Chapter 4 - Ambert
Without understanding the economy we cannot fully grasp the
concept of recent family transformations.
o We now live in a post-industrial economy characterized by:
1) Information Technology: high finances including „paper‟
speculation (the stock market)
2) The predominance of the service sector
o The globalization of the Economy has occurred: It is driven by
multinational corporations around the world in order to increase
their profits, corporations move their production plants and call
centers around the world in places with cheap labor.
o It is world of Mergers, Acquisitions, Restructuring and Downsizing
o National economies are dependent upon worldwide financial
o Governments no longer control the labor markets, rather they are
now controlled by the Multinational Corporation who determine
who will work where and for how much wage.
o Workers from large companies such as Goldman Sachs have
represented countries in national summits like the G8.
o Until 1970 some of the largest employers were industries
producing goods such as steel and cars.
o Manufacturing jobs – 15% by 1995 and they provided job security,
entry level positions for new graduates, benefit packages to young
workers out of high school.
o After 1970‟s technology advanced and fewer low-skilled workers
o 1970‟s also had another important phenomena The service sector
Expanded, offering low paying part-time jobs such as hotels and
restaurants and retail industry
o The corporations, to increase profits moved on from full-time to
part-time jobs and contracts which gave the workers lesser wages,
less working hours and few or no health/pension benefits.
o Woman constitute 70% of all part-time employees.
o The Detrimental feminine wage and labor situation contributes to
poverty in single-mother families and in low income families in
which two salaries are necessary.
o Children of Single mother, whose father‟s are not around are known
to repeat the patterns of poverty in their own adult lives.
There has recently been an inflation in the educational
requirements for jobs Even low paying jobs now require many
formal years of education. The gap between the rich and poor in terms of wealth – assets such
as real estate, stocks and savings account.
- this gap is partially related to married couples as they have more
- The Debt load of Canadians has also increased significantly with the
ratio of Debt to disposable income has reached 127%.
Economic Changes have had the following effects on the Family:
1) An increase in feminine employment and in two income families
2) A continues division of labor along gender lines
3) Reduction of familial as well as individual time
4) Rise of consumerism with family life
5) Individual returning home to their parents – Boomerang kids.
6) Individuals delay marriage
The dual income family creates second working shift for the
- Woman also often receive lower wages and suffer from the „glass
ceiling” in their work environment preventing them from rising to
- 1970 a wave of woman‟s movement lead to the liberalization of
attitudes concerning woman‟s role in society.
- Woman now penetrated male dominated occupational fields such a
law, medicine and physical sciences.
- Quebec and Maritime provinces and the highest level of Maternal
Employment and the Prairies had the lowest numbers.
- Woman now Delay childbirth by at least one year in order to earn
high salaries in the prime of their career.
- 30% of Men and 28% of woman engage in shift work these
people have higher reported levels of work-related stress and work
- Children whose parents have a non-standard working schedule
have more social and economic difficulties.
Domestic Division of Labor:
Sociologist Arlie Hochschild, in 1989 called “The Second Shift”
Under this concept woman work double at home and at
Employed mothers are more time stressed than fathers
Children‟s Contributions to the household, in term of doing
chores and taking care (even self-care) are important for the
maternal employed. When wives began to constitute a greater share of the
household income it s common for families to hire domestic
Maternal Employment and it‟s effects on children
- Research has concluded that children whose mothers are employed
do not have more negative outcomes than children of stay-at-home
- Earning mothers provide for their children financially and may raise
the standard to living, thus giving their children a comparative
Effects of dual income household on children
- Research has shown that as the mother‟s working hours increase,
the father‟s interest in the children‟s activities rises as a
- According to Coleman‟s Rational Theory: Situation in which parents
are overworked children are deprived of social resources or social
- Another potential problem related to parents unemployment
parents who spend many hours at the office, and then spend their
free time in career related activities, and to move upward socially.
These parents do not spend quality time with their children.
Economic changes on families can consist of “Time Crunch”
- Time crunch involves too many activities crammed into too few
hours to devote to their children.
- The total time parents spend with their children has gone down
significantly in two parent families– almost under 5 minutes for high
and low income households.
- Time spent per child may increase however, because people now
have fewer children.
The Rise of Consumerism in families
Sociologist Thorsten Veblen developed “Conspicuous consumption”
Families acquire possessions that are visibly conspicuous to give
them a higher social status
- however with rising technological changes it is harder for families to
buy new products or replace old ones.
The Working Poor: Are those people whose wages are too low to raise
a family above the poverty line determined by the government. - Statistics Canada does a Market Basket Measure: based on a
formula that includes cost of food, clothes, shelter and
transportation for each region.
- Low income families below the poverty line are also called LICOs –
Low-income cut offs.
- The Near Poor: Families who are struggling to stay above the
poverty line, and any crisis could push them below the line
- Depth: is another aspect of poverty, which constitutes how deep
down families are below the poverty line.
The Sources of poverty fall into 3 categories:
- the systematic
- sources at a societal level
Major Causes of family poverty
1) Loss of employment due to restructuring of labour markets – ex:
outsourcing jobs to a different, cheaper country
2) Lack of creation of green industries that would create
3) Low paying and part-time jobs – not sufficient income for a
4) Timidity of our governments who fail to provide jobs
5) Greed of unions – who want to hire the “have‟s” rather than the
6) Pay inequity by Gender: woman are less paid than men for
7) Welfare for the Rich in many places where high earners pay
lower taxes than low-earners ex: Denmark
8) Inefficient social benefits for the family
Canadian Aboriginal people
Suffer from Substandard housing
Inadequate health care
Inadequate educational services
- All resulting in a high chance of them living in poverty and/or below
the poverty line
- Domestic Violence is also widespread in Aboriginal households. The three main sociopersonal reason for poverty are:
2) Single mother‟s running a household without fathers
3) Difficulties encountered by recent immigrant families
- After divorce many woman‟s income plumages and they become
poor, as they have to support their children on a reduced budget.
- Families formed by single mother are both a result and source of
- Mothers have consequences of poverty:
a) raising their children in negative environments such as high-risk
b) Their children grow up with high delinquent peers
c) Poor children are also affected in cognitive development,
behavior problems and school progress
Unemployed fathers in two-parent families are most
negatively affected by poverty, they experience a great deal
of pressure to support the family more adequately.
For married men unemployment become a source of
friction and tension leading to irritability between husbands
Divorced or Separated fathers who are too poor to support
their offspring, distance themselves from their children also
know as “deadbeat dads”
Early Child poverty can be most detrimental in terms of child‟s future
status in society
Persistent poverty can lower a child‟s life chances and life course
- being at a disadvantage at an early age can lead to lack of
coginitive development and antisocial behavior
- the Depth of poverty exerts dramatic abilities on the child‟s abilities
and performance Children with family incomes below the poverty
line are at a 50% more disadvantage.
- Family characteristics such as love and nurturing , parental
education and mental health and the child‟s activities particularly
during adolescence are negatively effected with higher levels of
poverty - Child‟s Characteristics such as low birth weight, deficient
cognitive abilities, hyperactivity, combined with poverty can have
detrimental effects on the growth of the child.
It is economically advantageous for society to eliminate child
poverty so that the future generations , when these children
grow up, do not fall back into the same vicious cycle of poverty
again. Chapter 4 – Mandell.
Immigrants coming to Canada belonged to over 200 ethnic
o Aboriginal Population of the western hemisphere has lived in the
area for 30000 – 40000 years
o Racialization: Process by which racial meanings are attached
o Colonialism: Is the economic and political domination of a region
and its people by a foreign power.
o Early aboriginal communiti