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1. SECOND EDITION You May Ask Yourself Dalton Conley An Introduction to Thinking Like a Sociologist Chapter 12 Family
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Family Forms and Changes • Our choice of a romantic or life partner doesn’t depend solely on our attraction to someone, how well we get along with him or her, or our shared life goals. • Whether we realize it or not, there are also legal and cultural factors that affect our choice. 2 We’re going to talk more about mate selection and social aspects of family formation.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Family Forms and Changes • A nuclear family or traditional family is a family consisting of a father and mother and their biological children. • Extended family refers to familial networks that extend beyond the nuclear family and may extend beyond the home. 3 When we think of nuclear families, we tend to think of “traditional” families, however, it is important to note that nuclear families don’t necessarily include a married couple. There are many different ways that nuclear families can be formed, but you can generally think of this as a heterosexual, two-parent household with children. Extended family most commonly includes a family with children and one or more sets of grandparents, although that is not the only arrangement. When you think of kin, you might think of family that you would run into at a reunion. You may know some of the people that you see, but there are probably also people you don’t know, or at least that you don’t know well. However, some common ancestry ties you together and makes you kin, or “kinfolk.”
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Family Forms and Changes • There is no real “typical” family in Western society today. – Multiple generations can live together. – Families can consist of step-siblings and half-siblings; there are many single-parent families. – Individuals and couples can choose not to get married or not to have children. 4 People in sociologists’ deﬁnition of family may or may not share a household, but its members are interdependent and have a sense of mutual responsibility for one another’s care. This more open- ended deﬁnition takes into account the diversity among today’s families.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Family Forms and Changes 5
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Interview, Andrew Cherlin 5 Andrew Cherlin discusses his research on changing attitudes toward marriage and describes his concept of the “marriage-go-round." Family Forms and Changes Before showing this clip, ask your students how our society’s ideals about marriage have changed, and why. In this interview, Andrew Cherlin talks about marriage in America. In his book The Marriage-Go- Round, he notes that an American child living with married parents is more likely to see his or her parents break up than a child living with two unmarried parents in Sweden. Ask the class to discuss the following questions: What does this say about the institution of marriage in America? Does marriage still have meaning? Is it better for parents to be married than to live together unmarried? Why or why not? What does marriage mean today?
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. 6 Diversity in Families • Endogamy refers to marriage to someone within one’s social group (race, ethnicity, class, education, religion, region, or nationality). • Exogamy refers to marriage to someone from a different social group. Endogamy tends to be more common for a variety of reasons. We still tend to have de facto segregation in our society (segregation as a result of housing patterns, economic patterns, etc.), so we tend to meet people of similar backgrounds. There are also social pressures to marry people of similar backgrounds. Exogamy is becoming more commonly acceptable, but is still less common than endogamy.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. 7 Diversity in Families • Loving v. Virginia is the 1967 Supreme Court case that ended antimiscegenation laws (laws that said that interracial couples could not marry). Although interracial marriage was never illegal at the federal level, from 1913 to 1948, 30 states enforced antimiscegenation laws, primarily aimed at black–white unions. Many of these laws lasted until 1967, when the Supreme Court ﬁnally declared them unconstitutional, reversing the 17 remaining on the books.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. 8 Diversity in Families • Monogamy is the practice of marrying (or being in a relationship with) one person at a time. • Polygamy is a system of marriage that allows people to have more than one spouse at a time. Monogamy, the practice of marrying (or being in a relationship with) one person at a time, is still considered the only legal form of marriage in modern Western culture. Polygamy, a system of marriage that allows people to have more than one spouse at a time, is practiced among some subcultures around the world, but is not widely acknowledged as a legitimate form of marriage. You may hear of polygamous relationships, even in the United States. Individuals may claim to be married to multiple people, but those ties have no legal meaning and would not hold up in a court.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. 9 Diversity in Families • The more common form of polygamy is polygyny, a system of marriage that allows men to have multiple wives. • Polyandry, a system of marriage that allows women to have multiple husbands, is a more rare form of polygamy. Polygyny is much more common than polyandry.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. 10 Diversity in Families • About 8 percent of all households are occupied by couples who are cohabitating (living together as a romantically involved, unmarried couple). More than 11 million people are living with an unmarried partner, including both same-sex and different-sex couples
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Families through History • Early modern families depended heavily on kinship networks, which are systems of relationships between people related by blood and marriage. These networks weakened as families became more mobile. 11 The preindustrial family functioned like a miniature economy. Everyone worked to produce the food, clothes, and other items the family needed to survive, and this work took place in or right around the home. It depended heavily on kinship networks, which are systems of relationships between people related by blood and marriage. These networks weakened as families became more mobile.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Families through History • The Industrial Revolution created a division between work and home. – Men were associated with the public world of wage-earning work. – Women were relegated to the private world of managing a household and raising children, work for which they were not paid. – Cult of domesticity - true womanhood centers on domestic responsibility and child-rearing. 12 With the Industrial Revolution, work started taking place outside of the home, for a paid wage. As a result, the kind of work that became valuable was the kind that happened outside of the home. This is when “housework” became unvalued, because it was not associated with a wage.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Families through History • The traditional nuclear family is not a timeless and universal concept. It developed in response to conditions in a specific time and place: the post– World War II economic boom in the United States. 13 Photo courtesy of Getty.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Families through History 15
Figure 12.1 Changing Structure of American Families You May Ask Yourself, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company Figure 12.1 Changing Structure of American Families
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Family and Work: A Not-So- Subtle Revolution • Several factors have brought about significant changes in the organization of work and family life since the 1970s: – increasing divorce rates – decreasing marriage and fertility rates – increasing participation of women in the workforce 14 There have been numerous studies on the effects on children of having a mother who works, and the ﬁndings have varied enormously. A new way to approach the topic is to ask how having a working mother affects children within the same family differently.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. A Feminist “Rethinking” of the Family • Feminist theorists suggest gender roles are learned in the family. The family can be a battleground for power over decisions about chores, housing, raising children, spending money, and so on. 15 Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sweet_Baby_Kisses_Family_Love.jpg
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Family Roles 16
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. 17 The Chore Wars • Women today have two jobs: paid labor outside the home and unpaid labor inside the home. • Second shift refers to unpaid labor inside the home that is often expected of women after they get home from working at paid labor outside the home. • Arlie Hoschild ( Arlie Hochschild’s 1989 study of working couples and parents found that women were indeed working two jobs: paid labor outside the home and unpaid labor inside the home. Even though many women who are married or live with a male partner work outside the home, they usually take on a disproportionate share of domestic duties. This inequality plays out in terms of the time women spend on household tasks, the types of tasks they take on, and in the perception of the tasks or work. Studies show that a more equal distribution between men and women of the responsibility for domestic chores makes for happier and more stable marriages. Most women without children spend much more time than men on housework; with children, they devote more time to both housework and child care. Just as there is a wage gap between men and women in the workplace, there is a "leisure gap" between them at home. Most women work one shift at the ofﬁce or factory and a "second shift" at home. As long as the "woman's work" that some men do is socially devalued, as long as it is deﬁned as woman's work, as long as it's tacked onto a "regular" work day, men who share it are likely to develop the same jagged mouth and frazzled hair as the coffee-mug mom. The image of the new man is like the image of the supermom: it obscures the strain. Even when couples share more equitably in the work at home, women do two-thirds of the daily jobs at home, like cooking and cleaning up—jobs that ﬁx them into a rigid routine. Most women cook dinner and most men change the oil in the family car. But dinner needs to be prepared every evening around six o'clock, whereas the car oil needs to be changed every six months, any day around that time, any time that day.... Men thus have more control over when they make their contributions than women do. ''It was an extraordinary experience for me, going to those homes and talking to those women who had great circles under their eyes. These were women who talked about sleep the way a starving person would talk about food,'' Ms. Hochschild said in a telephone interview from her home in San Francisco. ''It seemed enormously grim and I would come home feeling grateful.''
Figure 12.3 Trends in Housework since 1900 You May Ask Yourself, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company Figure 12.3 Trends in Housework since 1900
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Swimming and Sinking: Inequality and American Families • African American women have often taken a leading role in providing for their families. • African American communities tend to have expanded notions of kinship, including even nonblood relatives. 18 In the 1960s some social scientists presented the role of African American women as a negative, arguing that this strong role for women undercut the role of the father in black families and ultimately led to a host of social problems. W. E. B. DuBois argued that the high rate of female-headed families in the African American community was a result of racial oppression and poverty, not a cause of it. William Julius Wilson argued that there is an outright shortage of employed, un-incarcerated black men with whom black women could hope to form a stable family unit, thus leaving them with little choice in terms of taking responsibility for their families.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Swimming and Sinking: Inequality and American Families • Latinos come from many different countries and cultural backgrounds, but some characteristics can be identified as common to Latino families, including: – strong family and community ties – adherence to traditional gender roles – devout Catholicism – high marriage rates – low divorce rates 19
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. Swimming and Sinking: Inequality and American Families • Single, nonworking mothers face many challenges, among them the attitude of critics of welfare, who think that they prefer being on welfare to working. • Most women would prefer not to be on welfare, but the system is such that often they end up with less income and fewer benefits when they move from welfare to work. 20
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. The Pecking Order: Inequality Starts at Home • The size of a family and its resources can affect how parents relate to each of their children and can create inequalities among siblings. • Birth order and “natural” abilities also play a role, but the bottom line is that in the home, a status hierarchy often fosters inequality. 21 Children’s experiences are shaped by family size, birth order, presence or absence of parents, socioeconomic status, and other sociological variables. In addition, the presence of children affects the lives of parents. For example, marital satisfaction tends to decline where there are small children in the house, and a couple’s gendered division of labor tends to become more traditional when children are born. When a family has a child (whether the ﬁrst or the twentieth), a new dynamic is introduced to a system, which causes instability. The instability isn’t permanent – however, there is always friction when an existing arrangement is changed.
©2011W.W.NortonCo.,Inc. The Future of Families, and There Goes the Nation! • Divorce is a constant in our society, and debates will continue about its effects on children. The only certainty may be that high levels of parental conflict — whether between married or divorced parents — are not good for children. 22 Mothers still disproportionately receive custody (physical and legal responsibility for children assigned by a court), although there is a trend toward joint custody.
Figure 12.4 U.S. Divorce Rate You May Ask Yourself, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company Figure 12.4 U.S. Divorce Rate
W. W. Norton & Company Independent and Employee-Owned This concludes the Lecture PowerPoint Presentation for For more learning resources, please visit our online StudySpace at: http://www.wwnorton.com/ college/soc/conley2/ Chapter 12: Family 59
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