Family

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  • The state with the lowest divorce rate in the nation is Massachusetts. At latest count it had a divorce rate of 2.4 per 1,000 population, while the rate for Texas was 4.1. George Barna Research Group. George Barna, a born-again Christian whose company is in Ventura, Calif., found that Massachusetts does indeed have the lowest divorce rate among all 50 states. More disturbing was the finding that born-again Christians have among the highest divorce rates. The Associated Press, using data supplied by the US Census Bureau, found that the highest divorce rates are to be found in the Bible Belt. The AP report stated that " the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50 percent above the national average of 4.2 per thousand people ." How to explain these differences? The following factors provide a partial answer: More couples in the South enter their first marriage at a younger age. Average household incomes are lower in the South. Southern states have a lower percentage of Roman Catholics, "a denomination that does not recognize divorce." Barna's study showed that 21 percent of Catholics had been divorced, compared with 29 percent of Baptists. Education. Massachusetts has about the highest rate of education in the country, with 85 percent completing high school. For Texas the rate is 76 percent. One third of Massachusetts residents have completed college, compared with 23 percent of Texans, and the other Northeast states are right behind Massachusetts. The liberals from Massachusetts have long prided themselves on their emphasis on education, and it has paid off: People who stay in school longer get married at a later age, when they are more mature, are more likely to secure a better job, and job income increases with each level of formal education. As a result, Massachusetts also leads in per capita and family income while births by teenagers, as a percent of total births, was 7.4 for Massachusetts and 16.1 for Texas. The Northeast corridor, with Massachusetts as the hub, does have one of the highest levels of Catholics per state total. And it is also the case that these are among the states most strongly supportive of the Catholic Church's teaching on social justice issues such as minimum and living wages and universal healthcare. For all the Bible Belt talk about family values, it is the people from Kerry's home state, along with their neighbors in the Northeast corridor, who live these values. Indeed, it is the "blue" states, led led by Massachusetts and Connecticut, that have been willing to invest more money over time to foster the reality of what it means to leave no children behind. And they have been among the nation's leaders in promoting a living wage as their goal in public employment. The money they have invested in their future is known more popularly as taxes; these so-called liberal people see that money is their investment to help insure a compassionate, humane society. Family values are much more likely to be found in the states mistakenly called out-of-the-mainstream liberal. By their behavior you can know them as the true conservatives. They are showing how to conserve family life through the way they live their family values. William V. D'Antonio is professor emeritus at University of Connecticut and a visiting research professor at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. 
  • Note: Barna data is a little out of date. Differences remain about the same but Catholics are now more like 28 percent likely to divorce.
  • Data from 2008
  • Family

    1. 1. 1
    2. 2. Define “The Family”Take three or four minutes and write adefinition for discussion. 2
    3. 3. According to Murdock (1949), the family is “asocial group whose members are related byancestry, marriage, or adoption and livetogether, cooperate economically, and care forthe young.” (From Hughes and Kroehler, 2007) 3
    4. 4. But others see the family as “a close knit groupof people who care about and respect eachother.” (From Lauer and Lauer, 2000) 4
    5. 5. Essentially the family is the basic unit of society—the most important group. Or is it.It would be, at least, the quintessential primarygroup. 5
    6. 6. Sociologists view the family as aninstitution—both a pattern ofbehaviors and a set of culturalexpectations. (Konradi and Schmidt, 2004) 6
    7. 7. While there is some consistency over time inthe way families form and the roles memberstake, new ways of forming stable, supportiveeconomic and social relationships are alwaysemerging. 7
    8. 8. Indeed, is the American family a social problem in the first place? Is it in crisis or is it falling apart?Optional exercise:Take five minutes and write why you think it is or is not a social problem. Discuss. 8
    9. 9. When is a family not a family?Consider the kibbutz of Israel in the fifties tothe seventies. Have you ever heard of thekibbutz? 9
    10. 10. 10
    11. 11.  Nuclear family Extended family 11
    12. 12. 12
    13. 13. 13
    14. 14. Additionally one must consider two types of nuclear family: Family of orientation Family of procreation Which are you? 14
    15. 15. 1 The patrilocal residence which is when the bride and groom live in the household of the husband’s family.2 Matrilocal, which is living with the bride’s family.3 Neolocal, which is living in a new residence separate from either family. 15
    16. 16. 1 Patriarchal authority is the power domination of the eldest male in the family. Examples are ancient Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans.2 Matriarchal would be the holding of power in the woman. There is some controversy over there having actually been or is such a social structure. According to Howard Zinn (1995), a matrilineal arrangement existed among the Iroquois: the family line went down through the female members. 16
    17. 17. 3 Finally is the egalitarian authority—a shared power arrangement where authority is equally distributed between husband and wife. Again the Iroquois are a good example of an egalitarian society, the women having a say in the local politics and able to vote to remove men from office. (Zinn, 1995) 17
    18. 18. More and morecouples withchildren break upand reunite withother couples withchildren, we findblended families. 18
    19. 19. What is the importance of family stability and fixed types of families?Consider the transfer of property and the responsibility for children. 19
    20. 20. What is marriage to you?Write about this for three or four minutes fordiscussion. 20
    21. 21.  Endogamy (marriage within the group) Exogomy (marriage outside of the group) What are some advantages or disadvantages to either? 21
    22. 22. 1 Monogamy2 Polygyny3 Polyandry4 Group marriage 22
    23. 23.  According to Hughes and Kroehler, citing Murdock, 1967, “monogamy was the preferred or ideal type of marriage in only 20 percent of 862 societies included in one cross cultural sample.” (This does not mean that the majority of marriage types allows for such an arrangement—one must be able to afford it.) 23
    24. 24. American couples are more conventional thanmight be expected.For instance: although 60 percent of wivespolled by Blumstein and Schwartz wereemployed outside the home, only 30 percent ofthe men and 39 percent of the women believedthat both spouses should work. (1983) 24
    25. 25. 1 Matching Hypothesis: Individuals of similar or equal attractiveness are drawn to each other.2 Complementary Needs Theory:Opposites attract. Each partner fulfills the gap that the other has.3 Exchange Theory 25
    26. 26. 3 Exchange Theory: a) We like those who reward us and dislike those who punish us. b) How do we benefit from a relationship? c) Matching is by persons of similar physical attractiveness—thus we minimize the risk of rejection. d) The exchange of behaviors is one of low risk and high reward. 26
    27. 27. While the conventionality of couple remains strong, the shape of families is in flux. Do we need marriage?Consider Popenoe’s criticism of Sweden.(See excerpt if available. Otherwise use following slides.) Discuss or write about: 27
    28. 28. Do we need marriage if, as in Sweden:1. Parental leave at 90 percent of salary2. Free day care3. Child support payments and housing subsidies (at a higher level for single than married parents)4. Free medical and dental care5. Free education to the university level6. Never-married or divorced mothers are not plunged into poverty, and no child grows up hungry, unsupervised, or undereducated. (continued) 28
    29. 29. However consider Popenoe’s points based upon his studies:1. In mother-only families, children have fewer (if any) sibling companions and adult role models).2. Parents and children do fewer things together as a family.3. They have less time to develop family-centered routines and traditions.4. Children lack the security of knowing their parents will try to stay together…5. Loss of familialism: the belief in a strong sense of family identification and loyalty, mutual assistance among family members and a concern for the perpetuation of the family unit. 29
    30. 30. Indeed, increasing numbers of Americans nolonger view marriage as a permanentinstitution but as something that can be endedand reentered. (Hughes and Kroehler, 2007) 30
    31. 31. More than one American youngster in fourlives with just one parent. (Kroehler andHughes, 2007) 31
    32. 32. 32
    33. 33. 33
    34. 34. Note that while teen pregnancy is on thedecrease, unwed motherhood is on the rise.Is this a moral dilemma or a structural one?Write about this for three minutes. 34
    35. 35. 35
    36. 36. 36
    37. 37. 37
    38. 38. The US marriage rate peaked in 1965 at 11.1 per1000.It dropped to a low of 8.5 per 1000 in 1991 andhas remained close to this low since. 38
    39. 39. Meanwhile, divorce rates have cycled from ahigh in 1945 down and back up again in 1979 toa rate of 5.3 per 1000 marriages. 39
    40. 40. 40
    41. 41. Divorce results in in a slight increase in incomefor the father while causing a “precipitous andsustained decline in household income for themother an child.” (Hughes & Kroehler 2007) 41
    42. 42.  Lowest divorce rate: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont  Mass has lowest divorce rate: 2.4 per 1k Highest in the “Bible Belt”  Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas  Born-again Christians have highest divorce rate Slide credited to Excelsior College
    43. 43.  More couples in the South enter their first marriage at a younger age. Average household incomes are lower in the South. Southern states have a lower percentage of Roman Catholics, "a denomination that does not recognize divorce." Barnas study showed that 21 percent of Catholics had been divorced, compared with 29 percent of Baptists.Slide credited to Excelsior College
    44. 44.  Education. Massachusetts has about the highest rate of education in the country, with 85 percent completing high school. For Texas the rate is 76 percent. One third of Massachusetts residents have completed college, compared with 23 percent of Texans, and the other Northeast states are right behind Massachusetts. The liberals from Massachusetts have long prided themselves on their emphasis on education, and it has paid off: People who stay in school longer get married at a later age, when they are more mature, are more likely to secure a better job, and job income increases with each level of formal education. As a result, Massachusetts also leads in per capita and family income while births by teenagers, as a percent of total births, was 7.4 for Massachusetts and 16.1 for Texas.Slide credited to Excelsior College
    45. 45. 45
    46. 46.  Interestingly enough, cohabiting before marriage does NOT assure that the marriage will last. Cohabiters who cohabit serially are more likely to divorce than those who do not cohabit. Cohabiting, however, is becoming a natural form of courtship in the US. Is it replacing marriage? 46
    47. 47. 47
    48. 48. 48

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