Sociology and Family Quiz Notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Ping- Chun Hsiung

Lecture 2: Family in Transition The staging of everyday family life: looks at family as a social institution that involves decision making and negotiation. Family as a social institution at a macro: structural changes such as work (paid employment, nature of work, economic changes, globalization, recession limits control of an individual over the conditions that one is paid for his or hers labor. This affects what we decide to put out/buy. For example, at a grocery store, they have foods from other parts of the world – people buy different ethnic foods. This shows that life is affected by local and global factors such as movement of foods, products and human beings.  Overall patterns: need more info -___-  Positive effects: it allows families to leave or go to other places in the world/have more diverse lifestyle/maintain their own desirable lifestyles  Negative effects: growing in income equalities, recession in Europe, immigrant communities  Extra: The instabilities of paid employment make it challenging for people to organize their family life for example: the family dinner, what time, where, how many times a week, there are many factors that affect that Family as a social institution at micro involves: practices and activates. Decisions made are related to the macro structural forces.  Deliberate, personal effort: Because of the macro structural context which there is a limited control – individuals need to make deliberate and personal efforts to have family dinners, celebrate bdays within a family. The concept of staging emphasizes on deliberate effort to take all factors into consideration that are internal, external, personal or structural  This involves On-going negotiation: such as who cleaned the toilet, who cooks, who cleans, etc.  Extra: Men are breadwinners and women are homemakers .families must live on 2 incomes – heterosexual relationship men and women need negotiate where to send kids to school, vacation – these are all on going  Include – major decisions – where to live and buy a house, mortgage  The notion : allows us to take a closer look of what happens in family life's Family Size: determines what kind of family life an individual will have for example: if the person is an only child, (their kids will not have an uncle/aunt) vs. If the person is not an only child (vice versa) Lecture 3: Economies of Courtship: Gender, Class and Matrimonial Transactions in Egypt Three types of marriages 1. Frustrated love: Engagement broken off because of their inability to finance the establishment and maintenance ex) cannot buy furniture and blames inflation and low wages 2. Love Postponed: Engaged for six years while they saved up to afford the goods necessary for a respectable marriage. Explained she would have liked to marry at an earlier age – but it was two expensive – father could not help his son/buy a house, chairs and shit. 3. Forbidden Love: Entered into a secret marriage when his parents, who he depends on for his livelihood, objected to the match because she was divorced. The two individuals entered a “secret marriage”. He was dependent on his parent's income, he had no money. They had only a marriage contract, two witnesses seen – everyone else was clueless Cost of Marriage  Who? Incurred by brides, grooms, and their families.  What? Expenditures on housing, furniture, appliances, jewelry, celebrations, etc.  When? During courtship and engagement.  Where? Contemporary Egypt.  How? Customs govern who pays for what, but the level and timing of expenditures are negotiated by brides, grooms, and their families. Ex) 300 dollar band or 12000 diamond ring – involves a level of expenditure, time -> involves negotiation how much they should spend on objects  Why? To symbolically mark a new life-stage and the new relationships that come with it. To prepare the newlyweds to set up a new family. Extra: Material object – such as gifts or a purchase of a home as a functional important. It sets up for a new family and has a symbolized meaning as well. That is a social commitment to someone's family and individual taking on his or hers new role as well (as a wife/husband/mother/father) The Egyptian Context of Marriage: For most Egyptians, marriage is the only pathway to residential independence and sexual activity • “Love” versus “arranged” marriages: introduced by either an aunt/uncle/they were given a chance to date. • Marriage stages for Muslims: 1. Engagement: iswhen your suppose to fall in love, if you're not in love it is a wise choice to break it off (normal and not frowned upon) 2. signing of the marriage contract: formal signing of a marriage contract signed by an Imam or Sheik 3. marriage: • Marriage stages for Christians: engagement, marriage • This is how courtship/marriage work The Egyptian Context: Economy & Labor Market: Today young people are entering a labor market where unemployment is high, jobs are informal and wages are low. Economic conditions are hard, lacking in social protection, social insurance, medical insurance. However, they are better paid than formal jobs but do not carry any benefits. While unmarried youth have no children to support (youngmen) have to finance their own marriages. (69% of young ppl earning wages and falling below the poverty line) Possible Explanations for the Rise and fall of Marriage Costs • Family nucleation –extended families made up of a number of nuclear families which are parents/children • Changing consumption standards – (washing machines, ipods, furniture, refrigerators) all increase the cost of marriages because they are regarded as being necessaries in which you can't live without – so you got to purchase it • Employment patterns: migration for men diminished, Possible Consequences of the Rise and fall of Marriage Costs 1. Delayed marriage: as the cost of marriage increase, people delay in order to save up to for marriage expenses ex) diamond ring, celebration 2. Never marriage: The High cost of marriage make people not want to get married. Once past a certain age your market value drops 3. Secret marriage: This type of marriage is at a rise. A secret Marriage: Questions: How have the costs of marriage changed over time? The cost of marriage rises and declines (for middle and upper classs). The marriage costs for the poor have dropped. Why have the costs of marriage changed over time? Men's migration opportunities have diminished as a result they are spending less on marriage. Little is known about consumption standards, but it is likely that couples see more and more goods as ‘necessary’ for married life (expensive) and the Nuclear families have become more and more common over time, so family nucleation cannot explain the trend of rising then declining marriage costs. With what effect have the costs of marriage changed over time? Little is known about secret marriage rates; however, women and men have been marrying later. Rising/Falling marriage costs do not appear to have influenced marriage timing. Very few Egyptians never marry, and never-marriage does not appear to be affected by trends in marriage costs. What Explains Gender Differences in the Determinants of Marriage Timing? Men: Why men's marriage timing is more sensitive to labor, market experiences (afford marriage expenditures because the groom has to deal with much of the costs regarding the new union/cultural expectations (breadwinners of their household) Women: why women’s marriage timing does not respond to their labor market experiences: (cultural expectations are that women will devote themselves to domestic duties after marriage/Couples cannot expect the wife to contribute substantially to the household’s income, so they do not factor her labor market position into marriage timing decisions) How do high marriage costs affect marriage timing today? Affects men more than women (timely marriage), men often marry later because they either never worked or been unemployed, However, high marriage costs are only part of the picture. These men also postpone marriage until they are able to fulfill the breadwinner role. Do Women Benefit From High Marriage Payments? Yes, if the marriage were to end, a women can claim all assets her/husband bought together such as appliances, furniture (have some barging power for the women). Men are expected to provide the marital home – the wife can have everything but the home. So basically the wife would have to go back to her parents home, brothers, sisters whatever. Why Do People Insist on High Marriage Costs? (Research has emphasized functional importance of marriage expenditures and symbolic importance) One aspect: it makes sense for you to need to set up a functional home. This includes clothes washer, fridge (needed on a daily basi
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