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Chapter 4

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Western University
Sociology 2235
Paul Whitehead

AMBERT CHAPTER 4 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 fluctuations. 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 were needed. 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 assets. - 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 mothers. - Woman also often receive lower wages and suffer from the „glass ceiling” in their work environment preventing them from rising to the top. - 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 overload. - 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 work.  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 help. 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 mothers. - Earning mothers provide for their children financially and may raise the standard to living, thus giving their children a comparative advantage. 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 Compensating Mechanism. - According to Coleman’s Rational Theory: Situation in which parents are overworked children are deprived of social resources or social
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