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Social Institutions Chapter 11 Study Notes
Family: any social unit or set of social relations, that does what families are popularly
imagined to do, by whatever means it does so
Nuclear Family: a group that usually consists of a father, a mother, and their children
living in the same dwelling
Extended Family: multiple generations of relatives living together, or several adult sib-
lings with their spouses and children who share a dwelling and resources
Census Family: household that includes two spouses - opposite or same sex married
or cohabiting, living together longer than one year - with or without never - married chil-
Socialization: lifelong social learning a person undergoes to become a capable mem-
ber of society, through social interaction with others, and in response to social pressures
Primary Socialization: learning that takes place in the early years of a person’s life that
is crucial to the formation of an individual’s personality
Secondary Socialization: learning that occurs after childhood, usually involving learn-
ing specific roles, norms, attitudes or beliefs and sometimes involving self-imposed
Anticipatory Socialization: learning about and preparing for future roles, built on accu-
mulated learning
Resocialization; learning within social institutions aimed at retraining or reprogramming
Functionalism theory
-family’s division of labor is the key to its success (Talcott parsons and Robert Bales)
-husband of the household performs an instrumental role as the breadwinner, decision
maker and source of authority and leadership
-wife’s role; homemake, nurturer and emotional center of the family
-functions of the family ;
-regulation of sexual behavior and reproduction
-provision of physical (food, shelter) and psychological (nurturing, learning) ne-
cessities to its members
-socialization of children
-family is the microcosm of society; individual family members coming together in a uni-
fied and productive whole
-monogamous societies tend to function better than communities that do not maintain
pair bonding, so monogamy is functional in the sense it increases the survival capacity
of the community (Ronald Immerman and Wade Mackey)
-present-day functionalists argue cohabiting is inferior to traditional (legal) marriage
-socialization occurs from the top down, as children internalize social norms and learn
to conform to the roles and expectations of society
Critical Theory
-focus on political and economic changes in society to explain changes in family life
-industrialization; family moved on from being self-sustaining productive units to con-
sumption units
-dependent on outside sources of income to meet survival needs
-men work in labor force, women stay and work at home
-as a result, women rely economically on men , and experience political and social infe-
riority (feminist theorists)
-women gained exclusive control over the household; no longer men; e.g., decision
making decisions
-orthodox jewish religions expect women to get married and start families while young
since their designated role in life is that of the houseworker ; discourages girls from pur-
suing higher education and meaningful employment outside the home
-evangelical feminists claim, evangelicalism is ‘a strategic form of women’s collective
Symbolic Interactionism
-studies the way members of a family interact with one another and the ways they re-
solve conflicts within the boundaries of their roles in the family
-social constructionists; focus on the development and use of family ideologies such as
the ‘family values’
-people participate in their own socialization, through social interaction
-child sees and evaluates him ore herself according to how others see him or her
-generalized other: individual’s notion of the attitudes and expectations of society at
large (through play and early interaction children develop a concept of this)
-babies are ‘blank states’
Cohesive families; members have strong identification with the family as a whole, and
with one another
Adaptable families; members are mot able to plane and make changes
Traits of these families
-have open patterns of communication
-use fair procedures to resolve conflicts
-use fair, even democratic processes for setting goals
-family culture and ritual ties everyone together
Charles H. Cooley
-believes children have the capacity for self-development which they achieve through
social interaction
-child sees and evaluates him or herself according to how others see him or her (look-
ing- glass self concept)
-we change our behavior to increase our pride and decrease our embarrassment
-the role of others is mediated by our self-awareness, and by the importance we attach
to various reference groups
George Herbert Mead