Chapter 12

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  • When we think of nuclear families, we tend to think of “traditional” families, however, it is important to note that nuclear families don’t necessarily include a married couple. There are many different ways that nuclear families can be formed, but you can generally think of this as a heterosexual, two-parent household with children. Extended family most commonly includes a family with children and one or more sets of grandparents, although that is not the only arrangement. When you think of kin, you might think of family that you would run into at a reunion. You may know some of the people that you see, but there are probably also people you don’t know, or at least that you don’t know well. However, some common ancestry ties you together and makes you kin, or “kinfolk.”
  • People in sociologists’ definition of family may or may not share a household, but its members are interdependent and have a sense of mutual responsibility for one another ’ s care. This more open-ended definition takes into account the diversity among today ’ s families.
  • Before showing this clip, ask your students how our society’s ideals about marriage have changed, and why. In this interview, Andrew Cherlin talks about marriage in America. In his book The Marriage-Go-Round , he notes that an American child living with married parents is more likely to see his or her parents break up than a child living with two unmarried parents in Sweden. Ask the class to discuss the following questions: What does this say about the institution of marriage in America? Does marriage still have meaning? Is it better for parents to be married than to live together unmarried? Why or why not? What does marriage mean today?
  • Endogamy tends to be more common for a variety of reasons. We still tend to have de facto segregation in our society (segregation as a result of housing patterns, economic patterns, etc.), so we tend to meet people of similar backgrounds. There are also social pressures to marry people of similar backgrounds. Exogamy is becoming more commonly acceptable, but is still less common than endogamy.
  • Although interracial marriage was never illegal at the federal level, from 1913 to 1948, 30 states enforced antimiscegenation laws, primarily aimed at black–white unions. Many of these laws lasted until 1967, when the Supreme Court finally declared them unconstitutional, reversing the 17 remaining on the books.
  • Figure 12.5 Marriage Laws by State
  • Figure 12.5 Marriage Laws by State
  • Figure 12.5 Marriage Laws by State
  • Monogamy , the practice of marrying (or being in a relationship with) one person at a time, is still considered the only legal form of marriage in modern Western culture. Polygamy , a system of marriage that allows people to have more than one spouse at a time, is practiced among some subcultures around the world, but is not widely acknowledged as a legitimate form of marriage. You may hear of polygamous relationships, even in the United States. Individuals may claim to be married to multiple people, but those ties have no legal meaning and would not hold up in a court.
  • Polygyny is much more common than polyandry.
  • More than 11 million people are living with an unmarried partner, including both same-sex and different-sex couples
  • Photo courtesy of Getty.
  • There have been numerous studies on the effects on children of having a mother who works, and the findings have varied enormously. A new way to approach the topic is to ask how having a working mother affects children within the same family differently.
  • Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sweet_Baby_Kisses_Family_Love.jpg
  • Figure 12.3 Trends in Housework since 1900
  • Arlie Hochschild ’ s 1989 study of working couples and parents found that women were indeed working two jobs: paid labor outside the home and unpaid labor inside the home. Even though many women who are married or live with a male partner work outside the home, they usually take on a disproportionate share of domestic duties. This inequality plays out in terms of the time women spend on household tasks, the types of tasks they take on, and in the perception of the tasks or work. Studies show that a more equal distribution between men and women of the responsibility for domestic chores makes for happier and more stable marriages.
  • Figure 12.2 Women in the Labor Force, 1970-2008
  • Figure 12.1 Changing Structure of American Families
  • In the 1960s some social scientists presented the role of African American women as a negative, arguing that this strong role for women undercut the role of the father in black families and ultimately led to a host of social problems. W. E. B. DuBois argued that the high rate of female-headed families in the African American community was a result of racial oppression and poverty, not a cause of it. William Julius Wilson argued that there is an outright shortage of employed, un-incarcerated black men with whom black women could hope to form a stable family unit, thus leaving them with little choice in terms of taking responsibility for their families.
  • People in sociologists’ definition of family may or may not share a household, but its members are interdependent and have a sense of mutual responsibility for one another ’ s care. This more open-ended definition takes into account the diversity among today ’ s families.
  • Mothers still disproportionately receive custody (physical and legal responsibility for children assigned by a court), although there is a trend toward joint custody.
  • Figure 12.4 U.S. Divorce Rate
  • We’re going to talk more about mate selection and social aspects of family formation.
  • Chapter 12

    1. 1. Chapter 12: Family
    2. 2. Family Forms and Changes• A nuclear family or traditional family is a family consisting of a father and mother and their biological children.• Extended family refers to familial networks that extend beyond the nuclear family and may extend beyond the home. 2
    3. 3. Family Forms and Changes• There is no real “typical” family in Western society today. – Multiple generations can live together. – Families can consist of stepsiblings and half- siblings; there are many single-parent families. – Individuals and couples can choose not to get married or not to have children. 3
    4. 4. Family Forms and Changes Interview, Andrew CherlinAndrew Cherlin discusses his researchon changing attitudes toward marriage and describes his concept of the “marriage-go-round." 4
    5. 5. Diversity in Families• Endogamy refers to marriage to someone within one’s social group (race, ethnicity, class, education, religion, region, or nationality).• Exogamy refers to marriage to someone from a different social group. 5
    6. 6. Diversity in Families• Loving v. Virginia is the 1967 Supreme Court case that ended antimiscegenation laws (laws that said that interracial couples could not marry). 6
    7. 7. American families are increasingly looking like the family ofTaye Diggs and Idina Menzel, pictured above. How are attitudes You May Ask Yourself, 2nd Editionabout multiracial families changing? Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
    8. 8. Jeanne Fong (left) and Jennifer Lin, a same-sex couple fromSan Francisco, celebrate during a marriage equality rally You May Ask Yourself, 2nd Editionin Washington, D.C. Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
    9. 9. Class exerciseWrite down the characteristics that you think might influence you to marrysomeone, such as looks, personality, values, etc. This may include age, havea similar religion, ethnic or racial background, educational background, socio-economic status, geographic location.Each group should consider a society without families. How would the basicneeds of people in that society addressed? How would the children becared for, how would training and values be instilled? Who would fulfill thechild’s needs for love and care? How would parents meet the needs of theirgrowing children? What type of adults would this society create?
    10. 10. InfograFigure 12.5 Marriage Laws by State You May Ask Yourself, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
    11. 11. InfograFigure 12.5 Marriage Laws by State You May Ask Yourself, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
    12. 12. InfograFigure 12.5 Marriage Laws by State You May Ask Yourself, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
    13. 13. Diversity in Families• Monogamy is the practice of marrying (or being in a relationship with) one person at a time.• Polygamy is a system of marriage that allows people to have more than one spouse at a time. 14
    14. 14. Diversity in Families• The more common form of polygamy is polygyny, a system of marriage that allows men to have multiple wives.• Polyandry, a system of marriage that allows women to have multiple husbands, is a more rare form of polygamy. 15
    15. 15. Diversity in Families• About 8 percent of all households are occupied by couples who are cohabitating (living together as a romantically involved, unmarried couple). 16
    16. 16. Families through History• The traditional nuclear family is not a timeless and universal concept. It developed in response to conditions in a specific time and place: the post– World War II economic boom in the United States. 17
    17. 17. Family and Work: A Not-So-Subtle Revolution• Several factors have brought about significant changes in the organization of work and family life since the 1970s: – increasing divorce rates – decreasing marriage and fertility rates – increasing participation of women in the workforce 18
    18. 18. A Feminist “Rethinking” of the Family• Feminist theorists suggest gender roles are learned in the family. The family can be a battleground for power over decisions about chores, housing, raising children, spending money, and so on. 19
    19. 19. Family Roles20
    20. 20. You May Ask Yourself, 2nd EditionFigure 12.3 Trends in Housework since 1900 Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
    21. 21. The Chore Wars• Women today have two jobs: paid labor outside the home and unpaid labor inside the home.• Second shift refers to unpaid labor inside the home that is often expected of women after they get home from working at paid labor outside the home. 22
    22. 22. You May Ask Yourself, 2nd EditionFigure 12.2 Women in the Labor Force, 1970–2008 Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
    23. 23. You May Ask Yourself, 2nd EditionFigure 12.1 Changing Structure of American Families Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
    24. 24. Swimming and Sinking: Inequality and American Families• African American women have often taken a leading role in providing for their families.• African American communities tend to have expanded notions of kinship, including even nonblood relatives. 25
    25. 25. In Flat Broke with Children, Sharon Hays found that manywomen stayed in abusive relationships or married for financialsupport to escape poverty. For instance, Marcia Felts Wimberlyweathered an abusive husband in order to get a surgery coveredby his insurance. Now a single mom, she has no medicalinsurance and is struggling with debt. You May Ask Yourself, 2nd Edition Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
    26. 26. The FuturFamilies, and There Goes the Nation!• Families today come in many forms – blended families with stepsiblings or half-siblings, families headed by same-sex partners, interracial families, intergenerational families – so perhaps the optimal description of the “ideal” family is that it best serves the needs of all its members. 27
    27. 27. 28
    28. 28. Swimming and Sinking: Inequality and American Families• Latinos come from many different countries and cultural backgrounds, but some characteristics can be identified as common to Latino families, including: – strong family and community ties – adherence to traditional gender roles – devout Catholicism – high marriage rates – low divorce rates 29
    29. 29. Swimming and Sinking: Inequality and American Families• Single, nonworking mothers face many challenges, among them the attitude of critics of welfare, who think that they prefer being on welfare to working.• Most women would prefer not to be on welfare, but the system is such that often they end up with less income and fewer benefits when they move from welfare to work. 30
    30. 30. The Future of Families, and There Goes the Nation!• Divorce is a constant in our society, and debates will continue about its effects on children. The only certainty may be that high levels of parental conflict — whether between married or divorced parents — are not good for children. 31
    31. 31. Why? You May Ask Yourself, 2nd EditionFigure 12.4 U.S. Divorce Rate Copyright © 2011 W.W. Norton & Company
    32. 32. Family Forms and Changes33

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