Vermette Ch 07
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Vermette Ch 07

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Sociology 101

Sociology 101

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  • Religious endogamy – For example among Jews. There are so few Jews in the United States that Jewish groups strongly encourage marriage with other Jews, or at least raising children in mixed-religion families Jewish. The Lovings in Virginia in the 1960s challenged laws prohibiting interracial marriage. In 2008 14% of marriages were interracial or Latino/non-Latino. Sometimes judges even today refuse to marry interracial couples (Louisiana in 2009)
  • “Good old days” existed uniquely in the 1950s Before the 20th century kids were more likely to live with a single parent or in orphanages if their parents could not afford themB 1900 20% of American women worked outside the homeExtended families were always rare in the United StatesPercent of women working outside the home was even higher for low income women and women of color and if you include farm work as true work (which didn’t happen on the census until about 1990 or 2000)Life for people of color shaped by discrimination and “family” was often driven by economic necessity
  • DADT (don’t ask don’t tell) repealed in the military in September 201160% of young people saw marriage discrimination in current laws.
  • Conjugal visits for same sex partners when one is in jail in CA – 2007Family leave policies – dads can take time offReligion – helps define family life, childrearing, work, division of labor, etc.
  • Economics – household finances, health care, job relocations, preschool costs, competing demands of work and home life, etc.Cost of raising a middle class child to age 17 today = $200,000; in 1970 = $25,230
  • Divorce only legal in Ireland since 1997 in spite of the Catholic Church lobbying against changing the law
  • Some states require waiting periods for divorceLouisiana, Arizona, Arkansas created a “covenant” marriage – harder to get a divorce
  • Some critics argue that the standard research design in studies on the impact of divorce on children—comparing children whose parents have divorced to children in happy, intact families—is flawed. Indeed, if we compare kids from divorced families to kids from intact families whose parents are unhappily married or whose families experience a great deal of conflict, we find that the type and frequency of emotional and interpersonal problems are similar for both sets of children (Cherlin et al., 1991). In fact, children who grow up in intact families marked by frequent conflict may actually suffer more. This research suggests that behavioral problems are caused not by the divorce itself but by exposure to conflict between the parents both before and after the divorce
  • In some countries (Indonesia, Ghana, India, Uganda) – women condone violence against them and are more likely than men to believe it’s okay for a husband to beat his wife if she argues with him or refuses to have sex with him.
  • Women don’t necessarily stay in abusive situations because they have personality disorders.Emergency rooms asked about domestic violence with the partner present.Women can’t afford to divide the householdShelters may be many miles away and hard to reach or hard to get to work fromFamily and friends networks may be small, and the woman may not have easy ways to stay away from the partner

Vermette Ch 07 Vermette Ch 07 Presentation Transcript

  • ©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012Building Social Relationships:Intimacy and FamiliesChapter 7
  • Life With Others• Tension in American society betweenindividualism and connection to others• People move around more• Fewer people join social organizations(religious, clubs, civic organizations)• Fewer people live close to extended family• We spend more time at work• Yet people find close relationships with co-workers, neighbors, friends• Social networking• Technology to stay in touch across distances©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Thinking Sociologically• Social diversity and intimatechoices• Who are you likely to choose as apartner?• Where will you meet?• How will you get to know each other?• What will your family think?©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Exogamy and Endogamy• Exogamy: marrying outside social group—typically outside family (sometimes clan orvillage)• Endogamy: rules may be less formal—buttypically in United States people still marrywithin:• Social class• Religion• Race and ethnicity• Education level• Similar value systems©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • What Is a Family?• Family: “Two or more persons whoare related by birth, marriage oradoption, and who live together asone household.” (US Census Bureau2005)• Nuclear family: parents and siblings• Extended family: other kin• Household: one or more people whooccupy the same housing unit©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Family Life• Pre-industrialization: center ofeducation, religious training, andcareer preparation• With industrialization, many of thesefunctions moved outside the home• Structural-functionalists are concerned• However, a “golden age” of familynever really existed• U.S. “family” has always been primarily“nuclear”©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • 100 Years Ago• Abandonment instead of divorce• Children in orphanages• Single parent and blended families• Alcohol and drug abuse• Domestic violence• School dropouts©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Divorce Trends• Steady increase for 100 years up toWorld War II• Rose sharply right after the war• Dropped sharply in the 1950s• Return to trend in 1960s and 1970s• Declining since the 1980s©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • ©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012Marriage• Monogamy: marriage to one personat a time• Core to our image of family• Polygamy: several spouses at once• About 75% of world’s societies prefersome type of polygamy• Can be useful economically
  • ©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012Residence• Neolocal• New couples establish their ownhousehold• Typical in the United States• Only 5% of societies are neolocal• Patrilocal• New couple lives with or nearhusband’s family• Matrilocal• New couple lives with or near wife’sfamily
  • Same-Sex Unions• Most states legally define marriage asheterosexual• Some states legally allow marriage betweenany two people• Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, andNew Hampshire, New York, District of Columbia• Some nations allow civil unions between gaycouples• Some nations allow marriage between any twopeople• Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, and theNetherlands©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Families and Social Institutions• Law and politics• Power to grant/forbid marriage• Parent-child rights and obligations• Political power of “buzzwords” such astraditional family values• Religion• Defines expectations fordating, marriage, sexuality, responses todeath, child discipline, etc.©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Families and SocialInstitutions• The military• More than 140,000 single parents in themilitary• Health care• Health requirements to marry (bloodtests)©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Family and Medical Leave Actof 1993• Workers guaranteed up to 12 weeksunpaid sick leave per year for birth,adoption, or caring for sick child, parent,or spouse• Only for certain workers• Small companies exempt• Employer may deny leave to a “key”employee©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Economics• Money matters are closely tied tosatisfaction with family relationships• Improvements/drops in income affectfamilies’ standards of living©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Thinking Sociologically• Social diversity and families• Gender: What does it mean to be a wifeor a husband, a mother or a father?• Class: How does family wealth have animpact on how the family functions?• Race and ethnicity: How is being afamily of color different from being awhite family? How about a family thatspeaks a different language at home?©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Divorce• Virtually all societies have provisions forending marriages• Modernization makes divorce morepossible• More economic opportunity for women inIran• Religion can suppress divorce• Irish Catholic bishops lobby to keepdivorce illegal©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Normalization of Divorce• Conservative Christians as likely todivorce as others• Divorce rates lowest in Northeast andupper Midwest• Highest in South• Higher among lower income, less welleducated©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Culture and Divorce• Changing Western society culture• Weakening of families’ economic bonds• Reduction in influence of religion• Stress of shifting gender roles• More accepting attitudes toward divorce• Divorce is easier to obtain• No fault divorce• Low cost to divorce• Short time to divorce©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Children, Divorce, and SingleParenting• In 2009, 30% of children under 18 livedwith a single parent• Variations by racial groups• Non-custodial fathers often do not pay theirpart• Children in single parent families may havelower levels of well-being on somemeasures• High quality of interaction (and low conflict)between parent and child may be moreimportant than number of parents present©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Remarriage and Stepfamilies• Divorce rate for remarriages slightly higherthan for first marriages• close to 25% of remarriages end in divorcewithin five years, compared to 23% of firstmarriages• Characteristics that influence successfulintegration of children• age of child when stepparent entershousehold• other stepchildren• stepparent’s ability to ease intodisciplinarian role©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Family Violence• 87% of victims are women• In 2007, about 1,200 women were killed byan intimate partner• Overall, about 30% of all female murder victimswere killed by an intimate partner• 1,740 children died from abuse or neglectin 2008• In 2007, 71% were killed by one or both parentsand 80% were under age four©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Intimate Violence in CulturalContext• Spouse abuse, elder abuse, and child abuseare found in every class, race, and religion• Violence is culturally acceptable in theUnited States as a way to solve problems• Traditionally male-dominated legal andeconomic structures promote the interests ofmen• Being in a family is stressful©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012
  • Responses• Individual explanations• Masochism thesis• Self-defeating personality disorder• Institutional explanations• Health care systems• Economics• Unavailability of shelters• Lack of legal safety©SAGE Publications, Inc. 2012