COMMUNICATING GENDER DIVERSITY:
Chapter 7
Family
Matt Leach
“Families are not
merely influenced by
gender; rather, families
are organized by
gender. This
organization is
apparent in ...
FAMILY AS A SOCIAL INSTITUTION
NUCLEAR FAMILY:
 Also called the family of procreation, is composed
of two parents—one male and one female, and
biologica...
“The nuclear family and
its rigid gender roles
became firmly
institutionalized during
the 1950s. Rapid
economic growth and...
 Television programming
during the 1950s played
a major role in
conditioning people into
upholding specific gender
roles....
“This demand to abide by a role is what sociologist
Virginia Rutter and Pepper Schwartz called a
gendered social script: t...
INTERLOCKING INSTITUTIONS
 “Politics and law constitute
and legitimate the ideology
of the nuclear family. U.S.
politicians and clergy
repeatedly u...
FAMILY CONSTRUCTS (AND
CONSTRAINS) GENDER
Parent-Child
Communication:
“Parents provide a
model for children‟s
gendered identities
because children are
closest to pa...
“Mothers and
fathers alike have
been found to
habitually reward
daughters for
demonstrating
interpersonal skills
and polit...
Adult Friends and
Lovers:
“U.S. culture treats
heterosexual marriage
culminating in the nuclear
family as the ultimate
for...
“The romanticized
white wedding are
primary cultural tools
for institutionalizing
heterosexuality as the
norm, as „the
sta...
Domestic Violence:
Linkage between
masculinity and
violence—“We expect
and encourage boys to
pursue our cultural
ideals of...
“Domestic violence,
particularly the abuse
of women by men in
the domestic setting,
should not be
understood as an
aberrat...
EMANCIPATORY FAMILIES
 “We spend more time as parents trying to create
clear gender roles which are actually destructive
than trying to create ...
“As long as masculinity is defined in opposition
to femininity, and requires devaluing and
stigmatizing things labeled fem...
o Through cultural
dogma over the many
years, the
predominant cultural
ideology has corralled
individuals to acting a
spec...
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Chapter 7: Family

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Chapter 7: Family

  1. 1. COMMUNICATING GENDER DIVERSITY: Chapter 7 Family Matt Leach
  2. 2. “Families are not merely influenced by gender; rather, families are organized by gender. This organization is apparent in the prescribed roles played in many families: mother, father, daughter, son, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle. These roles are sex marked and designate responsibilities, expectations, and power hierarchies” (DeFrancisco & Palczewski, 2007, p. 153).
  3. 3. FAMILY AS A SOCIAL INSTITUTION
  4. 4. NUCLEAR FAMILY:  Also called the family of procreation, is composed of two parents—one male and one female, and biological children. With the male being the primary wage earner and the female being the primary homemaker.
  5. 5. “The nuclear family and its rigid gender roles became firmly institutionalized during the 1950s. Rapid economic growth and popular media representations enabled and normalized the male wage earner” (p. 157).
  6. 6.  Television programming during the 1950s played a major role in conditioning people into upholding specific gender roles.  Each program showed the family as being a traditional white nuclear family.  “The father was the sole wage earner, and the home was his haven against the cold business world. The mother did not work outside the home and was the nurturer who had milk and cookies ready when the children arrived home from school, and drinks and dinner ready when the father arrived home from work” (p. 157).
  7. 7. “This demand to abide by a role is what sociologist Virginia Rutter and Pepper Schwartz called a gendered social script: the rules that people carry around in their heads about what they ought to be like as men or women (straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or intersexed) and what others ought to be like as men or women” (p. 154).
  8. 8. INTERLOCKING INSTITUTIONS
  9. 9.  “Politics and law constitute and legitimate the ideology of the nuclear family. U.S. politicians and clergy repeatedly use the slogan family values, in which family means nuclear family” (p. 158).  “The nuclear family and its institutionalization of prescribed gender/sex roles interlocks with the institution of compulsory heterosexuality, the assumption that only one legitimate way of loving and one legitimate form of family is possible” (p. 159).
  10. 10. FAMILY CONSTRUCTS (AND CONSTRAINS) GENDER
  11. 11. Parent-Child Communication: “Parents provide a model for children‟s gendered identities because children are closest to parents physically and emotionally and for a longer period of time. Through often unconscious social learning, children observe and internalize particular types of behaviors” (p. 161).
  12. 12. “Mothers and fathers alike have been found to habitually reward daughters for demonstrating interpersonal skills and politeness, and to reward sons for demonstrating physical or verbal aggression” (p. 161).
  13. 13. Adult Friends and Lovers: “U.S. culture treats heterosexual marriage culminating in the nuclear family as the ultimate form of romantic expression; the cultural assumption that everyone is heterosexual and wants to be married is named heteronormativity. From early on, children are pressured to have boyfriends and girlfriends; to learn to flirt with the other sex; to devalue, distrust, and compete in platonic same-sex friendships; and to see marriage as a life accomplishment” (p. 164).
  14. 14. “The romanticized white wedding are primary cultural tools for institutionalizing heterosexuality as the norm, as „the standard for legitimate and expected social and sexual relations.‟ The predominant socialization toward heterosexual romance and family literally marries women and men into intimate legal bonds” (p. 165).
  15. 15. Domestic Violence: Linkage between masculinity and violence—“We expect and encourage boys to pursue our cultural ideals of masculinity. From early in their youth, we teach them (through for instance toys and sports) to symbolically correlate competition, violence, power, and domination with masculinity. As children, boys are socialized to relate to family in a particular way” (p. 170).
  16. 16. “Domestic violence, particularly the abuse of women by men in the domestic setting, should not be understood as an aberration in an otherwise-functioning gendered family institution. Instead, gendered violence ought to be seen as an expected component of the heteronormative family norm” (p. 170).
  17. 17. EMANCIPATORY FAMILIES
  18. 18.  “We spend more time as parents trying to create clear gender roles which are actually destructive than trying to create more flexible gender roles that are libratory and responsive to each persons individuality and lived experience. „Clear gender roles‟ often are narrow and prescriptive, creating ideals few can attain and thus harming those who cannot” (p. 172).
  19. 19. “As long as masculinity is defined in opposition to femininity, and requires devaluing and stigmatizing things labeled feminine, men will be blocked from or conflicted by learning from female role models. The learning and valuing of nurture [sic] is blocked by misogyny and homophobia…It is also challenged by the embrace of violence as a part of masculinity, a value or trait to nurture and care” (p. 174).
  20. 20. o Through cultural dogma over the many years, the predominant cultural ideology has corralled individuals to acting a specific gender. This is visible in the political arena, working world, family life and through the media. o It is up to each individual in breaking cultural constraints and constructing their own families in such a way that teaches and welcomes the diverse modes by which equality can be expressed. Conclusion:

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