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Chapter 3

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Department
Family Relations and Human Development
Course
FRHD 1020
Professor
c
Semester
Winter

Description
COUPLE  &  FAMILY  RELATIONSHIPS:  CHAPTER  3   1     Setting  the  Family  Cycle  Turning     • Courtship,  mate  selection  is  still  the  most  common  way  of  starting  the  family  life   cycle     • Some  couples  live  together  before  marriage,  others  marry  first   • Erik  Erikson  –  the  most  important  developmental  task  in  young  adulthood  is  the   establishment  of  intimacy   • Intimacy  can  be  expressed  through  friendship  or  in  a  sexual-­‐romantic   relationship   • In  North  American  society  –  intimacy  is  considered  a  prerequisite  for  marriage   • A  second  developmental  task  is  building  the  foundation  for  a  couple’s   relationship     • The  pattern  of  relationships  following  symbolic-­‐interactionist  thought,  is   established  from  the  earliest  interchanges  between  partners     • The  couple’s  interaction  while  “going  together”  often  continues  into  longer  term   cohabitation  and  marriage   • In  societies  where  couples  do  not  have  free  choice  of  a  partner,  the  shared   experiences  of  the  couple  include  the  expectations  of  their  families  and  society  at   large   Mate  Selection  and  Society   • Courtships  are  divided  into  two  basic  streams  –  those  decided  by  the  couple  and   those  decided  by  the  families  of  the  couple   • Both  forms  are  closely  tied  to  the  values  and  traditions  of  the  cultures  that   support  them     • Each  family  lives  in  an  ecological  niche,  or  in  a  specific  social,  cultural,  and   physical  environment  in  which  it  functions   • In  many  societies,  families  provide  the  principal  social  security  system   • Asian  Indian  families     o Men  are  expected  to  provide  financial  support  for  their  families  of   procreation  and  needy  relatives     o The  wellbeing  of  the  family  takes  precedence  over  individual  happiness   • Marriages  are  arranged  to  maintain  appropriate  status  and  to  increase  family   economic  wellbeing   • North  America   o People  are  responsible  for  their  own  success  and  for  the  wellbeing  of   their  families  of  procreation   o Males  and  females  are  values  as  individuals   o Little  expectation  that  extended  family  members  will  help  when  the   individual  social  security  system  fails     • In  both  societies,  there  are  close  links  between  the  macrosystem,  the  exosystem,   mesosystem,  and  microsystem     • Cultural  values,  norms,  and  roles  are  maintained  through  socialization     The  Courtship  Continuum     • Marriages  lie  along  a  continuum  with  completely  arranged  marriages  at  one  end   and  completely  self-­‐chosen  marriages  at  the  other   • Most  fall  in  between  although  they  tend  to  one  side  or  the  other   • Most  individuals  take  into  account  their  parent’s  feelings  about  their  prospective   partners   • There  is  a  continuum  for  the  idea  of  marriage  as  exchange  and  marriage  as   shared  emotion   • Related  more  closely  to  symbolic  interaction,  as  the  individuals  create  a  unique   relationship     • People  tend  to  fall  somewhere  between  the  two  extremes  often  using  both   exchange  values  and  emotional  appeals  to  attract  a  mate   • Men  more  than  women  show  off  their  material  assets   • Women  tend  to  emphasize  physical  appearance   • Both  display  sympathy,  kindness,  helpfulness,  and  use  good  manners  and   humour  as  means  of  attraction     Matchmaker,  Matchmaker  –  Arranging  Marriages   • Some  societies  consider  the  choice  of  a  husband  or  wife  too  important  to  be  left   to  mere  children   • Instead  they  are  arranged  by  parents  and  matchmakers     • May  consider  eligibility,  similarity  of  background,  financial  and  social  position,   and  if  they’re  fortunate,  the  personalities     • Endogamy  –  marriage  only  to  one  of  the  same  social  level  or  marriage  within   the  group   • Systems  of  this  kind  may  allow  some  choice  of  the  marriage  partner   • Considered  unions  of  whole  groups  –  the  extended  family  is  involved  in  the   couple’s  relationship     • In  New  France  and  Upper  Canada  –  young  people  are  encouraged  to  marry  for   family  and  property   • Few  marriageable  French  women  were  available  in  New  France  so  about  1000   French  women,  known  as  “Daughters  of  the  King”,  sailed  to  North  America  in  the   later  1600s,  for  which  they  received  a  dowry  and  essentials  for  starting  farm  life   • Marriage  became  compulsory  in  New  France  and  the  unmarried  lost  privileges   • Sikh  men  in  B.C.  depended  on  relatives  in  the  Punjab  to  arrange  marriages  for   them;  others  advertised  in  Indian  newspapers     • Pressure  on  children  of  new  Canadians  to  marry  within  their  ethnic  group     The  Shift  Toward  Free  Choice   Early  Years  of  Settlement     • The  conditions  of  the  North  American  frontier  encouraged  choosing  one’s  mate   COUPLE  &  FAMILY  RELATIONSHIPS:  CHAPTER  3   3     • Actual  practices  were  related  to  three  phases:  1)  the  exploration  of  the   wilderness,  2)  the  establishment  of  new  settlements,  and  3)  the  growth  of  larger   towns  and  cities     • In  the  exploration  phase,  many  men  formed  unions  with  Aboriginal  women   • These  were  often  established  on  the  basis  of  an  exchange  of  goods  for  expertise   in  wilderness  travel  and  survival  or  to  cement  trading  or  military  alliances     • This  phase  was  followed  by  a  transitional  phase  where  settlers  moved  into  areas   already  mapped  by  the  traders  and  explorers   • In  mate  selection,  practical  matters  were  important   • Were  they  healthy?  A  good  worker?   • Both  partners  would  have  to  put  in  hard  labour  to  make  their  new  farm   productive   • It  was  in  the  New  World  that  romantic  love  came  into  its  own     • Courting  occurred  in  the  parlour,  often  young  couples  would  be  left  alone  there   to  become  acquainted     A  New  Custom  –  Dating  (And  Beyond)   Dating   • By  1918  –  Canada  was  an  industrial  nation   • For  the  first  time,  men  and  women  went  out  alone  together  without  any   particular  intention  of  marrying  each  other   • Dating  serves  four  functions:   o 1)  It  can  add  to  the  person’s  status  if  the  date  is  the  “right”  person   o 2)  It  can  be  a  form  of  socialization  because  it  provides  opportunity  for   members  of  both  sexes  to  learn  how  to  get  along  with  each  other   o 3)  Dating  is  a  form  of  recreation   o 4)  Can  be  part  of  courtship,  with  the  purpose  of  marriage   • The  person  who  has  the  least  to  lose  usually  controls  the  relationship   • Steady  dating  was  attractive  to  females  because  it  combined  love  and   permissible  sex   • Going  “steady”  came  through  a  desire  for  security  in  social  life   • During  the  1960s,  sexual  freedom  increased   • Couples  ranged  from  committed,  with  or  without  sex,  through  group-­‐oriented  to   short-­‐term  physically  based  relationships   • Most  adolescents  expect  to  marry  but  do  not  expect  to  go  from  pairing  straight   to  marriage   • They  consider  cohabitation  a  step  along  the  way   • 16%  of  Canadians  find  love  online     • Match  users  based  on  personality  profiles   • Same-­‐sex  dating  may  be  difficult  for  teens  and  young  adults   • Homosexual  youth  are  often  harassed  and  sometimes  physically  abused  at   school   • Because  of  social  stigma,  it  is  rarely  acceptable  outside  the  lesbian  and  gay   community  to  bring  a  date  of  the  same  sex   • Most  same-­‐sex  couple  choose  to  cohabit     • Mid-­‐life  singles  (40-­‐69)   o 1/3  (31%)  in  exclusive  dating  relationships   o 1/3  (32%)  dating  non-­‐exclusively     o 1  in  10  not  interested  in  dating   o Men,  the  never  married,  and  sexually  permissive  were  more  likely  to  date   partners  of  a  different  race,  religion,  or  with  less  money   o 7%  of  men,  3%  of  women  reported  same-­‐sex  partners     o Men  were  more  interested  in  sex  and  were  more  permissive   Living  Together     • Over  half  of  cohabitors  had  moved  in  with  their  partners  by  the  time  their   romance  was  6  months  old     • The  main  reasons  were:  finances,  convenience,  and  housing  needs   • There  are  two  forms  of  cohabiting  –  in  one,  the  couples  do  not  see  it  as  a  way  of   forming  a  family  with  children,  seen  as  a  trial  run  for  marriage,  others  do  see   children  as  being  a  part  of  their  relationship,  even  if  they  are  not  married   Living  Apart  Together   • LAT  partners  regard  themselves  as  a  couple,  and  so  do  others   • 8%  of  couples  are  in  this  relationship   • Most  are  under  30  but  45%  are  older   • Often  leads  to  cohabitation  or  marriage   Freedom  of  Choice?     • There  are  legal  barriers  such  as  marrying  one  person  at  a  time   • In  many  parts  of  the  world  you  can  only  marry  someone  of  the  opposite  sex   • Incest  taboo  –  appears  in  some  form  in  every  society  and  prohibits  marrying   certain  relatives   • Brothers  and  sisters  by  adoption  cannot  marry  each  other   • Stepsiblings  can  but  it  is  frowned  upon     • Families  have  both  direct  and  indirect  influence  on  mate  selection   • We  select  our  mates  from  a  field  of  eligible  people,  who  usually  live  in  the  same   geographical  area     • Immigrants  often  live  in  enclaves,  
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