Family & Marriage

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Family & Marriage

  1. 1. What is a Family? There are various definitions of “family” based on culture:  In US = One Woman, One Man, and Children  Other Cultures practice Polygamy (multiple wives) or Polyandry (multiple husbands)  Some cultures consider family to be the unit responsible for childrenCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 1
  2. 2. Family Defined: Family is universal, but definitions of what constitutes family vary widely across cultures Hence, the sociological definition is broad: “A family consists of people who consider themselves related by blood, marriage, or adoption.”Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 2
  3. 3. Types of Family  Nuclear: one man, one woman, average 2.5 children (this is the emphasis in the US)  Extended: additional relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws)  Family of Orientation: family an individual is born into (with ones parents, guardian, caretaker)  Family of Procreation: family formed with the birth of a child (individual becomes parent/caretaker)Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 3
  4. 4. What is Marriage? There are various definitions of marriage based on culture:  Traditionally between one man and one woman in the US  Acceptance of Same-Sex Marriages in the West Changes the Definition  Some cultural definitions don’t include sexual relations  One culture even allows marriage between deceased individualsCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 4
  5. 5. What is Marriage? All societies have coupling customs, but the definition varies by each culture Hence, the Sociological Definition of Marriage is broad: “Marriage is a group’s approved mating arrangement…usually marked by a ritual.”Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 5
  6. 6. Common Cultural Themes of Marriage & Family: Families Establish Patterns of:  Mate Selection:  Endogamy: to marry within ones own social group • ex: people often informally marry within the same race and same social class; gay marriage  Exogamy: to marry outside ones own social group • ex: legally must marry outside of your close blood relatives; heterosexual marriage  Descent (who is considered related to whom):  Bilineal system: related to both mothers and fathers family  Patrilineal system: related to only fathers family  Matrilineal system: related to only mothers familyCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All 6
  7. 7. Common Cultural Themes ofMarriage & Family (cont): ●Inheritance: ▪Bilineal: property passed to both male and female descendants (common for the modern western world) ▪Patrilineal: property passed only to male descendants (historically used in US and western Europe) ▪Matrilineal: property passed only to female descendants (very rare) ●Authority: ▪Patriarchy: power vested in men •critics argue that all societies have been patriarchal to varying degrees ▪Matriarchy: power vested in women ▪Egalitarian: power divided equally amongst men and women
  8. 8. Family and MarriageInternalizedOur norms about family and marriage seemnatural because we have internalized themHowever, specific customs for family andmarriage are arbitrarily defined by variouscultures, and are not natural, but rather sociallydefined
  9. 9. Marriage and Family: Functionalist Perspective Functionalist PerspectiveFunctionalists argue that family units contribute tothe well-being of society by fulfilling Basic SocietalNeeds: – Economic Production – Socialization of Children – Care of Sick and Aged – Recreation – Sexual Control – Reproduction 9
  10. 10. Marriage and Family: Functionalist Perspective Functionalist Perspective  Functions of the Incest Taboo:  To avoid Role Confusion • Ex: a father-daughter incestuous relationship is confusing because the role of father and husband have different levels of power within the relationship, so theres a questions of which role should be adhered to  Builds alliances, increases resources  Dysfunctions of Nuclear Family:  Isolation  Emotional Overload (there are less family members to provide emotional support)Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 10
  11. 11. Marriage and Family: Conflict Perspective Conflict Perspective Conflict Theorists believe that:  Conflict is part of Marriage  Generally, husbands have had more power  Power Struggles develop over:  Housework  Child Care  Money  Attention  Respect  SexCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 11
  12. 12. Marriage and Family: Symbolic Interactionism Symbolic Interactionism  Symbolic Interactionists note that:  Both wives & husbands are spending more time on childcare than in the past  Both wives & husbands spend less time on social activities now  Labor-saving technologies promised more leisure time for parents, but the Microwave is the only technology to actually reduce labor time (standards of cleanliness have increased, so people complete housework more efficiently, but more often, thus not reducing labor time)  Gender Division of Labor: men are expected to work in the paid labor market, while women are expected to perform unpaid housework and childcare (this is becoming more egalitarian)Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 12
  13. 13. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 13
  14. 14. The Family Life Cycle  Romantic Love in Global Perspective  Marriage  Likely to marry a partner of similar Age, Education, Social Class, Race/Ethnicity  Homogamy  Result of being near others with similar social locationsCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 14
  15. 15. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 15
  16. 16. The Family Life Cycle Childbirth:  Ideal family size has decreased over time – Majority of Americans want only 1-2 children now  Marital Satisfaction Decreases upon birth of child (because intimacy, time, & attention are divided between an extra individual when the social group changes from a dyad to a triad) – Parents must also learn to rearrange roles, and work can become unbalancedCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 16
  17. 17. The Family Life Cycle Child Rearing:  Married Couples – kids more likely to be cared for by father when the mother is at work, while Single Mothers rely more on organized daycare, grandparents, & relatives  Day Care  ¼ kids in daycare  Low daycare salaries  lower quality care  Nannies  High quality, personal care  Generally only affordable for upper-middle class  Social Class & Parenting Styles  Working class believe kids develop naturally, less intervention  Middle class believe kids need nurturing, more interventionCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 17
  18. 18. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 18
  19. 19. The Family Life Cycle Family Transitions:  Adultolescents  Not-So-Empty Nest: kids are moving at later because of the increasing cost of living, prolonged education, poor economy  Boomerang Children: kids leave home then move back, can create additional financial hardships for aging parents, and role conflict  Widowhood  Women more likely to become widowed (because they have longer life expectancies)  Widowhood Effect: decreased health & earlier death for widows; due to grief & loss of social supportCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 19
  20. 20. Diversity in U.S. Families  African-American Families  More likely to have Fictive Kin (non-relatives who are considered family)  Family values differ more by social class than race  Latino Families  Machismo: heavy emphasis on masculinity, strength, dominance, sexuality  Values differ by country of origin and social class  Asian Families  Often retain cultural values of collectivity, discipline, hierarchy, respect for elderly, success, moderation, & obligation  Values differ by country of origin and social class  Native American Families  Importance of elders in childcare & disciplining  Decisions to keep traditional language & customs or to assimilate to mainstream cultureCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.  20
  21. 21. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 21
  22. 22.  There is no standard Asian family, black family, etc  Groups are not homogenous; very diverse  Distinctions more about social class than race/ethnicity  Issues over whether to assimilate or retain traditional valuesCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 22
  23. 23. Diversity in U.S. Families Increase in One-Parent Families:  Tend to be poor  Most children live with mothers, despite divorced mothers earning less than fathers on average Families without Children:  Number of married women without children doubled in last two decades Increase in Blended Families (two divorced families united):  Confusion and power struggles between step-families Gay & Lesbian Families:  Often lack legal protection & benefits  Lesbian couples are more egalitarian  Upper-class has more options for adoption and having kidsCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 23
  24. 24. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 24
  25. 25. Trends in U.S. Families  Postponing Marriage and Childbirth  Age of first marriage is at all-time high in US  Age at first childbirth is at all-time high in US  Increase in Cohabitation (couple living together in sexual relationship, not married) – More likely to end in divorce – Reasons to cohabitate (just dont like marriage, trial marriage, convenience, planning on marriage) significantly influences divorce/breakup rates  Skipped-generation Families = grandparents as parents  Sandwich Generation = simultaneous childcare & eldercareCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 25
  26. 26. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 26
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  29. 29. Divorce and Remarriage  Methods of Measuring Divorce:  Marriage to Divorce Ratio per year: 50% (half as many divorces as marriages per year)  Divorce rate per year: 2% (2% of all married couples get divorced per year)  Percent of people divorced during a lifetime: 40% **50% divorce rate does not mean that each couple has a 50% chance of divorce (varies by couple)**  Serial Fatherhood: decreased contact with biological children, move on to new family  Ex-Spouses: source of both stress & relief  Remarriage  Men more likely to remarry  Women with more education & no children less likely to remarryCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 29
  30. 30. Divorce & RemarriageCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 30
  31. 31. Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 31
  32. 32. Dark Side of Family Life Spouse Battering – Rates about equal between men & women; however, men more likely to instigate & women more likely to use in self-defense  Child Abuse (includes neglect, poor living conditions, physical or sexual abuse) ≈900,000 reports/year are substantiated  Marital or Intimacy Rape – Legal throughout much of US history – More common than its believed to be – Can include gay or lesbian couples  Incest – Most common in socially isolated families – Perpetrator most likely uncleCopyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved. 32

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