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SOCA02H3 (310)
Chapter 13

SOCA02- SCP; Chapter 13.docx

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Sheldon Ungar

SOCA01- SCP; Chapter 13 - most definitions of families focus on legal obligations and family structures rather than on feelings of love - in the past the family was referred to as a monolithic social institution with one acceptable structure and common behavioral patterns  academics have always differentiated between nuclear and extended families - most common definition used in policy research is StatCan's census family: includes married couples and cohabiting couples who have lived together for >1 year, with or without never-married children, as well as single parents living with never-married children  Canadian government also uses concept of household in gathering stats - modified extended family: relatives don’t share a household but still rely heavily on one another - nuclear families were always most prevalent in Europe and N.A, also among lower SES groups - polygyny (having several wives at a time) practiced in some countries in Africa and Asia, especially those using Islamic law - polyandry (having several husbands at a time) practiced to keep family land in one parcel; husbands are often brothers - polygny is better preferred due to more children being born, and identification of father in patrilineal societies - in some cultures dowry money becomes property of groom's family and in others is used to establish new household  dowries also used to provide brides with some measure of insurance in case of partner abuse, divorce, or widowhood, but depends on level of women's control over the money/property - in other cultures (ex. eastern Indonesia), groom's family pays a bride price to bride's parents for permission to marry their daughter, or instead do it through labor - some black families in Caribbean are matriarchal (women heading society)/matrifocal (women breadwinners of family) - bilateral descent system: married couple is considered part of both female's and male's kin groups and participate in gatherings and inherit from either side - married couple could also be considered part of patrilineal descent (members of groom's family) or matrilineal descent (members of bride's family) - brides are required to retain their family name in Quebec - political economy approach (contributions by Marx)  people's relation to wealth, production, and power influences the way they view the world and live their lives  family formation, personal life, and well-being all affected by economic cycles, working conditions, laws, governmental programs, etc.  once production of goods/services took place outside of home, people began to see family as a private sphere (19 century)  argue that women in workforce resulted for economic reasons- service sector expanded with changes in different markets  new job opportunities, inflation, and rising living costs pushed women into public sphere - structural functionalism (contributions by Talcott Parsons and Robert Bales)  behavior is governed more by social expectations and unspoken rules than by economic changes or personal choices  family is viewed as major social institution maintaining social order  nuclear family as 2 structures: instrumental (taken by husband, breadwinner) and expressive (taken by wife, maintaining social relations)  gendered division of labour maintained because it was functional for society, when it may benefit heterosexual men more  change seen as disruptive and individual opposition to social pressure as deviant  systems theory focuses on interdependence of family members, useful in family therapy - social constructionist/symbolic interactionism approach (contributed by Charles Cooley and George Mead)  people construct their own social reality based on their experiences, insights, and choices; perceptions thought to influence action/behavior more than objective reality  anticipatory socialization: preparation for taking on a future role - feminist theories  structural approach to analyze ways in which inequality is perpetuated through social policies, laws, and employment practices  other approaches focus on interpersonal relations, non-verbal communication, heterosexual practices, and public discourse about women  gender differences in interests and achievements grow out of psychological and sexual experiences shaped by peers - post-structural approaches  argue that knowledge and understanding depend on one's social position, gender, race, and culture  argue that images of gender and family are shaped by everyday language and policy discourse; deconstruction of origins significant  focus on images of body, media representations of gender and family, sexual diversity, families of choice, and performance of gender - older employed women and those without high sch
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