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4 Dec 2010
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COMPASS ch.15: FAMILIES
The Nuclear Family
 Comprises of a cohabiting man and woman who are in a socially approved sexual relationship and have at least
one child together
Traditional Nuclear Family
 Is more narrow than above
 A nuclear family in which the wife works in the house without pay and the man works out side for paid wages
The Nuclear family is no longer the most widespread type of family in Canada.
- It was in the 1940s and 1950s
- Between 1950 and 1998 the amount of woman over 16 working increased from 25 to 58%
- By 1990 80% of mothers with school aged children were in the labour force
Walk the Line (2005)
Film about the life of Johnny Cash, who was blamed by his father for his brother[s death, therefore he grew up in a
dysfunctional family, but falls in love with June Carter, whose family was loving and kind to him.
Functionalist Theory
Feel like the decline of the nuclear family is disastrous, and that it leads to increased crime, drug use, and poverty and
welfare dependency rates amongst Canadians
Polygamy
 ξ€œΓ†ξ‚‰ξ€‚vξ€šξ‚ξ€ƒξ‚šZξ€žξ€ƒv¡oξ€žξ€‚ξ‚Œξ€ƒ(u]oÇ^Z}ξ‚Œ]Ì}vξ‚šξ€‚ooΓ‡_ξ€ƒξ€Γ‡ξ€ƒξ€‚ξ€šξ€š]vPu}ξ‚Œξ€žξ€ƒξ‚ξ‚‰}Β΅ξ‚ξ€žξ‚ξ€ƒξ‚š}ξ€ƒξ‚šZξ€žξ€ƒZ}Β΅ξ‚ξ€žZ}oξ€š
 Not so common because it is expensive to support many wives and children
The Extended Family
 ξ€œΓ†ξ‚‰ξ€‚vξ€šξ‚ξ€ƒξ‚šZξ€žξ€ƒv¡oξ€žξ€‚ξ‚Œξ€ƒ(u]oÇ^Γ€ξ€žξ‚Œξ‚š]ooΓ‡_ξ€ƒξ€Γ‡ξ€ƒξ€‚ξ€šξ€š]vPv}ξ‚šZξ€žξ‚Œξ€ƒPξ€žvξ€žξ‚Œξ€‚ξ‚š]}v
George Murdock
 Conducted famous study in the 1940s
 Concluded that the nuclear family is a distinct and strong functional group
 The nuclear family is based on marriage
 He defined marriage as a socially approved, long-term, sexual and economic reunion between a man and a
woman, involving rights and obligations between family members (spouses and children)
Functionalists believe that there are five main functions provided by nuclear families and marriages
1. Sexual Regulation
 Murdock says marriage makes social order possible by legitimating the intense human need for sexual activity
 However by year 2010 close to 85% of Canadians will approve of non marital sex. (Quebec being the most
liberal)
2. Economic Cooperation
 Woman are gatherers men are hunters, Men work outside the home, women work inside, men are stronger
than woman etc.
 This division of labour allows for maximum production
3. Reproduction
 Murdock says children are an investment in the future
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 They do chores, take care of elderly parents, and have an economic value
4. Socialization
 The basic and irreducible function of the family
5. Emotional Support
 Nuclear family provides love affection and support to its members
 Murdock says the mother is mainly responsible for this
 Therefore the mother has a more expressive role while the father has a more instrumental one
The two types of families that were in the mind of functionalists theorists...
FORAGING SOCIEITES
 Groups of nomads who travel in bands
 Yes, a gender division does exist, with females tending to children and gathering while men hunt
However...
Zξ€žξ€ξ€žvξ‚šξ€ƒξ‚Œξ€žξ‚ξ€žξ€‚ξ‚Œξ€Z}vξ€šΒ΅ξ€ξ‚šξ€žξ€šξ€ƒ}v(}ξ‚Œξ€‚P]vP}]ξ€žξ‚š]ξ€žξ‚ξ€ƒ~]vξ€ƒξ‚šZξ€žξ€ƒΓ­Γ΅Γ±Γ¬[oo]vξ‚š}ξ€ƒξ‚‹Β΅ξ€žξ‚ξ‚š]}vξ€ƒξ‚šZξ€žξ€ƒPξ€žvξ€žξ‚Œξ€‚o]ΓŒξ€‚ξ‚š]}v}(ξ€ƒξ‚šZξ€žξ€ƒ
functionalist accounts.
Gender division is much less strict and societies are more egalitarian than Murdock thought
 Men sometimes gather food and tend to babies
Gender division is not related to power and authority
 men and woman have pretty much the same privileges in these societies
 woman produce up to 80% of the food
The band is the basic functional unit, not necessarily the nuclear family
 The group decides as a consensus when men should be sent out to hunt
 food is shared among bands, not just nuclear families
 Socialization of children is the responsibility of all adults not just families
Children are not always economic assets in foraging societies.
 Ratio of children to productive adults is kept low
 Inuit even allow babies born in hard times to die.
THE CEξ€„ξ€˜/ED/ξ€˜ξ€˜>ξ€œξ€ƒξ€’>^^/Ed,ξ€œξ€ƒΓ­Γ΅Γ±Γ¬[
Functionalists noted that during this time the economic functions were less important and the socializing and emotional
functions of the family were more important.
Unlike in the time of the farm, both parents do not have to work. The man works outside the home while the woman
works on the children within the home.
After WW2
 Marriage and Baby boom, increase in family income
 Woman work on the home, attention on child rearing and house work
However, Andrew J. Cherlin notes the decline of the nuclear family amidst all this
 Xξ€˜]Γ€}ξ‚Œξ€ξ€žξ€ƒξ‚Œξ€‚ξ‚šξ€žξ‚UY(ξ€žξ‚Œξ‚š]o]ξ‚šΓ‡Uuξ€‚ξ‚Œξ‚Œ]Pξ€žξ€ƒξ‚Œξ€‚ξ‚šξ€žξ‚
 People married hastily, then divorce rates sky rocket as these marriages broke up
 ξ€‘Γ‡ξ€ƒξ‚šZξ€žξ€ƒΓ­Γ΅Γ²Γ¬[}ξ‚Œ]P]voξ€ƒξ‚šξ‚Œξ€žvξ€šξ‚ξ€ƒZξ€‚ξ€šξ€ƒξ€ξ€žξ€žvξ€ƒξ‚Œξ€ž-established after the post war boom(fewer marriages less income)
Functionalists were too hasty in making their conclusions, they based their observations too closely on the eras which
they knew best, and failed to recognize the decline of the nuclear family
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Document Summary

S comprises of a cohabiting man and woman who are in a socially approved sexual relationship and have at least one child together. S a nuclear family in which the wife works in the house without pay and the man works out side for paid wages. The nuclear family is no longer the most widespread type of family in canada. It was in the 1940s and 1950s. Between 1950 and 1998 the amount of woman over 16 working increased from 25 to 58% By 1990 80% of mothers with school aged children were in the labour force. Feel like the decline of the nuclear family is disastrous, and that it leads to increased crime, drug use, and poverty and welfare dependency rates amongst canadians. S not so common because it is expensive to support many wives and children. S concluded that the nuclear family is a distinct and strong functional group. S the nuclear family is based on marriage.

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