Family “Family is a social institution that genders its members andis organized along gendered lines by other social forces.” Each individual communicates differently about family andthat in turn affects the institutions structure and itsmembers. Communication that occurs in family develops a personsideas on gender and family.
Every family member has a role in the institution. Each role isidentified by gender indicating that men and women are differenttherefore their responsibilities and expectations should bedifferent or unequal.
Family as a SocialInstitutionNuclear Family- A social unitcomposed of two parents ofthe opposite sex and one ormore children.The traditional nuclearfamily is not as common asonce thought, however it wasrevolutionary in prescribingwell defined and exclusivegender roles in the 1950’s.
Interlocking InstitutionsPolitics Careers The idea of the nuclear family isstrongly supported in politicsand religion today and is used asa generalization for all Americanfamilies. Arlie Hochschild (2003) said itbest “Just as there is a wage gapbetween men and women in thework place, there is a leisure gapbetween them at home.”
Compulsory heterosexuality is the idea that there is only oneacceptable form of family. It excludes all other individuals leadingan alternative lifestyle. And omits all other “non-traditional”families.
Parent-Child Communication Social-Learning and Modeling- Parents provide the modelthrough which the child learns its gender identity due totime spent together. Gender/Sex Interaction: Parents’ Influence- By observingand interacting with their parents children learn theirgender/sex identities. Gender/Sex Interaction: Children’s Influence- Around theages of 2 and 3 children acquire a gender identity and willchose activities fitting of that gender.
Adult Friends andLoversHeteronormativity- The ideathat everyone is heterosexualand wants to be married.
Dating RelationshipsMost of the research done has beenconducted on heterosexualrelationships.Hollywood portrays the mostdesired romance between youngmasculine men and femininewomen, of the same race or ethnicgroup.The most common heterosexualdating practices are when the meninitiate the date while the femalesmaintain the relationship.
Marital Communication Heterosexual marriages are very likely the moststudied type of interpersonal relationship. Demand/withdrawl pattern- one partner demandschange while the other resists resulting in failure toresolve the conflict.
Domestic Violence “Family and other institutions sustain systemic forms ofgender and sex inequality and violence, making the familyone of the United States’ most violent social institutionsand women and children the most common victims.” Common Couple Violence- A couples inability to resolveconflict which results in acts of violence towards each otheroccurring at equal degrees by both men and women.
Emancipatory Families An array of different family forms where the individualsfeel safe, loved and thrive in that setting.
Engaged Fatherhood Allowing Dads to be flexiblein their gender roles takingcare of their children. Allowing Dads to be flexiblein their gender roles takingcare of a family member.
Conclusion Family is a social institution with the nuclear familybeing the center for cultural ideology. Violence in the family between partners and towardschildren is more prevalent in the United States thenoriginally thought. Further research is needed to help families createbetter homes for themselves and their loved ones.