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AHSS*1130 (9)

Families and Intimate Relationships Chapter

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John Irwin

Introduction:  Five issues in family life; o Sharing Domestic Work o Low fertility and assisted conception o Child care concerns o Impact of divorce and repartnering on children o Wife abuse Family Variations: What are Families  Different definitions of family; academic , government research, delievery of government programs; o Focus on legal obligation, family structures VS o than on feelings of attraction, love, obligation or the service intimate people provide for each other  Definition always include, heterosexual couples, and single parents sharing a home with their children; until recently; few definitions encompassed same sex couples o Definitions include; dependent children, some definitions take into account the childless couples, and children who have left home;  Others extend definition; grandparents, aunts,uncles, cousins who are sharing a dwelling  Sociology/ anthropologist; USED to talk about family as a monolithic social insitutionl; o Having one acceptable structure, common behavior pattern  Academic researches used to assume that family members were related by blood, marriage, or adoption and that they shared a dwelling, earning, and other resources; o Couples maintained sexually exclusive relationships, reproduced, rasied children together, o Family members cherished and protected each  Academics definitions between nuclear families; consist of parents, and their children sharing a dwelling o AND Extended families; consist of several generations, or adult siblings with their spouces and children share a dwelling and resources  BOTH part of Canadian life although nuclear is more prevalent  Most common definition used in policy research is Statistic Canada’s census family; o Includes; married couples and cohab couples who lived together longer than 1 year, with or w/o married children as well as single parents living with never married children  2006; couples can be same sex, heterosexual; SAYS nothings about larger kin group of aunts, uncles, grand parents, or about love, emotion, caring, providing household services  Common definition must be agreed upon when taking a census./ initiating policy research Government used concept of household in gathering statistic relating to family and personal life  Household; refers to people sharing adwelling; whether or not they are related by blood, adoptions, marriage  Culturally diverse Canada; inaccurate to talk about family as though a single type of family exists or ever did exist; o Cultural groups organize family differently depending on their traditions, religious beliefs, socio economic situation, immigrant or indigenous status, historical experiences,  BUT; MOST Canadians live in nuclear family ; comprising parents and their children  Extended families; several generations or siblings and their spouses and children share a residence, and co operate economically, remains imporatn as living arrangement and as support group; o Fram recent immigrants fom middle east, or Sourth Asia o Even if family members do not share a residence, they may live next door, or in same neighbourhood, visit regularly, telephone daily, o assist with child care, provide economic and emotional support o Help find emplloyemnd and accommodation for one another  When relatively do not share housebhold, but live close, and heavily reliance= modified extended family  1950; American Sociologist; lamented the isolation of modern nuclear family; o Extended families more prevalent prior to industrialization o Since then Historians found; nuclear families most prevalent living arrangement in Europe and North America; but extended families were and still widespread among certain cultur groups  First nations, Southern Europeans, Asians, more prevalent with lower income and at certain stages of the family life cycle • Provide low caost accommodation, practical support for young cash strapped couples, lone mothers after separations, frail edlderly parents after widow hood  Immigrants come from countries with extende families, yet percentage of multi family household from 6% from 1951 to 1.1 percent in 1986; when immigration rates were high o BECAUSE: more Canadians began to live alone; immigrant tend to change their family practiced to fit in with host country  Decloine percent of people (immigrants living with established relatives  CSociological definition change from who constitute family to what makes a family; o Downplays sexual preference of the couple, legality of relationship, focus; care, intimacy Monogamy and Polgygamy  Against the law to marry more than one spouse at a time; Polgyn or having several wives at a time; practiced those using Islamic Law; Africa, Western Asia,  Polyngous union lead to a proliferation of stepchildren, step relatives,; ten to be associated with patriarchal atuhoirt, wider age gaps between husband and wives o Rural, less educated women, not formally work for pay outside the household  Multiple wives = sisters, resent their husband taking a new partner, but welcome assistance with household work; child care, horticulture and may value her companionship in a society; where marriage partners are seldom close friends st o Second marriage, elevates rank of 1 wife, then becomes supervision of younger wifes work  Polygamy; refers to practice of having more than one spouse at a time; but polgyny is more prevent o Than polyandry; or marriage between one women and several husbands  When it occurs;husbands are brothers, practice relate to the need to keep land in one parcel; o Most societies prefer polygyny; more children born into marriage with multiple wives  Important is children are the source of labour for the family or community  Identification of father is important in patrilineal societies; because children take father’s surname; belong to his king group, inherit from him; married men are response for supporting their children • Knowing who father is difficult with multiple husbands;not acceptable form of marriage in patrilineal systems; • AS MOST SOCIeties are Patriarchal; men sensure that marriage system = own interest Arranged Marriage vs Free Choice  Marriage contined to be arranged in may parts of world; enhance family resources, reputation, alliances, parents feel more qualified to choose their children’s partners o Family of either bridge / groom may make initial arrangements; marriage brokers or intermediaries with extensive constacts are occasionally used to help families find suitable mate  Middle Eastern / South Assian immigrants in Canada have  s; go back home to marry partner selected by family members still living there ; or introduced to suitable partner from same cultural group living in Canada o Young people expect to veto power; if they strongly object to their familys choice;  Home country; considerable pressure exists to abide by the judgement of elders  Family solidarity, financial security, potential heirs are more important that sexual attraction or love between people in arranged marriages; o New partners are urged to respect each others, hope love will develop after marriage o More stable than free choice, because both families have a stake in marriage stability  Divorce legally restricted; for women, involve mothers relinquishing custody of children, struggling to support them outside marriage  Cultures with A.M; dowries; used to attract a partner for daughters; cement alliances b/w families, help establish new households o Dowries; involves payments of money, or gifts of property that accompany brides into marriage, becomes part of marriage agreements  Types of payment very considerably; include household furnishing, jews, money, servant, land o More Dowrie = better husband; wealthier, healthies, better educated more respected family\  Some cultures it becomes property of the grooms, others used to establish the bridge and husbands household, OR provide brides with some sort of financial security, insurance, in cause of partner abuse, divorce, widowhood; Depends womens control over the money, or property  Other socities; groom family is expected to pray brides parents; a bride price; for permission to marry their daughter; price rises if the beautiful, wealth, wellrespected family o If groom and his family are short of assesst, the bridge price could sometimes be paid through grooms labour  Free Choice marriage; have retained sympolic remnants of practices of dowries and bride price o Tosseaus, wedding receptions, honeymoon,; = dowries o Engagement ring, wedding band given to the bride = by the groom are remenants of a bride price Patterns of Authority and Descent;  Family system designates a head; makes major decisions, reps the group to the outside word o Oldest male = family head; system referred to as patriarchy  Authority system women granted more power than men = matriarchy; rare occurrence o Some black families in Caribbean; United Stated is referred to matriarchal or least matrifocal;  Tchambnul people of New Guniea; wives and mother make considerate contribution to family income, resources, decision making  Canadian society women have equal legal rights; men no longer automatically view as head; excepted in some cultural communities Canadian Youth marry; considered their primary relationship with each other trather those with parents or siblings; in comst cases; newly married pari is expect to maintain contact and relations with both sides, participant in family gathering could inherit from either side; Bilateral decent pattern  Some socities; bride and groom are members of only one kin group; o Patrilineal; belong to grooms family, Matrilineal descent; belong ot the bridge family  Descent pattersn determined where couple live,s how they address memb ers of each others family, surname their children will receive, from whom they inherit  Canada= Bilateral descent; for kin ship and inheritance but patrilineal descent ; retained for surnames; o Last name from father, = sysmbol of form status as head of new household o Quebec; Brides required uphold their family name, Ontario they have a choice; Explaining Patterns and Practises; social studies based on underlying philosophical assumption about hwat factors are responsible for structure of human society; influences social change; what should be focus of social research  Assumptions called theoretical frames works; cannot e proven or disprove ; but guide our research and help explain our observations; Political Economy Approach; people relation to wealth, production, power influences the way they view the world, live their lives  Family formation, interpersonal relations, loifestyle, wellbing all affected by events in the broader society; such as economic cycles, working conditions, laws, and government programs o Marks: and Friedrich Engels o Origins of the Family, Private roperty and the state; Engels; family in Europe was transformed as economic changed from unting and gather societies to horticultural, to preindustrial to finally industrial  Argue social life always involves conflict; between people who have power wealth and make social pies and who don’t  Conlicting interest remain major behind societal change th  19 mens work place removed from the home; gradually eroded patriarchal authority, encouraged families to adapt to the employers needs; o Many goods and serives produced at home for their own consumption are evetnaul manufactured more cheaply in facotires; MEANT families eventually became units of shared income and consumption rather than units of production o One Production of many goods and services took place outside the home, people began to see the family as private and serpate from the public world of business and politics  Nevertheless; two are actually related; unpaid labout within the family = profits high, wages low in labour market  Impact of industrialization and workplace activities; family life became the focal point of thep oltical economy approach as well as the belief that economic changes transform ways of view the world o More women in workplace;mainly for economic rather than ideological or feminist reasons o Inflation, cost of living = encouraged wives and mothers to accepted piad work o Labour markets changes led to new ideologies about family and parenting  Political Econ; Focus on impact of economy on family life, relations between the state nad the family, and social conlict from poltical and economic changes; downplay voluntary and interpersonal relations Structural Functionalism: behavior governed more by social expectations, unspoken rules than by economic changes oer personal choices  Individuals cannot behave any way they want; abide by societal or cultural guidelines, learned early in live;  Deviant behavior that violates rules is always cafrefully controlled  Family; major social insutution provides individual with emotional support, love companionship, sexual expression and children;  Parents help maintain social order through socializing and idspline their children  Families co operate economically, help each other through hard times by sharing resources o Prtect members from outsides o People acquire money, property through inheritance from family members; suggests that social statue is largely establish perpetualted through families  Talcott parsons; Robert Bales; development of industriaction and shift of product outside the home = the small and relatively isolated nuclear family began to sepcailize in the socialization of children and in meeting the personal needs of family members o Assumed; family has two bsica structures; hierarchy and generations, defintiation of adults intwo two groups; instrumental and expression role  Wife = expression; social relations, care  Husband; instrumental; earn money, deal with outside world  Structural; crtiizend for sconservative position; as theyview family as one acceptable rather than many variations; o Believe behavior;determined by social expectations and family upbrining = hard to change/ alter  Implied gendered divison of labour; was matined throughout history becaused it was a function for societal whne it may actually have benefited heterosexual men more than others o Change ‘ is dseen a disruptive; rather than normal progressive; individual opposition to social pressure; view as deviance; not dealth with conflict or change as well have those who take a political economy approach  Nor Focused on dynamic nature of interpersonal relations • Researcher want see inequality, conflict, change to find this perpstive less useful  Systems theory; basic assumptions of structural functions; focused on interdepence of family behavior, o Families often close rank s against outsides; especially when they are in trouble  Useful in family therapy Social Constructionist Approach: refutes people behave on unwritten rules and social expectations  Assumed we construct our wone social reality; life does not just happen; we make things happen by will  Symbolic Interactionist; Charless Cooley, Herbert Mead; families assist children develop sense of self o Within this perspective, they way people define and interpret reality shapes behavior; o Process of interpretation aided by non verbal cues, and verbal cutes;  Part of socialization; developing ability to look at work through eyes of other, aniticpant a particular rolve before taking; anticipatory socialization o Studies; occurring in small groups, lab settings, simulation of family interaction, decision making,  Based on peoples perceptionsm, their definitions of situations rather than events nd constraints in the external word;  Precursor of post modernist theory; Feminist: focus women experience ( written or visual representation of women, and on social economic differences between men ad women;  Womens experience and contribution society have been overlooked, down played, misrepresented in previous social structure  Used a structural approach; analyze the ways in which inequality is prepertuatied through social policies, law labour market practiced  Other concentrated on interpersonal relations; between men and women; examining non verbal communication, htersexual practices, public discorce  Other feminist; more interpretive feminist analsis take womens experience and ways of thinking and knowing into consideration  Argue; gender differences; social, culture; developed through socialization, mainted through instutuiiononal structures/ practices  Most argue; differences in interest, priority, achievement between girls and boy growi out of their unique psychological and sexual experience which sare shaped by different treamtnets by parents, teachers, relatives, community leaders, employers Nancy Chodorow; combines psychoanalysis and feminist unconscious awreness of self and gender establish in earliest infacy shape the experience of males anf females as well as the patterns of inequality that permeate our culture Carol Gilligant; In a different voice; womens moral development is quite different from men’s while men tend to focus on human rights, justice freedom;  womens snese of morality = principle of human responsbilites, caring commitment  Feminist argue; Feminine granted lower status than masculine achievement or characteristics;  Feminist note; child care unpayed for women; low occupational status, prestige o MOST WOMEN WORK FOR PAY; BUT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR DOMESTIC WORK  Unequal distribution of labour within = womens double of paid and unpaid work = interfere womens attempt to gain employment quity  Post Feminist; vast differences remain between individual women; deening on their uniquerences, social position and cultural background  Critize Feminism ; Glosses over men’s experience; not always comparing the two two o Feminist argue; men’s experiencea view are already well represented by traditional social science Post Modernism: truth is relative, depends on one social position, gender, race, culture, vast difference exist in family life, traditional nuclear family is more a myth than a historical reality  Comtemporary countries of the OEC; sexuality increasing separated from marriage o Marriage = reconstructed as contract that can end o Child bearing, child rearing=no longer linked with legal marriage, division of labour based on gender is continually renegotiated  Fempgrahics, social trends have led to theoretical reworking of what defines family in 21th century  How families are onctrscuted in everday language and policy discources o Deconstructing or analyzing the origins and intended meanings of beliefs about the family; researchers are able to see how images of this instutions have been socially constructed, are historically stated  Nancy Fraser; historical conceptions of nuclear family; western countires built their welfare system; premised on the ideal of the male breadwinner and female caregive o Labour market changes; including the casualization and feminization of the work force and new lifestyle possibilite s have encouraged both men ad women to equstion this gender order;  Fraser; suggest rethink the social construction of gender; and organization of wokrin o rder to facilitate a new order based on equity, recognition of the interdependence of work and family  Legal assumption of couples have been criticized ; Martha Finamn; proposed a reconceptualization of family away from the current focus on sexual horizontal intimacy; between spuces or partners o Ablish marriage as a legal category and placing greater emphasis on a vertical or intergenerational organization of intimacy; between parent and children o REDIRECT ATTENTION AWAY FROM SEXUALAFFILIATION AND ENCOURGE POLICY DISCUSSION FOR CARING  Elizabeth Silva and Coral Smart; suggest that normative heterosexuality; chagllged by lesbians and gays; you can choose yourfriends, but you cant choose your relatives o Families embrace friends, ovoe coparents, adopted children , children from previous heterosexual relations, offsprincs consiceved through alternative insemination  FLAW; Critique; post modernist; argue that too much emphasis is placed on personal choice, minority family situation rather than focusing on thwe ways most people live or pratical constraints
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