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Sociology (1,781)
Chapter 5

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2235
Professor
Gale Cassidy
Semester
Summer

Description
Ch. 5 – Impacts of Neighbourhoods and Housing Conditions on Family Life Types of Urban and Suburban Areas & Family Life -25% report having problems w/ their neighbourhoods -Security = absence of property crime, violence, drugs -Most safe but ever present -Middle class+ enroll children in supervised after school activities rather than allowing them to play freely on the streets -1970s: children turned a set of streets into community b/c they played outside and established links btwn families -“Informal community organizers” -Level of contact higher w/ couples w/ children and detached homes -Maritimes and Saskatchewan highest, Quebec lowest -Quebecois: equally less likely as other Canadians to engage in community activities, feel less connected to local community Affluent Neighbourhoods -Adolescents whose parents are not overly invested in materialistic/status related rewards: -Feel a higher level of social conformity -Lower anxiety -More connected to family and community than the other group of adolescents -Pos correlation btwn mental/physical health (well-being) and neighbourhood income -Adults -Family dynamics are related to the adopted lifestyle and values emphasized (materialistic, competitive etc) -Affluent suburban teens suffer from anxiety, depression, use alcohol & drugs more than disadvantaged inner-city students -Less supervised (age 10-12) b/c parents rely on the relative safety of their neighbourhood Low Income Neighbourhoods Definition: 1/5 households or 20% fall under poverty level -Broken social order -Littering, graffiti, loitering, harassment, crime, violence (indicators) -Multiple concentration of disadvantages: poverty, deteriorated housing, violent criminality, drug trafficking, single-parent household -Predominant factor: LOW INCOME -Children exposed to violence more likely to develop conduct problems later  Parents more likely to feel depressed -Health poorer on avg -Life expectancy five yrs lower for men, 1.6 lower for women than high income areas -Esp. among aboriginals -Early reproductive bhvr, lower rates of school completion Social disorganization: community unable to maintain social control or supervise youth peer groups -Montreal, Regina: high % of youth + low income = high crime rates -Young males unresponsive to their mothers’ demands & children’s needs most impt element of COMMUNITY DISORGANIZATION Ch. 5 – Impacts of Neighbourhoods and Housing Conditions on Family Life -Absence of responsible adult males in household leads to perception of women and children as more accessible targets for theft and sexual assault -Unsupervised adolescents easy recruits for delinquency -Reversed social control: eyewitnesses to adolescent murder crimes will not report them to the police out of fear of retaliation -Young men by 21 have 1-3 small children from different “baby mothers” -Good school in detrimental neighbourhoods can deflect these prblms however Risk Factors for Children in Low-Income Areas -Only 35% of low income Canadians agree their neighbourhood is an excellent place to raise their children -Middle and affluent class families opposite of this Risk of Inadequate Mainstream Socialization -Many not taught social skills needed in the workplace/personal lives or general habits expected in mainstream society -Children 4-5 in low SES have lower verbal skills and more behavioural problems than financially comfortable families -Parents deprived of adequate power of supervision in large housing developments -Good parenting practices may not prevent antisocial bhvrs -Favourable family environment can not always compensate for neg impact of the neighbourhood “Parenting is more than the individualistic process than contemporary society makes it out to be” Collective Efficacy: social ties within the community that facilitate the collective supervision and socialization of children concerning shared norms and bhvrs Effective/Caring Community: parents involved in school activities, supervise children’s bhvrs/associations & get acquainted w/ other children’s parents -Somewhat more affluent neighbourhoods act as a protective shield against the development of aggression in high-risk children -Street/school aggressiveness untolerated -Inadequate parental supervision less detrimental b/c kids less likely to associate w/ difficult peers Critical mass=certain percentage of low income neighbours increase risk -Negative effect on development of child’s IQ by age 3 -Neg child outcomes typical in low income areas (inadequate protection) -Lack of collective supervision Well-Functioning Families In Low-Income Areas -High lvls of protective parental monitoring in poor areas w/ social problems -Keep adolescents in school, good grades -Particularly difficult when there are high dropout rates and presence of gangs w/ “exciting” lifestyles, drugs, criminal activities -Delay/prevent early sexual activity… premature parenting -Orient youth toward job market (many neighbours unemployed) -Control activities outside home; public libraries, swimming pools/parks, lessons at church -Kept home after school hours & during wknds Ch. 5 – Impacts of Neighbourhoods and Housing Conditions on Family Life -Overprotection NECESSARY -Choose schools outside neighbourhood -Youth exposed to violence have better mental health when they receive moral support from parents/siblings and when they’re more attached to their school -Parents organize support grps, crime prevention patrols -Requires “supermotivation” (often single mothers) -Family resources/functioning > neighbourhoods on child development and bhvrs -Greater impact on genetic dispositions -Peer groups very strong force; dilutes family efforts -Poor areas don’t create but amplify and reinforce vulnerabilities Ethnicity and Race in Neighbourhoods -# of visible minority neighbourhoods: 6 (1981) increased to 254 (2001) Visible Minority Neighbourhood: more than 30% of the population is from a spec. group other than white or Aboriginal -Minority concentration diff from ethnic diversity -Immigrants like to choose “comfortable” areas (same race areas) -Over 60% are Chinese neighbourhoods -Blacks less segregated from whites than Chinese (reversed in US) -Blacks in Canada more fragmented by; language, culture, geographic origins -Likely to live in low SES areas in cities containing majority of recent immigrants -Larger proportion of blacks = lower SES -Also for southeast Asians -Blacks exit minority neighbourhoods when their income rise (buy new home) -Chinese homeownership = ethnic enclave -Also, Italians + Jews -Segregation by income first -Lower racial segregation of blacks than chinese Homeless Families -Late 1990s saw increase in homeless people -Welfare cuts, rent increase -Toronto; over 5000 homeless each night -90% sleep in 64 shelters -Over 300 born to homeless women each yr Sources of Homelessness -Most poor entire life or at margin of poverty -Not the homeless recent immigrants -Lac
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