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Western University
Sociology 2235

Family Studies - Midterm 10/29/2012 5:04:00 PM o Families may seem like ―messy puzzles‖ but Canadians work hard to build close, stable, and reliable unions. o Our media is full of morality tales such as movies like ―Complicated‖ and ―Up in the air‖  reminding us of what happens to people who disregard and disrespect family units. Carole Smart – British Sociologist Four ongoing key debates in Family Sociology o 1) The demise of the extended family and the rise of the Nuclear family o 2) Decline of Marriage as an economic contract and the rise of companionate relationships o 3) The emergence of Child-Centeredness as the role and status of children alters o 4) The decline of Nuclear family and the rise of fluid family practice. o Family Decline: Comes from the structural demise of the Archetypical 1950‘s – two parent, heterosexual, white, middle-class family. o This ―OLD‖ type of family form has been on a decline, especially since 1920‘s. Youth crime Poverty Unwed Mothers High School Dropout - Are all attributed to ―Family Breakdown‖ Arguments against marriage are made on the following Deinstitutionalizing factors- condemning the institution of Marriage: - Opposing Cohabitation - Divorce - Single Parenthood Families face daily struggles, and surviving on the Male member‘s salary is not enough. o Most youth in their 20‘s are under-engaged because of extended schooling leaving them feeling - Infantilized - Financially dependent on their parents The reason for this shifting cultural conditions are - Precarious unemployment - Falling Wages - Decline of the primary industry Yet people choose to be a part of the two-parent family Liberals rally for: - Improve work-family balance - Compress work weeks - Improve work flexibility - Reduce child poverty - Keep the elderly in the labor force - Subsidize the day cares - Bring in Family tax credits Familialism: Provides a cultural and social definition as to what families are what they should be Familialism is both an ideology and a customary practice  that‘s the ―heart and ―soul‖ of our culture It portrays - How families are supposed to behave - What people can expect from intimate family relationships - Traditionalism and Familialism go hand in hand  we cling to a set of ideas about what families should be like. Certain such Hegemonic(dominant) ideas pertaining to Familiaism are: o Monogamy – principle that one man should marry only one woman - It is not practiced in many cultures o Families are supposed to be 1) Nonviolent 2) nurturing and 3) supportive Not all these principles are followed in all families Ex: Movie Precious – About an African American Adolescent raped by her father, and shunned by the traditional school system  More recent Example of this type of a case would be that of Amanda Todd from British Columbia Dominant White, Middle-class ideals of place, space and intimacy are all social construction‘s and norms that portray the ruling class ideas of a family life, However, are NOT indicators of people‘s actual behavior. o Families are supposed to function as Quasi Encounter groups where an individuals‘ deepest personal expectations can be expressed and achieved o However, now in families individuals have to put aside their personal desires and contribute to the collective enterprise of the family unit. The Post – World War 2 period  Modernist or Determinist theories o Structural functionalism: In the 1950‘s o If something is wrong with an individual‘s behavior functionalists claim it is because of the family structures o Materialist Approach  If something is wrong with an individual the economy is to blame  Materialists argue that the closer a family approximates a middle- class; economically secure place, the more opportunity members of that unit to have to ―Live the IDEAL‖  o Families fulfill a number of functions 1) To Secure the psychic and financial well being of dependent children, elderly and persons with disabilities 2) Socializing the young by shaping their values and behaviors – to conform to social expectations 3) Providing people with an explanation of their rights within an institution in which personal identities are closely tied with family roles. We give families moral labels depending on how closely they approximate to social norms o Labels can be ―Dysfunctional‖ & ―Fractured‖ or ―Beloved‖ and ―Reliable‖ Materialists argue that a the closer a family is to the middle class social strata  the more likely they will be to live the ―ideal life‖ The average age at which people first get married is 28 for Woman and 30 for Men. o Most Canadians marry at least once before they are 50 o Marriage Rates are falling in lower socioeconomic groups and rising among the highly educated. In the past 20 years Common Law partnerships have doubled - 63% of the French population in Quebec would prefer to live in common law as opposed to the 46% English population. - Reasons for increase in cohabitation without marriage 1) Individualism 2) Liberal views of society – cohabitation without marriage is not considered taboo anymore 3) Lower formal religious commitment Gay Marriage - 0.6 of all Canadian are Same-Sex couples - Quebec is the largest population of same sex couples in Canada - Same-Sex couples are common in 3 cities – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver Reginald Bibby – 3 reasons for Marriage as a method of cohabitation: 1) Marriage signifies commitment 2) Children should have married parents – they need both 3) It is just ―the natural thing to do‖ Along with these Financial needs and religious factors are motivators. Interreligious marriage: 2.7 million people in Canada are intermarried to people from different religions. - Two of the largest population groups in Canada are Protestant or Catholic - Hindu‘s, Muslims and Sikhs are less likely to marry each other - Muslims usually marry Catholics, when they do so outside their Religion. Ways of choosing a Partner: 1) Homogeneity – ―like tend to marry alike‖ 2) Same Racial/Ethnic Group 3) Similar Religious backgrounds 4) Comparable Educational backgrounds Singles People who have chosen to remain single represent 2 distinct groups: 1) The seriously single: who want to remain single for now and ever 2) Those who stay single for other reasons Singlism – is the stereotyping and discrimination of people who are single including those who are -divorced, -widowed or -who have never been married State policies discriminate against single people by - Increased Tax burdens - Decreased Social Security benefits - Wage disparities Why have kids? - Canada does not produce enough children to replenish the population; we rely heavily on immigration. - Canadian woman on an average have 1.59 children in their lifetime - The number of children per family has dropped but having children still remains a priority Vanier institute‘s reasons for having children o To fill physical and emotional needs o Intergenerational sharing of values o Transmission of a particular way of life o Intimacy and attachment o Having someone who survives and remembers us Average age for child birth now is 28 years of age for Woman. Reasons for delayed childbirth 1) Higher levels of Education 2) Finding a partner 3) Securing employment Higher Maternal Age amongst woman now – however research has shown it provides a better more stable home for the offspring. Childless by Chance/by Choice: - The longer a woman waits between her first and second child the, the lesser the odds of a second child because she may be infertile by then. - Each year in Canada there are about 1700 public adoptions and a 1000 private adoptions. Single Parents - 62% Children in Canada live with both their parents - 80% of the single parent households are headed by females (mothers) - Large amount of single parents households struggle to make ends meet. - Quebec offers 3-5 weeks of paternity leave, called ―daddy days‖ to fathers allowing them to spend time with their partners during pregnancy and birth. - According to Doucet: there are gender differences in parenting.  Men parent emotionally, and work to make their children independent.  Thy monitor they‘re children in activities such as sport and leave the administrative tasks to the woman  They are responsible for their contributions to family earnings. - In households where the woman is the primary breadwinner of the family, the woman tends to be older and more educated than their husbands. Immigrants have a hard time integrating in the Canadian Society - Even those with degrees, arriving from Asia (India and China) find it hard to obtain jobs, with university degrees. - They are skilled labor involved in low paying jobs, because they cannot obtain a job in their own field. - Palameta: Did a study and observed income of children of immigrants and Canadian born families  The daughters of immigrants parents had higher annual salary than those girls who were Canadian born  Boys whose parents were immigrant were the opposite and involved in low paying jobs, compared to their Canadian-born counterparts. Boomerang Kids  Adults who return home after their initial departure (for university/college) Reasons: 1) prolonged higher education 2) high rents in urban areas 3) Temporary jobs 4) Divorce 5) Loss of employment 6) Changes in Values and Preferences. Fractured Families: in which the Parents are divorced and remarried, and the father and mothers have children from a previous marriage. Aging families are on the rise in Canada because of the rise in the numbers of the elderly. ―Working to Death‖ Aging member of the workforce continue to work past the traditional retirement age of 65 years. (Ambert) Family – Chapter 1 10/29/2012 5:04:00 PM o Family – most basic institution of any society o Socialization: process where children learn how to think/behave according to ways society/group in which they‘re born/raised (not passive, they respond according to their personalities/needs/experiences)  transmission of culture o Socialization reconstructs gender, racial, economic structure + roles o Institution: recognized areas of social life that are organized along system of accepted norms that regulate behaviors (organizations/norms) contribute to predictability (shared culture) o ‗Change‘ is a part of every institution  despite changes, institution itself remains while its functions evolve/multiply o In definition some want to remove the institutional aspect of family and replace with close/sexual intimate relations no matter how temporary  emphasis on voluntariness ―chosen‖ relational aspects o Stats Canada definition 2002: family is ‗couple of any sexual combo with or without children, married or cohabiting as well as a lone parent of any marital status with at least one child living in the same dwelling, or a grandparent raising a grandchild‘ o A family is a social group, institution and an intergenerational group of individuals related to one another by blood, adoption or marriage/cohabitation  minimum to meet definition of „nuclear‟ is combo of two generations in one household o Necessary for care of young/helpless and survival of species – despite monogamy o Single people living together thought they constitute household unit, but not included in definition of family  such are members of their families of origin or procreation  past definitions didn‘t include unmarried mothers or same sex families o Family policy implications  broad definitions i.e. friends being family problematic analytically (overlaps with social/support networks) – if we broaden definition it may become useless (not have continuity) o Membership in a family is an ascribed status while friendships are acquired  status ascription is one of the reasons family relations tend to be enduring but friendships change over time – families are enduring i.e. if parents divorce each ex spouse is still o A parent and his/her children or two parents with their children form the elementary type of family  when person or couple has a child by birth, adoption or surrogacy; a nuclear family of procreation is formed  what is important is that a new generation is added, not if the offspring is biologically related i.e. single man with adopted son, or grandparent taking care of grand child o Couples constitute a nuclear family upon arrival of their first child  these couples are members of their own families or origin or orientation (they belong to/originate from their parents/parents families) o In situations of divorce, children may experience binuclear family i.e. half of their nuclear family is constituted by themselves and their mother and the other by themselves and their father o Horizontal nuclear family: when brothers/sisters share a household together without parents  there is only one generation involved, but which originates from their parents o Other relatives are extended family or kinship group i.e. aunts, in-laws, cousins o Most people belong to both nuclear and extended families o Multi-generational households: extended families living together under one roof haven‘t ever been a norm in Canada except in Aboriginals (the English/French arrived with tradition of nuclear) o Three-generational households have increased in Canada in the past two decades  immigration and due to return of adult children with their own children home o These extended families live in cities (48% contain one or two grandparents with a single parent and his/her kids) o Level of exchange between extended and nuclear depends on co- residence, proximity of neighborhood, emotional reasons (relations with extended optional in N. America except for Newfoundland/Labrador) o Newly arrived families are kinship oriented (institutionalized, exact rules of behavior, reciprocity) compared to average Canadian born o Fictive kinship: (Latin America‘s compradazgo) when friend becomes relative – Inuit groups extend kin system to kin of kin o Types of Union and Marriage o o Two types legal in Canada = marriage/common law unions between one man and one woman or between two persons of same sex o Polygamy types  polygyny (man married to two or more women) and polyandry (woman married to two or more men) – polygyny has resurfaced and is receiving attention but overall polygamy is a minority phenomenon even in countries where legal – women likely to enter polygamous when with little education, rural, poverty o Polygamy rooted in agrarian society where men benefitted from having help of wives on land (wives/kids signs of wealth) o Sex ratio imbalance: arises where polygamy is practiced by a segment of the population – when men have more than one wife, then not enough wives left so have to wait till they‘re older or marry someone young i.e. as is done in Afghanistan/Yemen (9-14 years) o Polygamy practiced in rural area where agricultural activities many – birth of many sons and co-wives have more space to establish separate residences with kids in patrilocal compound o Effects on children of polygamous marriages depends on cultural/socio- economic context in which they are i.e. cases in Asia cant be applied to Canada  when move to Western cities, multiple wives cant have multiple homes so live together  hard to estimate how many polygamous in Canada due to recent immigration from African/Asian countries i.e. some immigrate as sisters of husband even though wife o When law of society i.e. Canada doesn‘t allow multiples, one wife may not be protected if not considered legal though the Ontario Family Law Act may provide spousal support/welfare (but many not aware of these) o Polygamous immigrant families face challenges  adapting to new country, adapt to different legal family situation law/criminalization of wife abuse o Success of polygamy depends on sociocultural context in which family lives (plus fair treatment received)  polygamous (key indicator of social inequalities in societies throughout world) more problematic than monogamous o o o o o o Theoretical Perspectives o o Theory: set of interrelated propositions that explain particular phenomenon and guide research  two or three theories combined provide thorough explanation of reality o Study of family ideal meeting point of theoretical perspectives because families are nexus of interactions informed by cultures/contexts – families create culture via interactions and socializations of generations o Structural functionalism: analyzes society organization, structure, linkages between various systems o Family important unit that fulfills key functions for society i.e. child socialization (structure provides cultural/organizational context that influences family life) o Organic analogy  organism (society) system with many subsystems that function together o (Talcott Parsons) theory with assumptions of consensus or equilibrium  inequalities perceived to be fulfilling necessary functions – this framework insufficient for analyzing family developments i.e. changing role of women maternal employment threatened equilibrium) o Differentiation between gender lines  instrumental role (father as breadwinner, linking family to society) vs. expressive role (mother cares for kids, maintains relations, does housework) not sustainable with the return to paid employment for women and changes in gender ideologies  instrumental tasks carried out by mothers under ‗expressive realm‘ didn‘t do justice to reality either o Social structural orientation: evident when inequalities between families discussed, similar to a political economy approach  family living conditions analyzed through political, economic, cultural arrangements of society rather than through individual deficits/merits (doesn‘t defend status quo, but suggests importance for change at global level) o Dysfunction: i.e. at individual level – hyperactivity of child – prevents kid from doing well at school/integrating with peers or dysfunctional family is one disorganized by conflict that unable to care for its members  this perspective allows us to see labels due to marginalization (poverty/discrimination) o Social Exchange and Rational Theories: are products of sociocultural environment of 20 thC and development influenced by economics  exchange theory owes to perspective of ‗utilitarianism‘ based on assumption of individual self-interests o All parties involved in exchange should receive what is perceived equivalent or imbalance will occur  one will have power, other disadvantaged ‗distributive justice’ vs. ‘fair exchange’ (exchange a subjective/interpretive phenomenon) o Basic assumption behind social exchange theory is that people interact, make choices to maximize their own benefits and to minimize their costs  resources and power have central position (i.e. each spouses resources/dependence on relationship be taken into account to study marital power)  theory gives rise to the equity model or perception of equity (not sure what it is*)  social exchange theory focuses on rational choices, emphasizes resources (called capital in rational theory which brings commonality between the two theories) o Exchange theory useful in explaining gender relations, household division of labor, why people enter/remain in relationships (decisions in divorce etc. affected by relative resources – the one with most alternatives may be least committed) – isn‘t as determining a factor today though o Economic orientation to human relations presents difficulties to those whole values altruistic or collectivist (sense of duty/moral obligation) key motivators in family life and social exchange cant account for them  another critique of exchange is that peoples decisions not always made objectively o Rational theory: resources are a key element and social/human and cultural capital  it‘s a theory of capital and community (whereas exchange theory is one of individuals) o Human capital: abilities, skills, education, positive human characteristics inherited/acquired by a person  paramount importance in knowledge based economies (requiring skills shaped by childhood education) o Cultural capital: parents general knowledge/aspects of their lifestyle that can promote their children‘s achievement o Social capital: resources that individual families are able to secure on basis of membership in social networks (but these aren‘t equal in terms of resources transferred to families)  social resources enhance families sense of belonging, child socialization, acquiring human/cultural capital  i.e. a type of social capital is when parents cooperate/agree/share authority allowing for their child to learn norms more effectively o Social capital also refers to friendships, contact with neighbors, volunteering o Social closure: social networks are closed so kids less subjected to conflicting norms o Effective community: exists when neighbors willing to take responsibility for all children in their community -- groups of parents share particular pro-social values enhancing parents social capital  allows for social closure and an element of collective socialization (parents aren‘t alone – ―takes village to raise a child‖) o o Symbolic Interactionism: Both a theoretical perspective and methodological orientation  a sociopsychological theory in which self, social self and role occupy singular position as do societal contexts whose meanings/structures are perceived while interacting with each other o People develop self concepts/definitions of roles they occupy through others views of them  concepts of ‗reflected appraisals‘ and ‗looking glass self‘ (Cooley and Mead) o Acquire self definition through interaction with significant others (people who play important role in individuals life i.e. parent  sports figures, singers etc. may become reference groups for kids as they grow/learn roles they‘ll play as adults (kids look up to these people and use them as points of reference to guide their behaviors, develop their sense of self and interpret social contexts) o Symbolic interactionism suitable for study of personal/familial phenomenon not much researched o Families construct environment based on self and perceptions of significant others – constitute own symbolic world through myths/rituals  Best known is Mead, Blumer, Goffman o Symbolic interaction has 2 orientations: o First focuses on family processes o Second on roles, is more structural (focusing on dramaturgy – using drama terms roles, actors, front stage, setting)  role strain reduced cause people perceive greater consensus in expectations surrounding their role i.e. if parents role well defined, they‘ll feel less insecure, role strain reduced o o Interactional-transactional Perspectives: Goes beyond symbolic interactionism  Interactional-transactional says that a person creates his/her own environment at interpersonal level, and at same time he/she is shaped by this environment o Views socialization as process by which child participates in formation of identity o Child as a social actor belongs to this perspective  useful in study of parent-child relation (corrects flaws inherent to early socialization and child development where kids were seen as passive to their parents actions – instead child is studied as active social actor with characteristics as are parents) – Interactions between parents/kids feed back on each other  socialization process involves interaction between child‘s personality/parental teachings – child is co-producer of his/her own development o The interactional causality model is multidimensional and bidirectional  flows both from parents and children interacting with/reacting to each other and responding to environment affecting them – interactional is also transactional (involves multiplicity of causality – transactions between child, his/her parent, and environment within a feed back model o Interactional-transactional perspectives sensitive to diversity of family environment (culture/ethnicity)  applies to other interactions between family also i.e. spouses/siblings o Interactional theories developed within larger framework – various levels of child/family environment influence development/interactions  though kids are co-producers in their development, both parents/kids actions are enhanced, limited and constrained by larger environment in which situated o “Interactionist perspective” refers to interaction between several variables whereas contribution from i.e. social variable – poverty to negative child outcomes is combined with other parent/child variables to create further negative/positive outcomes o Developmental (Life Course) Perspectives o Family development theory is the only sociological theory created for study of families particularly  family life stages help structure parent- child relation o Families have a life course trajectory more fluid than in the past, not all families follow same sequence of events o Developmental theories for micro (viewed as long lived groups with history of internal interactions/transactions with society) – useful in study of intergenerational studies and of relations in context of different historical periods/macro-sociological (families considered within historical context of their society – families change/adapt but do so under influence of more global social developments  effects of technology and the economy on family life o Key contribution of developmental perspective has been to present longitudinal/long term framework for research on families (over time)  developmental perspective examines careers of families and considers dynamics between various life stages of its members  concept of role recurs in this perspective as persons role evolves when additional member arrives i.e. child ages and enters economic system/or departs, grandchildren born o Dynamic concepts include transition from one stage to next with family stage i.e. older child moves out while other stays home o Timing is a key concept i.e. 25-year-old woman marries and has first child after 2 years (on time), less normative is 17 year old who has baby (off time) – or occurrence of divorce may not mesh with stage of life kids are at and so is an off time o Developmental perspectives allow us to see how family stages relate to parents own life course i.e. someone who has child at 28 vs. 40 are in same stage of family development but belong to two stages in terms of individual development (consequences on how experience is lived, family dynamic, child development)  mid-life is diverse life stage in individual development – cuts across different family life cycles o Age condensed family: when multiple generations succeed each other i.e. when 16 year old has baby, makes her mom a young grandmother vs. age gap in which generations less close in age (i.e. an on time birthday or an older woman giving birth, the opposite occurs than age condensed) o Early fertility: repeated across generations contributes to increase in social inequalities between families – opposite occurs when adults become grandparents at older age  also giving them time for education/asset accumulation which can benefit the young/elderly (early births accelerate family stages/stack up generations of young people within the same family) o With young mother, generational gap between her and child is blurred – may act more like peer, child lacks benefit of having guide who assumes moral authority (for child risks of delinquency and transmission of off time births high) o o Social Constructionism: Theory argues that various phenomenon taken for granted and seem natural are actually culturally defined/socially constructed  gendered social construct of motherhood/fatherhood is a prime topic of analysis by both social constructionists and feminists o Social construct: is a social/cultural creation or interpretation – family life is socially redefined according to the socio-economic needs of a society at any point in time – social construction of family life comes from those in power and experts who produce knowledge valued by society at particular time in history i.e. religious, medical, psychological, economic, legal (evolved from masculine base) thus social constructionism related to feminism  both emphasize culture as explanation for definition of gender roles and present critique of aspects of society i.e. to alleviate certain social conditions created by contrasts i.e. motherhood, adoption, adolescence o Important influence on person‘s life comes from gendered social construction of parenthood  overall stratification by gender outlines women/men fulfill different functions in parent roles (household of division unequal, males have more flexibility) but there are changes cultural/economic that are altering the framework o Motherhood o Motherhood is socially constructed to serve culture of the time and the economic system  defined according to definition of childhood/and of child‘s needs roles within economic system  ‗nature‘ of childhood is socially constructed so differs culturally and century wise i.e. in N. America kids need affection, boost of self esteem etc. whereas in other society – Zaire not the case o Once agreement in society/social class of what is in best interest of child, this guides motherhood implicitly/explicitly i.e. in societies where high infant mortality, safety/feeding of importance in caregivers, notions of attachment, intellectual ability development etc. don‘t exist o Some societies – mothers initiate few nurturing acts o In Western society – believed mothers are instinctual, and not learned or with aptitude for mothering (one mother not necessity of human nature, not universal) it is an ethnocentric phenomenon o Multiple mothering/multiple parenting is in majority in many agrarian/gathering societies (share care of children) – seen in N. American Blacks, Caribbean, Aboriginal communities (care of kids by older children practiced by Black during slavery) o Intensive mothering: mothering that is expert-guided, labor intensive at middle class level emphasizes child‘s psych development, promo of self-esteem and individualism (found in Western societies) child seen as project to be perfected  requires mothers to expend lots of time, energy, money in raising child (in consumerist Western society, two salaries required so neither parent can care for kids 24hrs a day)  end result is current social constructions of motherhood and childhood compete o Another example of social construction of motherhood are changes taking place regarding proper feeding of infants – pre 1970s breast/bottle was choice, then moral entrepreneurs transformed choice into superiority and necessity of breast (looked down upon if mothers don‘t do it – ideological blanket) o Another anomaly of social construction of intensive motherhood is that even a mom that has career as demanding as mans, still expected to spend/and does time in home more – division of labor involves 24 hour watch if child ill o Mother blaming: is a useful political tool to use when social structures/safety nets fail individual families i.e. disabled child more often live with single mom, children internalize expectations of mothers (having more of moms than of fathers)  transition to parenthood affects woman’s role in daily activities way more than man‘s role (man retains identity as worker) o o Fatherhood o Evolved, affected by ethnic/educational status of family o Still defined as breadwinners but women also working contradicts the social construction and brings unease (thus been a shift in social construction of fatherhood due to increase of women in workforce)  Ideal father is described as one who is involved with his kids, sharing household responsibilities (but paternal involvement still low) o Dual practice of fatherhood: exists for intact families and for what are called ‗absent fathers‘  the more remote the legal paternity link to mothers, the less involved are fathers (most less involved post divorce despite sharing custody, and even less when not shared) – when fathers re-marry/have kids, first set of kids displaced ―crowded out‖  common law dads less likely to support kids than are divorced – those who father kids non-martially are least involved (whereas moms maintain high level of emotional investment despite marital conflict/divorce) o Father role less ‗scripted‘, more influenced by situational variables – father investment in kids decreases as relations with the mother does (mother constitutes key factor for fathering)  husband who perceives wife has faith in his parenting ability is much more involved (difference between motherhood/fatherhood – latter depends on relationship with child‘s mother) whereas motherhood exists on its own (good relation with dad helps but doesn‘t determine presence/absence of mom) – fathering is a more ‗contextually sensitive process than mothering‘ o o Behavior Genetics o Sociobiology describes human behaviors and social institutions on basis on evolution o Behavior genetics studied within family phenomenon to explain how nature and nurture combine and interact to produce personalities/parent-child interactions, home environment, how kids are raised, why kids grow up to be who they become (parents influence kids through behaviors/attitudes and genes) expressed by socialization practices, lifestyle choices made  in a family each person is part of the other‟s environment (behavioral genetics related to the multicausality model of interactional/transactional theories) o Due to different personalities, siblings don‘t experience shared environment in the same way i.e. family outings, teachings, meals together, divorce plus siblings don‘t share illnesses, classrooms, peers the non-shared environment – not surprising siblings turn out different to an extent o Closer the genetic similarity, more similar personalities will be – identical twins raised together more like each other than fraternal plus the closer the cultural link between two people, the more similar their behaviors become o Genes and environment are the two engines that guide human development  not the two by themselves o Behavioral genetics complement sociological perspectives o o Is Feminism An Important Perspective? o o Socialist feminists deal with inequities in gender/class through changes in state and its policies  radical feminists focus on patriarchy and how women‘s faily lives affected i.e. through violence/porn  liberal feminists seek equality of opportunity for women in social/economic/legal/political life – theoretical distinctions more ideal than real o Feminism is an interdisciplinary set of perspectives/theories united by common analysis of patriarchal organization of society (unequal roles beginning in family, male attributes, morality o Minority of research on family uses feminist research o Several waves of feminism in N. America since 19 thC but are women centered/aim at explaining/documenting woman experience  highlight women/man experience of life very different/unequal o o Gender roles: represent social definition of what in society is constructed as appropriately masculine/feminine in terms of behavior  rules/norms that define how males/females should think/behave (accept roles according to structural arrangement dictates) o Stratification: at macro level, gender roles are supported by this masculine organization/system of society – provides resources, authority to men more than women (men generally have more power, this at micro level affects how we think/behave  differentiated gender roles) o Problems encountered by boys as result of masculine socialization i.e. toughness, emotional distance (feminists influence those who study development of boys) o Contribute to examination of social inequalities/diversities plus in societies colonized  useful with regard to racism and recently gender/sexual differences  made it possible to examine patriarchal structure of society from anti-racism perspective to impact the ‗double stratification‘ on lives on non-white women and their families (extended to women in war zones, immigrant women i.e. foreign domestic workers cultural adaptation) o Division of labor by gender within society/household is a fundamental focus of feminist analyses—emphasize fallacy of family as a private world untouched by society‘s inequities o Feminists see division of individual lives between public and private spheres as analytically flawed (private is affected by the public but the private becomes a public issue) i.e. wife battery placed on policy agendas + woman‘s choice to have few children o Feminism analyzes motherhood as social construct rather than as a natural product (related to social constructionism)  marriage seen as contributing to feminine inequality + ‘the gap in parenting‘ ‗the feminization of childhood’ how in our type of society the interests of women and children may be at odds o Feminist theories not utilized enough to study older people and their families/caretaking + insufficiently include men/women who choose full- time parenting without paid employment or those with little education and so cant be competitive in labor market so are homemakers o Feminist analysis has been developed by career-oriented women within economic system of paid employment controlled by men within capitalist economy o o Main Themes In the Text o Social inequalities – informed by structural, political economy, ecological theories + social capital and rational theory  based on economic situation/ethnicity, families have unequal access to key resources of their society  feminist analysis + social constructionism inform us that gendered inequalities and gender roles cut across economic/ethnic stratification (differential access to societal resources/opportunities) o Family diversity – diversity in structure, culture, inequalities  concerns of social policy come from family diversity, social inequality and family functions (policies intend to prevent familial difficulties created by inequality i.e. poverty) + diversity (i.e. one vs. two parent families) diversity includes class, ethnicity, religion + ideologies leading to lifestyles o Family functions – related to structural functional theories  family has not lost its functions, but acquired new ones, individual families often ill equipped to fulfill functions due to lack of social investment (important social policy critique) o Effective community – affect on child socialization/integration of families in society  inspired by rational theorists emphasizes how effective communities constitute social capital that supports families  social capital allow kids to develop their own human capital (positive qualities/social acceptable behavior/school completion/achievement) affective social community should help in the care of elderly and disability so that women don‘t have to take sole responsibility (especially those already caring for nuclear family) o Cultural context – recourse to social constructionism i.e. adoption and how it can affect child development  involves audiovisual media and its impact on family interaction/child socialization (issue of media influence) media has restructured family time and offered social constructs of reality that affect adult/child mentality  diversity – families belong to wide spectra of religious/ethnic/ideological o Interactional – double theoretical focus – emphasizes interactional aspect of family relations as opposed to models that tend to explain kids problems through their parents negative approach to socialization  implicates feedback between environment/parent characteristics + behaviors/child characteristics  theme also points to complementary importance of paying attention to family members genetic inheritance + interaction of genetic inheritance with the environment in creating personalities and family relations o o What Methods Are Used in Family Research? o o Good theory can be tested against facts with set of hypotheses o Hypothesis: testable proposition or sentence (dependent vs. independent variable) o Theories inform questions asked about families and provide explanatory models o Methods: means/tools used to answer questions/obtain info  methods used are demographic/sociology/psychology o Using inappropriate methods creates useless/misleading/false results  could lead to enacting policies that have negative consequences i.e. welfare has led to increase in single mothers has curtailed helpful funding which has damaging consequences for children o o Qualitative/Quantative Methods o Quantative: based on numbers, percentages, averages shown in tables/charts expressed in stats as time series analysis/correlations o Qualitative: reports what family members say/write/do in form of extracts/quotes/case studies/summaries to describe/explain phenomenon in depth/arrive at conclusions  researchers may want to know the impact of their study on respondents  method basis focuses on holistic perspective o Qualitative use grounded theory  methodological approach guides study of family via qualitative methods – emphasizes individual experience, builds research results and theory o Stat designs begin with hypotheses, consist of multiple choice/close ended questions – summarize information (presenting averages/percentages when large samples involved) o Distinction between qualitative data and anecdotal material  qualitative follow rigorous methods of information gathering, but anecdotes gathered casually  limited research value because don‘t reveal info about general trends or reveal where anecdotes located on continuum of life experiences o Anecdote exploratory data: insights gathered informally that are used to design state-of-the-art qualitative or quantative studies later with goal of testing hypothesis o Qualitative/quantative methods are equally scientific and complement each other  both can be used in surveys/observations/experiments o Family sociologists should be concerned with choosing research approach that best describes human reality they wish to study within its social context whether in one approach or both (method should be chosen based on what is being investigated/ability to minimize influence of social desirability) o A problem in research is that only one family member tends to be interviewed  discrepancies in reports of facts/perceptions which can be addressed only when more than one member interviewed o o Example of Qualitative Methods: Student Autobiographies o o Falls under surveys/content analysis  autobiographies can be semi- structured (in response to open ended questions) o Questions about marital status, age, race, religion etc. can be used to identify a person o o Conclusions: Unity in Diversity o Families are diverse and united as an intergenerational institution  theories used to study family in its entirely, in the plural but to find similarities among them o Families as linkage rather than polarization between micro and macro o **Nuclear family  at least one parent, one child living together – conjugal (cohabitants with child whether same sex, one parent or grandparents and grandchild) o **Reconstituted  remarried spouses or cohabitating with child from another union o **Horizontal  Sisters/brothers or cousins living together without the parent generation o **Extended family  all members of family including child, parents, grandparents, aunts etc. (family by blood, adoption, marriage) o **Cohabitation  union not legally sanctioned but that is protected in Canada o **Serial monogamy or polygamy  sequence of partners or spouses over time through divorce, remarriage etc. (Table is on page 4) o **Polygamy  multiple partners or spouses at one time o  polygyny: one man married to more than one woman at one time o  polyandry: one woman married to more than one man at History and Cultural diversity of Families 10/29/2012 5:04:00 PM  The first families in Canada were of the Aboriginal  First Nations people  They lived in settled villages and engaged in some trade  Aboriginal nations were mostly Hunter- Gatherers and followed a nomadic experience because of the need to pursue migrating game  Nations such as the Pacheenaht on Vancouver island were Patrilineal  Patrilineal : They recognized descent and inheritance through the father‘s line.  Iroquois in the St. Lawrence Valley were Matrilineal  They followed the mother‘s line of descent and inheritance for future generations. The basic social unit for all First Nations people was FAMILY  These families were communal and the concept of sharing responsibilities and resources  Childrearing and obtaining food dominated their lives. Case Study Examples:  Plain Cree family: - They were mainly Patrilineal families of Nomadic Nature - The Tribes were taken care of by men, their brothers and sons - If the band encountered difficulties the entire band would move, usually to a join with another band of a relative. - They had traditional division of labor and structured gender roles like the men hunted and the woman were involved in childrearing and taking care of the household. - Orphans or Boys who‘s families were in trouble could live with the chief‘s family or of any other male of a high rank  Iroquois family: - These families were mostly Matrilineal line of descent and inheritance. - The male moved in with the female after marriage, who owned all the land - The Females actively engaged in Agriculture as Men went hunting and fishing. Warfare was the main vocation of the Men. - Their settlements were heavily fortified - There were the two things prominent in Iroquois families  Producing food and defense. - Woman chose male leader or SACHEM from the warrior settlers for political organization. - Iroquois Families were structured around Gendered Equality and shared responsibilities between men and woman. Families of New France  Change in the history of Canadian Families began in 1535  Jacques Cartier discovered lower St. Lawrence River Valley  became a part of new France in 1608  With fewer than 30 people Samuel De chaplain establish New France , which is Quebec City today  In 1763 the English Regime began in Canada  Groeth of people also constituted to population growth  with the high rates of Childbearing and increasing Nuclear families The first French Canadian colonists were Fur traders or ―Coureurs de bois‖ - They took woman as wives called – femmes du pays (In union outside the church) - These woman contributed n the households as well as in the fur trade with their knowledge about skinning and preserving Fur pelts, their ability to use first nations languages and their peoples traditions as traders. Between 1663 and 1673 rance send about 800 woman 9the kings daughters) to marry the settled bachelors in New France.  The earlier Aboriginal- European Marriages gave rise to Metis By 1700 4 major events had relegated woman to a typical family role in society: 1) A Nuclear family structure was essential in the life of a farmer and his family, as the fur trade declines.  They preferred large families in order to have more workers on the farm  Land concessions were given depending on how many children a couple a had – so the woman had to be involved in Child bearing.  France‘s minor nobility SEIGNEUR owned the lands and the Tenants worked on it 2) The second event was government policy which encouraged and promoted large families in order to build the larger colonies against foreign invaders from Britain – Pronatalist approach  Rather than encouraging immigration from France, the French preferred to promote higher fertility to increase population.  Because of this Nuclear families became the norm and being a single woman was less socially acceptable now  There were incentives given to woman under the age of 16 and men who married under the age of 20.  3) Expanding Authority of the Roman Catholic church  As farming communities grew the church gained more power over the colonies.  The church controlled education and developed a gender specific curriculum – through which woman were taught to be pure and good wives and mothers.  The church was responsible for implementing the Crowns prenatal agenda. 4) A Peace settlement with the Iroquois families in 1701 produced a more agrarian society  Agrarian societies typically have a family as the base of the society therefore the role of the woman within the household was advanced. Characteristics of families in New France 1) Sex Segregated roles 2) Self-selection mating (with approval of their parents) 3) Neolocal Nuclear households 4) Pro-natalist (To encourage more births through incentives) attitudes 5) Kin Interaction British Conquest of Quebec happened in 1759  British settlers in North America had surpassed the French in terms of wealth and population  They encourage immigration from Scotland, Wales and Ireland and entire families were part of the is Emigration Emigration: Permanently leaving ones country to settle in another  British colonies before 1759 witnessed a transition from Fur trade to Agriculture and Military success  thus opening up more territory for settlement.  Families in upper Canada were different than those in Quebec  The British colonies experienced faster industrialization and urbanization than Quebec  British Colonists had the right to own private property – allowing them to move from a preindustrial agricultural economy to an Industrial and Capitalist economic system  Many Loyalist families fled from the USA and settled in the British colonies after 1782  leading to social stratification in the colonies  There was a rise of classes of merchants, artisans, professionals, farmers and laborers.  There was an Aristocratic element in the British Colonies – the British noblemen moved to Canada to lead the Army and Navy and establish Estates.  Tilly and Scoot: The Household was the center around which resources, labor and consumption were balanced. Families in Upper Canada and Maritimes:  Roman Catholic Church was central religious power in New France.  British families in Upper Canada and the Maritimes were based strongly on principles of Christianity and patriarchy.  British Common Law gave rights to Men as heads of the Family. The men were expected to work outside the home.  Woman were restricted to the home and taking up domestic tasks such as cleaning, cooking and caregiving.  Divorce in upper Canada was only common after 1839 and men received better treatment from the law including retaining custody of their children.  Children only got married once their economic contribution to the family unit was no longer required  therefore The Maritimes and upper Canada had a higher marriage age than Quebec.  Woman contributed to the advancement of the economy with their contributions on the domestic front and the development of a distinctive British colonial society  This society was individualistic with its Capitalist and Property owning nature  Social integration was present in the Maritimes and Upper Canada based on Kinship and colonists place of origin (Where they come from in England) Quebec under the British Rule  Confederation occurred in 1867 when Upper Canada, Quebec and the Maritimes joined together to form and independent Canada.  The British controlled post-conquest Quebec  In order to let this French economy remain Stable the British allowed the Quebecers to use their own French Language, they put no strictures on the Roman Catholic Church and even allowed the French civil law to be continued to be used.  French Speaking government officials and the Church promoted Family growth and the patriarchal system of family life.  Old French Seigneurial Law had not been replaced  More sons were needed to ensure control of tenant controlled land.  Montreal became a large industrial city  with growing population from Europe seeking employment  Between Confederation and the establishment of British Rule increasing numbers of Quebecois began leaving Montreal and moving south to engage in jobs such as Lumbering.
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