The Family Sociology 101 Family is a set of people related by blood, marriage, or adoption who shares the primary responsibility for reproduction and caring for members of society • The family is a universal institution present in all cultures Composition: What Is the Family? Nuclear Family • The nuclear family consists of a married couple and their unmarried children living together • Nuclear families have steadily decreased over the last 30 years. • By 2000, only about a third of U.S. family households fit this model Extended Family • An extended family is a family in which relatives such as grandparents, aunts, or uncles live in the same home as parents and their children. • Extended families provide greater emotional and financial support. Types of Marriage Monogamy is a form of marriage where one woman and one man are married only to each other Serial Monogamy A form of marriage where a person may have several spouses in his/her lifetime but only one spouse at a time. Polygamy is a situation where you are allowed to have more than one husband or wife. Polygamy takes two forms: 1. Polygyny is when a man marries more than one woman at the same time 2. Polyandry is when a woman marries more than one man at the same time. Authority Patterns: Who Rules? Patriarchy • When males are expected to dominate in all family decision making, that society is a patriarchy Matriarchy • When women have greater authority than men, that society is a matriarchy. Egalitarian family • A family in which spouses are regarded as equals Global View of the Family █ Figure 14.1: Households by Family Type, 1940–2000 Source: Fields and Casper 2001. Studying the Family • Functionalist View – The family serves six functions for society: • Reproduction • Protection • Socialization • Regulation of sexual behavior • Affection • Providing of social status Studying the Family • Conflict View – The conflict view believes that family reflects the inequality in wealth and power found within society. – The conflict view recognizes that historically, husbands exercised power and authority within the family. – The conflict view sees the family as an economic unit contributing to social injustice. Studying the Family • Interactionist View – The interactionist view focuses on the micro level of family and other intimate relationships. – The interactionist view is interested in how individuals interact with each other, 1. cohabiting partners or 2. long-term married couples. Social-exchange analysis depicts courtship and marriage as forms of negotiation. Studying the Family █ Table 14.1: The Four Major Perspectives on the Family Theoretical Perspective Emphasis Functionalist The family as a contributor to social stability Roles of family members Conflict The family as a perpetuator of inequality Transmission of poverty or wealth across generations Interactionist Relationships among family members Feminist Family as a perpetuator of gender roles Female-headed households Courtship and Mate Selection • Ninety percent (90) percent of all men and women in the U.S. will marry at least once • Many societies have explicit or unstated rules which define potential mates as acceptable or unacceptable Courtship and Mate Selection Aspects of Mate Selection Endogamy: Endogamy specifies the groups within which a spouse must be found and prohibits marriage with members of other groups. Exogamy: Exogamy requires mate selection outside certain groups, usually one’s own family or certain kin • Marriage between Blacks and whites have increased more than six fold in recent decades. Twenty percent of all married Hispanics have a non-Hispanic spouse. Courtship and Mate Selection - The Love Relationship • Our culture celebrates romantic love – affection and sexual passion for another person – as the basis for marriage • Industrialization erodes the importance of extended families, weakens traditions, and enhances personal choice in courtship Child-Rearing Patterns in Family Life • Dual-Income Families • Among married people between the ages of 25 and 34, 96 percent of the men and 72 percent of the women are in the labor force. • Majority of married people are dual-wage earners due to economic need • Nation’s declining birthrate, the increase in the proportion of women with college education contribute to this pattern. Single-Parent Families The U.S. has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy. • The majority of babies born to unwed teenage mothers are born to White adolescents. • 82 percent of single parents in the U.S. are mothers. Marriage and Family █ Figure 14.3: Rise of One-Parent Families among Whites, African Americans, Hispanic, and Asians or Pacific Islanders in the United States Source: Bureau of the Census 1994:63; Fields and Casper 2001:7. Divorce • • • • The US has by far the highest divorce rate in the industrialized world. Divorce began to increase in the late 1960s and has declined since the 1980s About two-thirds of divorced women and threefourths of divorced men remarry Of those who divorce before the age of 35, 70% remarry. Factors Associated with Divorce 1. Greater social acceptance 2. Relaxing of negative attitudes by religious denominations 3. States adopting more liberal divorce laws (no fault). 4. Marriage at an early age. 5. A short acquaintanceship before marriage 6. Disapproval of marriage by relatives and friends 7. Limited economic resources and low wages. 8. A high school education or less. 9. Living in a big city as opposed to rural settings. • Risk of divorce is higher during the early years of marriage. Impact of Divorce • About 70 percent of all divorces creates unhappiness in children. • Women’s income usually decreases after divorce. Effects on Children • More likely to drop out of school • Suffer from drug/alcohol abuse • More psychological problems • More likely to divorce. The Family Cohabitation Almost half of the couples who have married have lived together Not an alternative to marriage, 98% of college students plan to marry at some point Divorce rates appear to be higher for couples who have lived together Same Sex Couples The National Health and Social Life Survey found that 2.8 percent of men and 1.4 percent of women report some level of homosexual or bisexual identity Recognition of same-sex partnerships is not uncommon in Europe including Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, and Spain.