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SOC 103 (124)
Chapter 6


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SOC 103
Tonya Davidson

CHAPTER 6: FAMILIES Module 6.1: Defining Families CLASSIC Definitions  DF:NUCLEAR family adult male, female and their offspring  DF:EXTENDED family multiple generations of adults living w/ their spouses and children  DF: Family of ORIENTATION family into which one is born  DF: Family of PROCREATION family one creates by having children/adopting children  Blended families step kids and parents  Lone parent families  Urban families tight nit groups that single adult friends make (Bridget Jones) CANADIAN Definitions  DF:CENSUS Family  Married or common law couple, with or without children living in same dwelling  Heterosexual/same sex  Lone parent of any marital status at least w/ one child  DF:ECONOMIC Family  Adoption, foster children  Living in one place that suppose each other economically  THE EXPANDING BOUNDARIES OF FAMILY  What is the definition of family? Roommates/renting room in family’s home/living alone/away from home  Important aspects of families: socialization, emotional relationships, residence, economics, sexuality, reproduction (Margaret Eichler 1990)  SNAF (Standard North-American Family ideological, Dorothy Smith 1999, nuclear family based on heterosexual procreation is taken-for-granted, normal and ideal, celebrated throughout our culture, other types are deviant and dysfunctional Module 6.2: Sociological Approaches FUNTIONALISM  Concerned with order, consensus, equilibrium and harmony family understood as major societal institutionaccomplish certain social functions:  Provide individuals w/ love, emotional, economic support  Regulate sexual expression and reproduction  Socialize and discipline children  Establish & reproduce social status thorugh wealth of parents, inheritance from other family members  DF:EXPRESSIVE role taking care of family members and socialization of children (women)  DF:INSTRUMENTAL role responsible for engaging in paid labour outside the home (men)  Talcott Parsons (1955) families no longer functioned as economic units of production foods/goods industrialization CONFLICT THEORY  Argue how ppl situated in relation to means of production, wealth, power, views of world family consider its relationship to the state ”how a given nations economy influences the lives of its families”  INDUSTRIALIZATION & family: Marx & Engels  Engels: due to industrialization family forms radically altered  Workplaces shifted homes factories  Men became dependent on business owners for material survival  Families from sites of production sites of consumption (purchased goods/services in mktplace)  Clothes/food became commodities (articles avail for trade/sale in mktplace)  Material conditions determine family life  Men became powerful, led women and children to become dependent on men  SOCIAL REPRODUCTION & family: Marxist-feminist theorists  DF: Social reproduction activities req’d to ensure the day2day generational reproduction of population  Capitalism req’s the after a day of workers be rejuvenated (families involved)  At home, workers fed, clothes laundered, able to rest, needs taken care of to work next day  Families also needed to produce next generation of workers  DF: Domestic labor activities req’d to maintain a home and care for the people who live in it  Housework, managing money, care giving SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM  Micro approach how family members behaviours shaped by definitions/interpretations of situations examine how families contribute to children’s development of self  Lesbian mother negotiate their family identity through symbols/fam rituals (child’s last name)  Mothers gave child hyphenated surnames made of both partners last names reaffirm legitimacy of family  ROLES IN FAMILIES  DF: role strain stress results when someone doesn’t have sufficient resources to play a role/roles  Study strain of mothers experience when they enter paid labour force (mother/employee) FEMINIST THEORY  Macro: how our social structures enable and sustain inequality (workplaces don’t acknowledge workers have other responsibilities (children) outside of work)  women remain disadvantages at work and dependent on men  Micro: interpersonal relations gender hierarchies  Mothers and fathers have diff relationships w/ their children Module 6.3: Contemporary Canadian Families M
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