Chapter 3: Getting Together

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Olga Sutherland

FRHD*1020: Couple and Family Relations Chapter 3: Getting Together -Marriage is the norm: most people marry at some point in their lives. Society encourages marriage -the number of cohabitation (people living together without marriage or before marriage) is increasing Setting the Family Cycle Turning -the most important developmental task in young adulthood is the establishment of intimacy (close emotional relationship)  according to Erik Erikson, psychiatrist -a second developmental task is building the foundation for the couple’s relationship (ex, verbal/non- verbal communication, trust…) -symbolic-interactionists thin that the pattern of relationships is established from the earliest interchanges between partner -couples that do not have a free choice of a partner, basis of the relationship is established before marriage, but personal aspects of the relationship may not develop until after Mate Selection and Society -Courtships are divided into 2 basic streams: (both closely tied to values and traditions of cultures) -those decided by the couple -those decided by the families of the couple -In Asian Indian families, men provide financial support for their families of procreation as well as needy relatives. Well-being of the family as a whole takes priority over individual happiness. It should be no surprise that marriages are arranged, both to maintain appropriate status and to increase family economic well-being. -mainstream North American culture values individual achievement (contrast to Asian Indians). All people are responsible for their own success and well-being of their families of procreation. Both males and females are valued. ‘Family’ tends to be defined for narrowly, when social security system fails, extended family members aren’t expected to help, instead society is supposed to fill the gap -In both societies, there are close links between macrosystem (culture), exosystem, mesosytem, and microsystem. -structional-funcitonalists: cultural values, norms and roles are maintained through socialization. -symbolic-interactionalists: socialization occurs in day-to-day transactions with those around us The Courtship Continuum Completely arranged marriages |----------------------------------------------------|Completely self-chosen unions Marriage as exchange |--------------------------------------------------------------------| Marriage as shared emotion -Arranged marriage: often couple not forced into union if either is opposed; tend to pay more attention to benefit of new union -Self-chosen marriage: often consider feelings of family; tend emphasize shared emotions (love, companionship) -Right-hand side  more closely related to symbolic interaction -Several studies show exchange theory acting during courtship: men show off their material assets, women emphasize physical appearance FRHD*1020: Couple and Family Relations Matchmaker, Matchmaker – Arranging Marriages -children were considered a family asset: expected to aid the family through work or by preserving/improving their social standing through marriage -In some societies, social class and family descent are important -Matchmakers and parents decide on eligibility, similarity of background, horoscopes, financial and social position, and, if the couple is fortunate, the personalities of prospective bride and groom -Endogamy: marriage within the same group (social level)  these types of systems may allow some choice of the marriage partner (parents seek approval of the young people before final plans are made) -Arranged marriages are considered unions of the whole groups; extended family is involved in the couple’s relationship (European royalty treaty, marriage for political benefit) -Arranged marriage in Canada: young people were encouraged by wealthy landowner parents to marry for family and property (new France & upper Canada) -in many cases, the bride or groom sees marriage as a route to immigration; in return they offer their ability to earn a living and keep up religious and cultural traditions The Shift Toward Free Choice -European based shift from arranged to free choice: shift hasn’t been smooth, some parts moved faster than others Early Years of Settlement -North American practices were related to three phases: 1) the exploration of the wilderness  harsh conditions, few white women, men formed unions with Aboriginals (exchange of goods for expertise in wilderness travel and survival or to cement trading or military alliances) 2) the establishment of the new settlements  settlers moved into areas already mapped byte traders and explorers, frontier saw an influx of unattached men (provided opportunity for enterprising young men), freedom 3) the growth of larger towns and cities: less dependent on parents for financial survival, more freedom of choice A New Custom – Dating (And Beyond) Dating -WW1 transformed Canadian society  rise of dating. Single men and women went out alone without any particular intention of marrying each other. 1914, Canada was mainly farms/small towns. 1918, Canada became an industrial nation. -Four functions of dating: 1) It can add to a person’s status if the date is the ‘right’ person 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 3) Dating is a form of recreated, engaged in for fun 4) Dating can be a part of courtship, with the purpose of marriage -If man and woman had different reasons for dating, their relationship may be in trouble. Person with the least to lose usually controlled the relationship. FRHD*1020: Couple and Family Relations -Steady dating frequently became a part of courtship. Dating then became popular among younger teens: desire for security in social life -1960’s: earlier dating and going steady patterns shifted to more varied and egalitarian practices. Sexual freedom increased. Hook-ups, no commitment, cohabitation is considered a step to marriage -Internet affects dating, emails, chat rooms, message boards, webcams. 16% of Canadians found love online. -Same-sex dating may be difficult: fear or parents reactions, homosexual youth harassed/physically abused at school. 2006 Census: only a minority of same-sex couples are married, more men than women. Most choose to cohabit -Over age 40: -Midlife singles (40-69): 31% were in exclusively dating relationships and 32% were dating non- exclusively. 1/10 were not interested -Men, the never married, and sexually permissive were more likely to date partners of a different race, religion or with much less money -7% of men and 3% if women reported same-sex dating partners -Among older widowed people, both men and women interested in dating are looking for companionship. -Those close to family and friends were less interested in finding a romantic partner Living Together -over ½ of cahabitors had moved in with partners by the time their romance was 6 months old. Reasons: finances, convenience, and housing -2 forms of cohabitation: -couples do not see it was a way of forming a family with children, may be a trial run at marriage -couples do see children having a place in their relationship, even if they aren’t formally married. This is more like marriage than courtship Living Apart Together (LAT) -8% of Canadians are in this relationship (non-resident partners). Most are under 30, 45% are older Freedom of Choice? -our choices for marriage are limited in many social and psychological way -incest taboo: appears in some form in every society and which prohibits mating between closely related individuals -you can marry: -former husband’s/wife’s parent -stepbrother/stepsister -aunt, uncle, niece, nephew -first cousin -deceased spouse’s aunt/uncle -former stepchild -you cannot marry: -adopted child or parent -adopted sister or brother FRHD*1020: Couple and Family Relations -half-brother/half-sister -grandfather or grandmother -family has direct and indirect influence on mate selection. Approval is important from family and friends on one’s decision to marry (approval communicated either attitude, non-verbal messages, or openly stated) -many immigrants live in enclaves or groups within the larger society, they tend to marry people of the same ethnic origin -sociologists have discovered that awe are likely to marry those similar to ourselves in intelligence, education, physical attractiveness, age, religious and ethnic background, and personal habits. Homogamy: tendency to marry someone similar to oneself -Geographical and social factors also influence our selection of mates (small community vs. metropolitan area). 2006 Census: men slightly outnumber women in the territories (Nunavut, Yukon, and Northwest) followed by Alberta -values we’ve learned from family, friends, acquaintances affect whom we marry. Prefer to marry from own racial group. -Prejudice: racial differences are more obvious than ethnic or religious -people with ethnically diverse friends or of the second and third generations are more likely to marry across ethnic and racial lines -Among minorities; people of Japanese background are more likely to marry someone from another ethnic or racial group than blacks of Asians. -Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims are least likely to marry a person from a different rel
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