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Chapter 3

SOC101Y1 Chapter 3: Sociology Lecture 23 Family

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Sheldon Ungar

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Sociology Lecture 23 Family
Mapping out the family:
- Family is not an easy concept to define
- Family a lot of the time may be associated with biological but there is more than
- People that you love unconditionally
States and institutions definition of family matters, there has been a transformation of
what family really means recently
Families as relationships in which people live together with commitment, form an
economic unit and care for any young and consider their identity to be significantly
attached to the group
Contemporary families are responsible for:
- Regulating sexual activity
- Socializing children
- Providing affection and companionship to family members
Decline of traditional nuclear family:
-historically family equated solely with nuclear family which is one or two parents and
their dependent children, all of which live apart from other relatives
- Traditional nuclear family- family in which wife works without pay in home, while
husband works outside home for money (making hi primary provider)
- has been decrease in traditional nuclear families since 1940s and increasing prevalence
of new family forms.
Social construction of family:
- Sociologist describe families as socially constructed to convey the idea that families
are neither static, universal nor biologically determined
- Support for institution of marriage and traditional gender roles begins to erode
eause of the ifluee of: ireasig seularis, oes oeets, expansion
of postsecondary institutions and service sector employment
Contemporary trends: marriage
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- Married ouples families, although declining remains the most common family form
in Canada
- Increasing delay of first marriage (30 men, 28 for women)
- Results from pursuit of educational and career-goals especially women attaining
economic security, which allows them to live alone.
Alternately, Canadians increasingly deciding to
- Forgo marriage ad remain single and live a lone
- Live apart in commuter marriage, often to pursue jobs in different cities
- Marry someone of the same sex
- Pursue single parent households.
Marriage and cohabitation:
- Marriage is a legally recognized and or socially approved arrangement between two
or more individuals that carries certain rights and obligations and usually involves
sexual activity (monogamy only legally sanctioned form in Canada).
- Cohabitation refers to a ouples liig together ithout eig legall arried
(common law) grown from 5.6% of families in 1981 to 15.5 in 2005.
- Also varied by province 33% of Quebec families are common law
-Marriage is still very popular in spite of divorce
-The majority of Canadians will marry at some point in their lives
- the ajorit of arriages still do last a life-time
-2005 Canada legislates same sex marriage
-predated by same sex partners raising children
-same sex marriage is legal in Netherlands, Belgium. Spain, Canada, south Africa,
Norway, Iceland, Sweden, and Argentina.
Power and families: love and mate selection
- Is mistaken assumption that love has been historical bias of marriage
- Historiall arriage arraged  third parties, ho ished to aiize fails
prestige, economic benefit, and political advantages
- Love as important factor in choice of marriage partner first gained currency in 19th
century, England with rise of liberalism and individualism
- Todas lose oetio etee loe ad arriage eerged i earl th century
with rise of self-gratification promoted by Hollywood and advertising.
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