Chapter 3, Exploring the Family

advertisement

Chapter 3

Exploring the Family

Chapter Outline

Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Studying Families

Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Family ecology

Family development

Structure-functionalism

Interactionist perspective

Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Exchange theory

Family systems theory

Feminist perspectives

Biosocial perspectives

Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Family Ecology Perspective

Theme

The ecological context of the family affects family life and children’s outcomes.

Key

Concepts

Natural physical-biological environment; Human-built environment; Social-cultural environment

Current

Research

Family policy; Neighborhood effects

Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Family Development Perspective

Theme

Key

Concepts

Current

Research

Families experience predictable changes over time.

Family life cycle; Developmental tasks

Transition to adulthood

Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Structure-Functional Perspective

Theme

The family performs essential functions for society.

Key

Concepts

Social institution; Family structure;

Family functions

Current

Research

Cross-cultural and historical comparisons

Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Interactionist Perspective

Theme

The internal dynamics of the family as a group of inter- acting individuals shape the family.

Key

Concepts

Interaction; Self-concept; Identity;

Meaning

Current

Research

Family rituals; Meanings assigned to domestic work

Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Exchange Theory Perspective

Theme

Key

Concepts

The resources that individuals bring to a relationship or family affect formation, continuation, and nature of a relationship.

Resources; Costs and rewards;

Exchange balance; Power and decision-making

Current

Research

Family power; Entry and exit from marriage; Family violence

Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Systems Theory Perspective

Theme

The family as a whole is more than the sum of its parts.

Key

Concepts

Current

Research

System; Equilibrium; Boundaries;

Family therapy

Family efficacy and crisis management; Family boundaries

Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Feminist Perspectives

Theme

Key

Concepts

Current

Research

Gender is central to the analysis of family; male dominance in family and society is oppressive of women.

Male dominance; Power and inequality; Sex/gender systems

Work and family; Domestic violence;

Family power; Advocacy of women’s issues

Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Biosocial Perspective

Theme

Evolution has put in place certain biological endowments that shape and limit family choices.

Key

Concepts

Evolutionary heritage; Genes;

Inclusive fitness

Current

Research

Correlations between biological markers and family behavior;

Evolutionary explanations for gender differences and sexuality.

Family Ecology Perspective

Family Policy

Procedures, regulations, attitudes, and goals of government that affect families.

Family policy concerns itself with circumstances in the broader society that affect the family.

American families worry about making ends meet: how we will support ourselves, find comfortable housing, educate our children, get affordable health care, finance our old age.

Family Life Cycle: Stages

Newly established couple

Families of preschoolers

Families of primary school children

Families with adolescents

Families in the middle years.

Aging families

Family Functions

According to the structural functionalist perspective, the family is a social institution that performs three essential functions:

1.

2.

3.

Raise children.

Provide economic support.

Give emotional security.

Frameworks for Theory/Research on Minority Families

Cultural equivalent - Emphasizes features that racial/ethnic minority families have in common with mainstream white families.

Cultural deviant - Views the qualities that distinguish minority families from mainstream families as negative or pathological.

Cultural variant - Calls for making culturally and contextually relevant interpretations of minority family lives.

Scientific Investigation:

Techniques

Surveys

Laboratory observation and experiments

Naturalistic observation

Clinician’s case studies

Longitudinal studies

Historical and cross-cultural data

Quick Quiz

1. Which of the following is consistent with the main concerns of the family ecology theoretical perspective?

a) the family as a child-rearing institution b) c) d) the conflict feminist perspective laboratory observations and longitudinal designs development of family policy

Answer: d

The

development of family policy

is consistent with the main concerns of the family ecology theoretical perspective.

2. Which of the following is an important part of the family development theoretical perspective?

a) b) c) d) family life cycle removing blinders by means of scientific research the family as an economic unit kin-work and kin-time

Answer: a

The

family life cycle

is an important part of the family development theoretical perspective.

3. Which perspective presumes that certain human behaviors are both “natural” and difficult to change?

a) b) feminist exchange c) d) biosocial

Interactionist

Answer: c

The

biosocial

perspective presumes that certain human behaviors are both

“natural” and difficult to change.

Download