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Chapter 1

Cheal & Albanese - Chapter 1.docx

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University of Toronto St. George

SOC303H1 – Family Demography Cheal &Albanese Chapter 1 – Introduction to Diversity in Canada’s Families Variations in Forms, Definitions and Theories Definitions Transnational Families (aka Multi-local families) • Afamily that finds itself (temporarily) separated and living across borders, in multiple locations • People often live temporarily separated from their spouses and children to provide a better economic future and opportunities • Have been a trend for a long time but just invisible in our statistics • Family demographers are interested in this family form because of the challenges immigrant families, refugee claimant, foreign domestic workers, migrant workers, visa students (people with “less than full” legal status) encounters (i.e.) parent-child separation, long distance relationships, extended family providing child care Satellite Families or satellite children • First used in 1980s to describe Chinese families who immigrated to Canada, the parents or usually the husband returned to their country of origin, while the children and sometimes spouses live in Canada Boomerang Children or Velcro Kids • Refers to young adults who leave their parents home for work or school but later return to live with their parents because of debt, change in career direction, changing marital status Child launch • Refers to the “early adult transition” phase which children leaves their parent’s home Nuclear family • Typically includes a couple and their children sharing the same household • This also includes one parent and his/her child(ren) Binuclear family • Refers to a family structure where children and parents live in two household, usually because of a divorce Extending Family • Refers to a household shared by several generation (i.e) grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins Household • Agroup of people who shares the same house What kind of trends and family forms have we been seeing? • Married couples is still the dominant form of family in Canada (2/3 of families) BUT in comparison to other family forms the number is declining o This is significant as other family forms are increasing (i.e.) common-law couples, lone-parent(especially male lone parent) • Same sex couple families being recognized and counted for in our Statistics starting in 2006 • Blended families – in 2011 its first time officially being counted o Step families/ remarriges • Younger Canadians find in increasingly hard to leave their parent’s home and start a household on their own o This is a result of changing economic circumstances and difficulty find long term, stable, decent pay work and large debt from university or college o Researchers suggest that this is delaying young adults leaving their parent’s home and child launch Theories and MethodologicalApproaches to Studying Families What is structural functionalist view on the concept of family? • What is a structural functionalist theory? o Assumes that society is similar to living organisms or body part and the parts needs to work together for the better of the whole o Social institutions serves a specific function to keep society in balance and the individuals have specific roles to in order for the institution and society to function properly o They are against social change as it is believes that it could challenge or disrupt social order o Asks the question “What purpose to they serve?” • Popular in 1940s to 1960s • View families as an institutions and they have a specific function in society • George Murdock believes that we can understand family but looking at what it does and how it functions for and within
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