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Soc 2235 family.docx

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Western University
Sociology 2235

Tuesday September 18, 2012 Soc 2235 Family  Video – the sociology of families and households  sociological approaches to the family o 3 key issues  Describe and classify (what are families)  What families do  How families work o Extended families - households close together  depended on each other if job lost o Nuclear families – 2 adults M&F small household with a limited number of a children o Parsons – 2 functions  Primary socialization – learn norms and values of the society through the family  Stabilization - maintaining routine  keeping us a functioning member of society o Middle class and upper class had different experiences o Feminist theory – patriarchy (male dominance) o Early theories of family  All saw families as functional  Maintain the status quo  Families work on distinct roles o Fragmentation and Diversity o less marriages now  cohabitation first 40% of births before marriage o divorce rates are a lot higher now o 1 in5 lone parent households o Contemporary approach to families  Shift away from just nuclear families and now other types o Reflexivity o Plastic identity – begin to make choices who we are and who we want to become o Individualistic – what that individual wants  not a collective attitude o 20-23% won’t have kids (our generation) o Most divorces happen in the first 3 years Studying Family  Why study family? o Major (most important) social institution in our society  Critically important because the functions of family – primary socialize  Maintaining societies survival – the “glue”  How your life is organized  Why is it difficult to study families? o Limited knowledge of family o 1.) self reported questionnaires or interviews to gather information about families o 2.)family is considered sacred and private o 3.)ideal image vs. reality of family life  Historians o Census records – useful but limited  quantitative facts about families but not the things that go on within the family o Agency records like CAS  children’s aid society – not the normal average families = problem families and don’t represent the average families o Popular TV shows  Myths of Families o Harmony – high voltage emotional setting o Universal traditional nuclear family o Parental determinism – your destined to turn out a different way o Stable harmonious past  Biases in the Study of Family o Marg Eichler – 7 biases in how the family was studied o 1.) Monolithic bias – (mono = 1)  researchers loo
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