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Chapter 11

SOCL 2001 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Nuclear Family, Child Care, Proletariat

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SOCL 2001

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Chapter 11: Family
What is a family?
Primary social group
First agent of socialization
It’s a social system why?
o Inter-dependents parts
Child care
o Characteristics organization
Budget management
o Pattern of functioning
o Sub-systems
Caring of dependents, schooling, etc.
Traditional View of Family
A group of kin united by blood, marriage, adoption, who share a common residence for
some part of their lives and who assume reciprocal rights and obligation with regard to
one another
Idea of legal union
Intergenerational continuity
Non-traditional view of family
Broader and more comprehensive portrayal of intimate relationships that often fall
outside of fixed legal boundaries
Same sex couple
Heterosexual cohabiting couple, with/out children
To address the broadness….
Leading academic journal, title changed in 2011
Journal of marriage and THE family to Journal of marriage and family
Nuclear family
o Husband, wife, with or without children
Extended family: include other nuclear families
o Asian families
Modified extended families: not a traditional extended family, separate household, but
maintain frequent contacts with other nuclear families
US census: how we define family households
Family HH are identified when the members of the HH are related to the Householder
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1970s: 81% family household
2000: 66.2% family household. Most of remaining is single-person HH
single person HH increased from 17.1 to 27.6 in 2000
Orientation vs Procreation
family of orientation
o nuclear family, where people are born and reared
o most basic early socialization occurs
family of procreation
o when a person marries or has a 1st child
o a new nuclear family is formed
Variations of kinship and family organization
marriage and number of spouses
o monogamy: most proper form of marriage (one man married to one woman at a
o serial monogamy: legally and socially accepted, increasing pattern in US
o polygyny: more than one wife. Murdock (1957) 554 societies: 77% of the
societies had this norm
US though illegal, some Mormon fundamentalist practice
o Polyandry: more than one husband. Murdock (1957): less than 1%
India, non-Hindu tribe Todas
o Group marriage: many men are married to many women
African tribes
Norms of residence
o Neo-local: newlywed couple lives alone wherever they want. Linked with the
norms of monogamy and individualism
o Patrilocal: newlywed couple lives at the groom’s parental household or
o Matrilocal: newlywed couple lives with the wife’s family
Not very popular
Some Asian and African tribes
Norms of descent and inheritance
o Patrilineal
Kinship is traced through the male kin
Special allegiance and loyalty to the father and his kin
Key ties and power, wealth, and authority: father-son-grandson
o Matrilineal: opposite of patrilineal (traced through the woman)
o Bilateral lineage
Assign kinship of membership, influence, wealth, and power to both sides
of the family
Inheritance is passed on in equal proportion, regardless of sex
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