[SOC 335] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (17 pages long!)

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7 Feb 2017
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SOC 335
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Chapter 1- A Sociology of the Family
Introduction
Genealogy- the study of ancestry and family history
There are many symbolic forms of family connections
Defining Families
Families- groups of related people, bound by connections that are biological, legal, or
emotional
Biological is between parents and their children
Legal is marriage and adoption
Emotional are family friends and others not related by blood or legal.
The idea of these three categories is not universally accepted
Usually the label family signals an expectation of care or commitment
People are expected to sacrifice their personal time, energy, and money for the well-being
of their family members
Abandoning a child is a criminal offence
Family relations imply caring
Formal and informal social obligations
Family authority is recognized both informally by common practice and formally by the
law
Several Types of Definitions
o The personal family
o The legal family
o The family as an institutional arena
The Personal Family
Personal Family- the people to whom we feel related and who we expect to define us as
members of their family as well
People define this based on their definition of related
A more explicit definition would exclude families
The Legal Family
The Legal Family- a group of individuals related by birth, marriage, or adoption
Each word of this definition can be contested in Law
o Example: Same Sex Marriage
Local legal definitions underlie many conflicts, ranging from adoption to residential zoning
How the U.S. Census Counts Families
Census- a periodic count of people in a population and their characteristics, usually
performed as an official government function
Household- a group of people that lives and eats separately from other groups
In all modern societies, the census plays a crucial role in in the development of public
infrastructure and administration of services
What Is a Census Family?
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Uses the legal definition but with one qualification, a family lives together in one
household
The Family as an Institutional Arena
Institutional Arena- a social space in which relations between people in common positions
are governed by accepted rules of interaction
When a social position is accompanied by accepted patterns of behavior, it becomes a role
Family Arena- the institutional arena where people practice intimacy, childbearing,
socialization, and caring work
An institutional arena is not a physical space
State- the institutional arena where, through political means, behavior is legally regulated,
violence is controlled, and resources are distributed
Enforced through family court, to the prison system, to the armed forces
Market- the institutional arena where labor for pay, economic exchange, and wealth
accumulation take place
State
Market
Family
Type of
Interaction
Law, Violence,
and Welfare
Labor, Exchange, and
Wealth Accumulation
Intimacy, Childbearing and
Socialization, and caring
work
Organizational
Units
Legislatures and
agencies
Companies
Families
Individual
Roles
Citizens
Workers, Owners, and
Consumers
Family Members
We will use the idea of institutional arenas as a way to understand how larger forces
interact with individuals and families to shape family life and how the family in turn
contributes to larger social trends
The Family in Sociological Theory
theory is a way to apply logic to a pattern of facts
Broad Perspectives
Consensus
o Consensus Perspective- a perspectives that projects an image of society as the
collective expression of shared norms and values
o Society exists as the enactment of social order
o Focuses on stability rather than change
o Breadwinner-Homemaker Family- an employed father, a nonemployed mother and
their children
o Instrumental role of the husband and expressive role of the wife
Conflict
o Conflict Perspective- the view that opposition and conflict define a given society and
are necessary for social evolution
o Expressing conflict over differences is often the best way to arrive at positive changes
in families, organizations, and society at large
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