve the chronic shortage of unskilled labour - Slaves had no marital or parental rights. They were allowed to marry with their owners’ consent; the children born of slaves became the property of the mother’s owner - Blacks seen as deviant, bad parents, and many family units were destroyed by the practice of selling fathers, mothers, and children - Blacks’ strong attachment to their families, which impelled them ‘always to act together’. Black Loyalist families went beyond the British definition of family to include godchildren, orphans, widows, neighbours, people from the same church, or simply people in the same black community. Moreover, African–Nova Scotian parents brought up other people’s children as if they were their own, without distinction b/t biological and adopted children - Prenuptial intercourse was common among slaves, but there was hardly any indiscriminate mating. Marriage followed most prenuptial slave pregnancies. Giving birth to a child at a relatively early age diminished the probability of the physical separation of its mother from her family of origin and made the future of a new slave family much more secure, since slave owners were less likely to sell a fecund woman. The relative frequency of common-law relationships and ‘illegitimacy’ among some black Loyalists in Nova Scotia may be attributed partly to the lack of legal recognition given to marriages Black Family Structures in Canada and Nova Scotia - More CAN families of all ethnic groups involve a married couple compared to black families. But there is more CAN families than black families to live in common-law relationships. African–Nova Scotian families are even less likely to be married than blacks in Metropolitan Toronto and Canada in general, as a result of socioeconomic forces—high unemployment rates and low wages - A larger percentage of black than non-black households are headed by a woman. - Blacks, particularly in Nova Scotia, are more likely to be confined to the lower tier of the secondary sector of the dual labour market, where they earn low wages and have little or no job security - Female-headed single-parent households earn the lowest income—about half the income of married families. Male lone-parent households earn about three-fourths the income of married families (feminization of poverty) - As levels of education and income rise, so does the number of male-headed households. Marriage = economic security, well-being, upward mobility, economic well-being - Couples w/ greater education more likely to be married Gender Role Identities, Gender Division of Labour, and Gender Relations - Since most black women have been forced to work outside the home, they tend to be relatively independent (but still patriarchal) - Women perform the domestic labour, men tend to do the tasks outside (such as barn and yard work). In some families, men and women share in the making of family decisions as well as the housework and childcare, but it is still assumed that women are primarily responsible - Black women, like other women, have developed a variety of strategies and tactics with which to get the men to take on more work. Some men perceive these attempts as a challenge to their power and their traditional notions of masculinity and femininity = power struggles, marital problems, spousal violence Socialization in Black Families - Black children must be socialized to deal with the racism that they will encounter daily. Racial socialization: ‘raising physically and emotionally healthy’ black children in a society with anti-black racism. - In addition to teaching Black Heritage, some parents emphasize to their children that they are as good as other people: beautiful, intelligent, and so forth. Given the importance of education for upward social mobility, parents emphasize the value of education. Another racial socialization technique = teaching of folklore and telling of anecdotes about their experiences w/ racism and how they resisted - Caribbean parents: tend to socialize their children in traditional parenting patterns. They emphasize values such as respecting older people and obeying parents. Argue that the Canadian tradition of parenting gives children too much freedom. Caribbean parents tend to direct their children and are protective of them much longer than Canadian parents (intergenerational conflict) - Migration patterns: parents, particularly single mothers and those from low-income groups, tend to leave their small children in the care of relatives when they emigrate. Years of separation tend to strain parent-child relations “Opting into Motherhood: Lesbians Blurring the Boundaries and Transforming the Meaning of Parenthood and Kinship.” - Dunne - There has been a decline in the importance of family and kinship, especially w/ employment and education opportunities for women - Voluntary childlessness: women opting into paid-working life and opting out of motherhood. Contemporary women begin to see the demands of motherhood as conflicting w/ their newly won bid for autonomy - On the other hand, there has been a surge in lesbian women becoming mothers through donor insemination (alternatives to heterosexual reproduction) - Women parenting with women have a head start over heterosexual couples b/c of their structural similarities and the way that egalitarianism is in the interests of both partners (egalitarian approaches to financing and caring for children) The Lesbian Household Project - 37 cohabiting lesbians w/ dependent children – detailed investigation of the allocation of work and parenting responsibilities b/t women Parenting Circumstances - The research revealed a fairly unique and important opportunity for women parenting together – the possibility of detaching motherhood from its biological roots through the experience of social motherhood. The social-biological separation also means that motherhood is not necessarily ruled out for women who have fertility problems - Almost all of the women who had experienced donor insemination organized this informally – common feeling of wanting to know a good man. It was not unusual for donors to have regular contact w/ their offspring (‘normalize’ their family arrangements) - Respondents didn’t expect or desire a traditional division of labour - Despite tensions and possible conflict between mothers and ex-husbands, they worked hard to maintain their children’s relationships w/ their fathers Conclusion - Lesbian families are usually extended families supported by elaborated networks of friends/kin - Mothering was usually carried out in a context where mothers experienced a great deal of practical and emotional support from their partners, where routine domestic responsibilities were fairly evenly shared, and where there was mutual recognition of a woman’s right to an identity beyond the home - Lesbians decision to opt into motherhood is a tough decision. Their parenting partnerships are founded on the basis of friendship Taylor, Catherine and Janice Ristock. “LGBTQ Families in Canada: Private Lives and Public Discourse.” Pp. 125-163 Discourses 1) Compulsory heterosexuality (aka heteronormativity): the system of thought that says heterosexual relationships are the only good and natural ones, and that all other kinds ought to be suppressed for the good of society. It works in part by prescribing strict gender roles for men and women. All discourses involve value-laden systems of thought, people who believe in those values, and language practices that repeat them. CH is reinforced in our culture by the institutions of law, education, medicine, religion, and the state (rewards for heterosexual compliance and punishment for LGBTQ infractions) 2) Homophobia: a system of thought that supports CH by representing same-sex relationships as sinful, unnatural, and inferior. 3) Transphobia: a system of thought that supports the conventional gender roles by characterizing any sign of masculinity in females or femininity in males as unnatural. It maintains CH by persecuting people through police practices & representation of traditional roles in pop culture. 4) Family values: a system of thought developed by socially conservative faith communities that signifies “family values” as “straight, conventionally gendered married people w/ children” - Other Terms: anti-oppression work, bisexual, come out, gay, gender-variant, intersex, Two Spirit - LGBTQ families are mixed, not easy to define, but different from nuclear families Regulating LGBTQ People in Families - Assimilationist = no difference b/t straight and LGBTQ. But some argue “normalizing” LGBTQ people has oppressive effects – only those who most closely match dominant cultural standards (white, middle class, conventional gender expression) get to be seen as normal, everyone else is marginalized Marriage - LGBTQ view on marriage: racist, sexist, classist institution that serves interests of powerful men - Before 1969, all same-sex relationships were illegal (oppression – imprisonment, loss of employment, ostracism) - LGBTQ have equal rights (except the right to marry), but they are still symbolically inferior b/c heterosexual couples are seen as normal Parenting - Concern that having LGBTQ parents will make children LGBTQ or that they’ll be less adjusted - In reality, there are few differences in emotional, social, and developmental outcomes in these children - Two issues: (1) homophobic/transphobic discrimination of parents can add stress to family/children (2) children can be discriminated b/c of parents’ orientation Adoption - Canadian law doesn’t discriminate but couples can still encounter homophobic attitudes in the adoption process – think that LGBTQ people have unhealthy interest in children or they have negative attitudes to the “opposite” sex Pregnancy - Sperm donation, egalitarian relationships, donors usually maintain contact School - Explaining to peers about their parents, face discrimination, stress, but if children end up being LGBTQ they may have easier time w/ coming out to their parents - Show resilience creating their own support groups and community groups at school - Schools fear backlash from socially conservative parents so they are reluctant to act on homophobia - Dating: usually begins after high school, big cities are more diverse/accepting - LGBTQ relationships more likely to involve violence/abuse, but female-female relationships less intimate partner violence than female- male - Violence may be due to stress from stigmatization (isolation, HIV/AIDS, discrimination) LECTURE 9: IMMIGRANT FAMILIES AND YOUTH NEGOTIATING CHANGE “Immigrant and Racialized Families.” - Tyyska Immigrant Families - CAN admits people under the temporary foreign worker status in higher num
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