• Most people experience family at a deeply personal level• Many people’s most intense interpersonal exchanges occur within a family setting• Family is a social institution that genders its members• Organized by gendered lines by other social forces• Gender study in communication can not be done without studying the communication within a family
GENDER ROLESREFERS TO FEMININE AND MASCULINE SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS IN A FAMILY BASED ON A PERSONS SEX
GENDER ROLE SOCIALIZATION LARGELY TAKES PLACEWITHIN FAMILIES, MAINLY VIA PARENTAL MODELING AND PARENT-CHILD INTERACTION
“FAMILY IS USUALLY THE FIRST SOURCE OF INFORMATIONABOUT GENDER AND ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL. IT IS THE PRIMARY PLACE WHERE MANY PEOPLE ARE TAUGHT THAT WOMEN AND MEN ARE ESSENTIALLY DIFFERENT AND HENCE SHOULD HAVE DIFFERENT AND/OR UNEQUAL ROLES.”
“Men tend to gather in front of “Women tend to work in the TV at family gatherings” kitchen” WHEN MOTHERS & FATHERS HAVE GENDER/SEX DIVISIONS OF LABOR AT HOME, THEY TEND TO PASS ON THOSE SAME DIVISIONS TO THEIR CHILDREN
WHAT IS ANINSTITUTION? • Established patterns of behavior with a particular and recognized purpose, institutions include specific participants who share expectations and act in specific roles, with rights and duties attached to them.
EXTERNAL CHARACTERISTICS OF AN INSTITUTION1. Institutions are complex and intersecting: No institution operates in isolation from others.2. All institutions influence and are influenced by the institution of gender. “Gender is present in the processes, practices, images, & ideologies, & distribution of power in various sectors of social life.”3. Institutions are often intertwined with the state/government. Government can order particular practices in law and enforce those practices.
FAMILY AS SOCIAL INSTITUTION• In Western societies, we tend to think of a family as consisting of a one mother(f), one father(m), and biological children living under one roof: Nuclear Family
FAMILY AS SOCIAL INSTITUTION• The Textbook family(nuclear) reveals how family as an institution is influenced by social interactions and the idea of what is considered appropriate behavior within society.• Being part of a family is central part of a persons identity.• The nuclear family ideal, organizes people within a family and systemizes families In relation to one another: Better or Worse.• Although it is assumed that the nuclear family is ideal it is in fact not the most common family dynamic.
“THE NUCLEAR FAMILY, THE ELUSIVE TRADITIONAL FAMILY”• 38% of marriages end in divorce• 75% of divorced persons remarry with a 60% chance of divorce• 30% of homes are headed by a single adult• 30% of children will at some point live in a blended family.• Historians can not point to a specific time when the “nuclear family” was ever predominant.
FAMILY IDEALS OF THE 17 & 1800’S• Stereotypical notions of • Although many families could masculinity and femininity as well not live on one mans salary alone as the concept of nuclear family , domesticity became a norm for came about in the 1800’s during judging a womens worth. the Industrial Revolution. • Middle and upper class white• Prior to the 1700’s families work women depicted “true was shared across the sexes. womanhood”, pure, pious,• Through the progression of the domestic, and submissive. industrial revolution brought • Poor white & black women could about the concept of manliness, not attain the ideal “true based on a mans ability to womanhood” because of class support his family on his income and race. alone. • Regardless of this, the ideal still held power over them and society deemed them bad women.
FAMILY IDEALS OF THE 1950’S The nuclear family and its strict gender roles became institutionalized in the 1950’s
ECONOMIC GROWTH AND POPULAR MEDIA REPRESENTATIONS ENABLED AND NORMALIZED THE MALE WAGE EARNER.
IN EACH SHOW, THE FAMILY WAS A WHITE, MIDDLE CLASS, HETEROSEXUAL, MARRIED, MIDDLE-AGED COUPLE WITH CHILDREN, LIVING IN A SUBURBANENVIRONMENT. THE FATHER WAS THE SOLE WAGE EARNER AND THE MOTHER DID NOT WORK OUTSIDE OF THE HOME, SHE WAS THE NURTURER WITH MILK AND COOKIES FOR THE CHILDREN AND DINNER AND DRINKS READY FOR WHEN THE HUSBAND RETURNED HOME. FROM WORK.
Advertisements in form of commercials and print promoted domestic technology to make women’s house work easier.In actuality, the marketing messages increased women’s workload because they raised standards of cleanliness.
INTERLOCKING INSTITUTIONSFamilies can only be understood in What Walker means by this is that therelation to the broader social context orwhat is considered to be in the public way a family works or functions isdomain because the “broader social directly related to the social systems ofsystems and structures impinge on the outside world.everyday family life, reproducing insidefamilies in the divisions that exist outsideof them.” -Alexis Walker
“IF GENDER/SEX DIVISIONS APPEAR IN THEWORKPLACE, THEY LIKELY WILL APPEAR IN FAMILIES AND VICE VERSA.”• Myth: The nuclear family is self sufficient• Reality: Extended family, work, religion, schools, social services, media, and law influence it.
• Politics and law Establish and • The institution of work and authenticate the ideal family family intersect through the through repeated use of the reoccurring issue of domestic slogan family values. labor. Discussion of gender/sex in family communication• In the 1990’s this slogan produces household services referred to the heterosexual as well as gender. married couple with children living in one home guided by • Imbalanced housework Christian values. distribution between men and women is one of the clearest• The US congress people use the indicators of inequitable idea of the “nuclear family” in gender roles. debates over welfare. Putting negative value towards families who do not fit the model.
Psychologist Francine Deutsch’s study shows 5 communication strategies men use to resists sharing household duties. Surveys shows that in heterosexual 1. Passive resistance relationshipswives still spend 2. Pretending to be incompetentbetween 5 and13.5 hours more 3. Praising spouse for her skills a week doinghousework than husbands 4. Applying lower standards when doing work, whereby person who cares more about standards takes over the task at hand. 5. Denial by exaggerating their own contributions.
COMPULSORY HETEROSEXUALITYTHE ASSUMPTION THAT ONLY ONE LEGITIMATE WAY OF LOVING AND ONE LEGITIMATE FORM OF FAMILY IS POSSIBLE.
FAMILY CONSTRUCTS/CONSTRAINS GENDERResearch focus on nuclear family Social Learning & Modeling• Researchers are not exempt • Children’s gender identities from the influences of the ideal come from their parental nuclear family. model• The functionalist view of family • Social learning is often argued social order was unconscious, yet children dependent upon a “natural observe and internalize certain sexual division of labor” in the behaviors. family. • Children will most likely model• Research predominantly behaviors of those they admire, focused on White, U.S., middle they are observe and are often class, heterosexual couples. rewarded for the following behavior.
SOCIAL LEARNING & MODELING• Research shows that heterosexual couples’ perception of what is fair tend to be sex biased.• Even if parents tell their children that work should be shared equally, when women do more domestic labor than men, children tend to learn what the observe rather than what they are told.• Research has examined whether having a gay or lesbian parent negatively affects childrens gender identity development and there is no evidence that gay/lesbian parents differ systematically from children of heterosexual parents.• There is no evidence that children of gay or lesbian parents are confused or uncertain about their gender identity.• Less research exists, however it shows that the majority of children from gay/lesbian parents grow up to identify as heterosexuals.
GENDER/SEX INTERACTION: PARENTS INFLUENCE• Gender/sex identities are learned by watching and interacting with parents.• Most white, middle class parents habitually interact with children based on their sex.• These parents tend to reward behaviors that are gender/ sex appropriate and discourage those that are not
MOTHERS ANDFATHERS HAVEROUTINELY REWARDDAUGHTERS FORINTERPERSONALSKILLS ANDPOLITENESS, AND TOREWARD SONS FORPHYSICAL OR VERBALAGGRESSION
GENDER/SEX INTERACTION: CHILDREN’S INFLUENCE• Children do play an active role in constructing their gender.• One study showed adolescent and teen children may actively select gendered interactions with their parents. The study found that the sons studied were more likely to be withdrawn in conversations with their mothers than daughters with their mothers.• The gender schema theory says that children acquire a gender identity between 2 and 3. From this point on they use that gender identity to choose stimuli that seems consistent with the chosen identity.• Very little research has been done on how siblings influence one anothers gender identity.
“The socially approved economic and sexualADULT FRIENDSAND LOVERS union represented by romance and marriage between heterosexual couples are the cornerstones of the traditional nuclear family”
ADULT FRIENDS AND LOVERS• Regardless of race, class, or • The ideological power of sexual orientation, people are heterosexual romance can socialized to want marriage. devalue other relationships such as friendship.• Children grow up playing bride and groom. • Friendships, unlike marriages, receive no legal, political,• The media and wedding industry religious, or other institutional encourages people to spend support. more than $40 billion a year on weddings. • Cross-sex friendships are often seen as a threat to dating and• Marriage remains a primary way marriage relationships. in which women can raise their socioeconomic status. • Same sex platonic friendship is seen as more socially acceptable
DATING RELATIONSHIPS• Heterosexual dating • Women are expected to relationships are the spend a great deal of most studied non-marital time and energy to relationship, indicating make themselves the privilege attached to sexually attractive to it. men.• Expectations are what • One study conducted primarily affect the by Holland and ideology of intimacy. Eisenhart, showed that women felt they could not gain prestige from• The most desired life success alone, romance, as depicted in instead they developed the movies, is between a self esteem through masculine man and romantic relations with feminine women usually men. of the same race and ethnic group
DATING RELATIONSHIPS“Perhaps no other aspect of dating escalation reflects gender scripts as fully as first sexual involvement, particularly sexual intercourse.” S. Metts (2006)• Heterosexual Dating Norms:Primarily men initiate dates and physical intimacy.Women take primary responsibility for maintaining the relationship.• Heterosexual men who show sensitivity, which is considered feminine are thought of unusual.
MARITAL COMMUNICATION• Marital communication is the most studied interpersonal relationship.• Distinctive sex differences endorse the presumption that domestic labor and relationship work is women’s work, and claims that men are not good listeners and cannot do or value talk as much as women.• Demand/withdrawl pattern: partner who wants the most change demands and the one who resists change withdraws. The suggestion that men and women are not even from the same planet offers unhealthy communication advice and reinforces gender stereotypes.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE “Family and other institutions sustainsystematic forms of gender and sex inequality and violence, making the family one of the United States’ most violent social institutions and women and children the most common victims.”
• Every day 4 children in the US dies as a result of abuse and neglect in a family.• 4 women are murdered every day in the US by their husbands/boyfriends.• Women are 10 times more likely to be victims of domestic violence then men.• 4 million children a year in the US are abused or neglected by parents.• 1 in 4 women reports having been raped or physically assaulted by an intimate partner this is true of the US and globally.
“A VARIETY OF FAMILY FORMS CAN PROVIDE A SAFE HAVEN WHERE THE MEMBERS FEEL LOVED, A CCEPTED, A ND A RE ABLE TO GROW TO THEIR FULLEST POTENTIAL .” Emancipatory Families
EMANCIPATORY FAMILIES• Kyle Kostelecky believes we • Engaged fatherhood not only spend more time as parents benefits children and mothers, trying to create clear gender but studies have found a roles which are actually positive relationship between destructive, than trying to involved parenting and a create more flexible gender father’s psychological well- roles that are liberatory and being, confidence, and self- responsive to each persons esteem. individuality. • Parenting and family are• Gender tolerance needs to be defined by more than the taught particular people involved in a• An example of a flexible specific family. Social and gender role in a family is cultural expectations inform engaged fatherhood. the way each does family and parenthood.
CONCLUSIONThe common theme of this chapter seems to be expectations. A lot of how we parent and interact comes from various interlocking institutions. These institutions are formed by social systems and what we consider to be thenorms. A lot of peoples interactions and parenting skills comes from what is expected of them, what is the norm for doing so. As humans we learn through social learning a modeling. We model after one another learning what is normal and expected within our social system.