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Families Chapt 15

7 pages18 viewsFall 2010

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOCA01H3
Professor
Mc Kinon

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Chapter 15: Families
Nuclear family consists of man and woman who maintain a socially approved sexual
relationship and have at least one child.
There has been a decline of this family
Traditional Nuclear family is a nuclear family in which the husband works outside of home
for money and wife works without payment at home
This can also be referred to as a decline of this family
The husband become the primary provider and ultimate authority
There has been a great decline in the percentage of nuclear families in Canada
In the second half of the 20th century women between the ages 15-64 in paid labour has
increased from 25 to 71 percent
Some sociologist (functionalists) argue that:
There has been a decreased of married-couple family and a rise of working mother
Consider this a disaster
Rising rate of crime, illegal drug use, poverty and welfare dependency is because Can
children not being raised in a two parent home.
They want to make it harder to get divorce and focus on family responsibility over
individual happiness
Other Sociologists (influenced by conflict and feminist theories)
Disagree with the functionalist assessment
1st: They dont think the family is of one form. Families have been structured in different
ways, and forms have increased with new social pressures
2nd. It doesnt deteriorate individual life but has improved the way people live
They believe that economic and political reforms such as Nationwide daycare system can
eliminate the negative effects of single-parent households
FUNCTIONALISM AND THE NUCLEAR IDEAL
Functional Theory
Polygony- expands nuclear unit by adding one or more spouses (wives mostly). Permitted
mostly in countries like Africa and Asia. (expands horizontally)
Extended Family- expands by adding another generation-one or more of the spouses parents.
These used to be common throughout the world.
The building block of polygony and extended family is the NUCLEAR UNIT.
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George Murdock
Functionalist who conducted an experiment on nuclear families
Defined nuclear families as: socially approved, presumably long-term, sexual and econiomic
union between man and woman
Nuclear family provides 5 main functions
o Sexual Regulation:
Provides intense human need for sexual activity and makes social order possible
Premarital and extramarital sex has become common and has increased in Canada
o Economic Cooperation:
On average women on physically weaker than men, pregnancy and nursing restricted
women in their activities
The division of men and women activities enables more goods and services to be
produced than would otherwise be possible
People marry because of this economic fact
o Reproduction:
Children are an investment of the future
Their economic value to society increases as they mature, and help support elderly
parents
In most societies, theres a big economic incentive to having children
o Socialization:
Investment of child depends on parents through teaching, language, values, beliefs,
skills, religion
Talcott Parsons regarded socialization as the basic and irreducible” function of the
family
o Emotional Support:
Parsons, Nuclear family provides members love, affection and companionship
its the mothers responsibility for ensuring familys emotional well-being
women take “expressive” role, while men take instrumental role
the man being the primary provider makes him the ultimate authority
Foraging Societies
these are nomadic groups of 100 or fewer people
a clear gender division exists between these, men hunt and woman gather, child care
contrasting to Murdock its the band not the nuclear family keeping social organization
The Canadian Middle Class in the 1950s
functionalist say that the economic function of the family was less imp in WWII
women responsible for household, garden, dairy, poultry
men played role of breadwinner
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