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Sociology 2235

Lec 3 – Sep. 18 Video: Sociology of Families and Households Sociological Approaches to Families -Divide and classify diff forms of fam life -Interested -How families work Structural functionalism: micro theory Family performs 2 essential functions 1. Primary socialization: learn norms and values of society at a young age in family 2. Stabilisation: maintaining routine, keeping us as fully functioning members of society (adult) Marxist view: functional for catalyst society Feminist theory: patriarchy Early theories of family -The family -Families are functional: maintain status quo -Work on distinct roles Fragmentation and Diversity Cohabitation 40% of births are outside marriage -Estimated half of marriages will end in divorce -Numbers went from 30,000 per year to 150,000 present day -20-30% women of childbearing age are predicted to not have children -1/5 live in lone parent household, mostly women -Become much more externally restricted with their children (playing outside) Contemporary Approaches to Family Old: Focus on the family, functions of the family, family roles (distinct gender/age roles) New: Focus on families, family outcomes, how family relationships work in everyday life Key influence: interactionist theory -How relationships and interactions affect daily life -Reality is socially constructed Lec 3 – Sep. 18 Reflexivity: look inwards, reflect and change ourselves Plastic identity: we can begin to make choices about who we are and who to become Individualism: Move away from collectivism Consumerism: Market focused society-replace old models with new Continuity: Centrality of family life for people is still the same (focus has been on change) Overview: -20% of our cohort will not have children -Most divorces happen within first 3 years (individualism, plastic identity) -Opt out too quickly? -Latts (?) married but live alone -Problems in single parent families: less likely to graduate, poor health, poverty LECTURE Why Study Family? -Functions (before social institutions) -Stabilizes adult personality -Maintains society’s survival – “societal glue” Why is studying family difficult? -Limited knowledge of family -Even from research there is a limited view of what goes on Collection of info: 1. Self reported questionnaires or interviews: may forget significant events 2. Family is considered sacred and private: firm boundary, limits what you can or can’t say 3. Ideal image vs reality of family life Historians -Census records -Agency records, like CAS (Children _ society): not representative of general public -Popular TV shows: inaccurate view, idealized How do we study family? Myths of Families -Harmony -Universal traditional nuclear family -Parental determinism (father in jail, child will go to jail also), greater likelihood but not determined -Stable harmonious past Lec 3 – Sep. 18 7 Biases/Assumptions in the study of family (exam) 1. Monolithic bias: when researchers
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