SOC244H5 Chapter 1-11: SOC244 NOTES (CHAPTERS 1-11)

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Published on 7 May 2018
SOC244 Notes
Term Test 1
What is Sociology of Families?
Sociology of families = study of family unit from sociological viewpoint
- including social class, gender, and race
- effect of social change on family
- role of family members
What is a Family?
Family = band of slaves (originally)
NOW family = refers to authority relations loved ones affiliated by blood and
Defining the Family
No fixed definition, always changing due to court cases and legislation
- common law couples treated as legally married couples = rights and responsibilities
such as child support, employment benefits, etc.
- same-sex marriage became legal across Canada in 2005
Government defines “family” for services such as medical benefits
Statistics Canada definition of family
1. Married couple and their children (if any, either spouse’s)
2. Common law couple and their children (if any, either spouse’s)
3. Single parent of any marital status with AT LEAST one child living with them
- all members live together
- couple can be opposite or same sex
- child may be by birth, marriage or adoption and of any age or marital status
(WITHOUT own spouse or children)
4. Grandchildren living with grandparents without own parents
CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) allows citizens and permanent residents of
Canada to sponsor “family members” so they can become permanent residents
- including spouse, common law partner, conjugal partner, dependent child (birth or
adopted) or other relatives (parent or grandparent)
Household = people who live together (not just by blood, marriage, etc.)
- used to gather statistics relating to family and personal life
- for example, sometimes same-sex couples or renter
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Groups such as religious or ethnic have own definitions of family
United Church of God 2007 = marriage is union between MAN and WOMAN b/c they
can have children (vs. same-sex couple)
Close friends are considered family
Family member not considered as belonging (even if biological or legal member)
- disowned (due to sexual orientation)
- different family members may have different views (divorced dad to their child vs. ex-
Biological and social definitions coexist and fit circumstances for most people
- for example, “father” referring to biological or stepfather
Cultural Variations in Families
Nuclear family = husband, wife, and their children
- or SNAF (Standard North American Family)
- 2 forms:
1. Family of orientation perspective = born and raised in
- for example, children have 2 families b/c parents divorced (one with each
parent) or adopted (birth and adoptive)
2. Family of procreation perspective = formed through marriage or cohabitation,
and in which we raise our children
- some adults have more than 1 b/c have children with multiple partners
Conjugal unit = husband and wife pair
Extended family = nuclear family and all other relatives
- grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.
Stem families = multigenerational families with no more than one married child
Joint families = multigenerational families with 2 or more married children
Reconstituted family = new family formed by adults who have children from previous
Definition for marriage
Socially approved sexual lasting union between 2 or more people
- + economic + opposite sexes
Socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes
rights and obligations between them and children, in laws
Definition for family
Cohabitating or legally married couples (heterosexual or same-sex) with or without
children, who share a home and are assumed to be sexually intimate
Lone parents or related adults (aunt and uncle) raising children
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Intimate domestic group of people related to each other by blood, sexual mating, or legal
Remarried families, commuter families (dual-career couples maintain separate homes in
different geographical locations), extended families, etc.
Forms of marriage
Exogamy = marriage outside the group
Endogamy = marriage inside the group (for example, class)
Monogamy = 1 man, 1 woman, or 2 individuals
Polygamy = plural spouses (***videos on powerpoint)
- polygyny = multiple wives
- polyandry = multiple husbands
- majority of societies allow this (usually polygyny)
Child marriage = human rights violation
- still common b/c of poverty and gender inequality
Posthumous marriage = marrying someone who has died
- ghost marriage = Chinese tradition in which one or both parties are dead
Patriarchy and Matriarchy
Patriarchy = system where oldest male is family head
- common in western and eastern societies
Matriarchy = women are granted more authority than men
- ***videos on powerpoint
Patrilineal descent = important kinship ties passed from father to son to grandson
(through male members of family)
- wife would marry into husband’s family and their children would become member of
his kin group
Matrilineal descent = relationships traced through female family members
Bilateral descent = newly married couple is part of both kin groups
- most cases
Patrilocal, matrilocal, and neolocal marriages
Patrilocal = couple moves into husband’s community or household
Matrilocal = couple moves into wife’s community or household
Neolocal = couple establishes new place of residence separate from both kin groups
- most North American marriages
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