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SOCI 4830
Timothy Mc Cauley

Sept 10 Introduction to Family and Child Socialization Studies Mandell and Duffy Chapter 1 - Carole Smart lists four ongoing, key debates in family sociology (p.4): o The demise of the extended family and the rise of the nuclear family o Decline of marriage as an economic contract and the rise of companionate relationships o The emergence of child-centredness as the role and status of children alters o The decline of the nuclear family and the rise of fluid family practice - Family decline argument came from the demise of the two-parent, heterosexual, white, middle- class family. started to change in 1900s, especially after 1920s (p. 4) o People say this led to many of the social problems youth crime, teen moms, poverty, etc o But the family unit has to change and adapt to the new economical demands --> families can no longer live on solely the mans wage as male employment rates fall These 2 ideas show that Family relations are complex and messy Families who cling onto outdated ideas of the family unit would experience new stresses as they are not adjusting to comtemporary demands - The new stresses include: o 2 employed parents raising children o Divorce rates rising and male employment rates falling women know it is risky to plan a life reliant on male wages o Extended schooling prolongs youth dependency makes youths feel infantilized and frustrated because it takes long to achieve economic independence - The stresses are a result of: o Failing wages o Precarious employment o The decline of primary industries - People see the decline of the nuclear family as both the source and solution to widespread social problems (p.4-5) o Emergence of odd political alliances: conservatives support liberal policies which aims to improve/reinforce the traditional family life (p. 5) - Family discourses: o Familialism: a dominant discourse that provides a cultural and social definition of what families are and should be We are united within society by sharing this ideology or belief system Even though we know family forms change over time, ideologically we cling to a set of beliefs about how families ought to be and what to expect from intimate relationships (p. 5) Monogamy: the notion that one man should be married to one woman Romantic love teaches us to believe there is one person with whom we will now spend 50-60 years with but the idea of love as the absis for marriage is relatively new We believe families are suppose to be nonviolent, supportive, and nurturing statistics show otherwise, and family members are often far apart from each other due to migration and other agencies (p. 5-6) 1960s: clear boundaries between public world of work (men) and private world of the family (women) Family wage: mans wage that supports a wife and dependent family members th Male trade unionist at the turn of the 19 century argued for improved wages with family wage as argument cited as a factor that led to womens disadvantage position in the labour market (p. 6) Family wage ideal is still enshrined in romantic novels and filmso 2010: families are now supposed to function as quasi-encounter groups where individuals deepest personal expectations can be expressed and achieved. intimate relationships are suppose to provide members with psychic fulfillment as well as opportunities for self-improvement (p. 6) But in reality, individuals have to let go of their personal desires and contribute to the collective enterprise of building families and earning a living Contemporary families are semi-encounter groups and also mobile economic units Families are economic units battling larger structural forces o The contradiction between reality and the ideal led to the ongoing debates about the purpose and meaning of families Static definition are only stereotypes or archetypes of what society considers normal - Ways to theorize families become popular if it fits with the prevailing political views and empirical reality at the time (p. 7) - Determinism (modernist) 1950s: popular in the post-WWII period functionalist followed by materialism or political economy o Structural Functionalist: see individual behaviour as a result of social structures (social institutions, laws, and norms) Family structures: Family is blamed for individuals wrongs o Materialists: the economy is to be blamed o Family structure and social conditions have to be altered to resolve family problems o Familys function: Families is where members define themselves and find their role members are socialized so they can conform to social expectations provides an explanation to people of their rights and obligations within an institution because personal identity is often closely tied with family roles o family ideals spill over into other institutions: materialists: the closer a fa
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