Ch. 16: Family

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Ch. 10: Family
 Global perspective
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Family difficult to define
Western view
Polygyny- husband has more than one wife
Polyandry- wife has more than one husband
Trobriand Islanders
 Family= 2 or more people who consider
themselves related by blood, marriage, or
adoption
 Household= people who occupy the same
housing unit or living quarters
 Nuclear family
 Extended family
 Family of orientation
 Family of procreation
 Marriage= a group’s approved mating
arrangements, marked by a ritual
 Mate selection- norms of who marries
whom
 Endogamy
 Exogamy
 Incest taboo
 Descent- how related to relatives
 System of descent
 Bilateral system
 Patrilineal system
 Matrilineal system
 Inheritance- rights of inheritance follow
lines of descent
 Authority
 Patriarchy- authority vested in males
 U.S. patterns becoming more egalitarian
 Naming patterns reflect patriarchy
Functionalism
 Family is universal b/c it fulfills basic
needs
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Economic production
Socialization of children
Care of the sick and aged
Recreation
Sexual control
Reproduction
 Functions of the incest taboo
 Avoid role confusion
 Exogamy
 Extends social networks of bride and groom
 Dysfunctions
 Isolation of nuclear family
 Emotional overload
Conflict theory
 Gender and power
 Power struggle over housework
 Arlie Hochschild- “the second shift”
 Affects marital relationship and wife’s selfconcept
 Men engage in strategies of resistance
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Waiting it out
Playing dumb
Needs reduction
Substitute offerings
Symbolic interactionism
 Gender and meanings of marriage
 Closer husband and wife’s earnings,
more likely share housework
 Husband earns less than wife, does least
amt. of housework
The family life cycle
 Love and courtship in global perspective
 Romantic love- 88% of societies
 Role of love differs from one society to
another
 Sexual attraction and labels
 Love and arranged marriage in India
 Marriage
 Love is socially channeled
 Homogamy- tendency of people w/ similar
characteristics to marry one another
 Propinquity (spatial nearness)
 94% of Americans marry someone from
same racial background
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Childbirth
Education and income relationship
Marital satisfaction
Social class affects how couples adjust to
arrival of children
 Working class vs. middle class
 Child rearing
 3 of 5 U.S. mothers work for wages
 Married vs. single mothers similar child
care arrangements
 Day care
 Nannies
 Social class- parents socialize their
children into the norms of their work
worlds
 Birth order- tendencies
 First vs. second or later born
Family in later life
 The Empty Nest
 Married couple’s domestic situation after
the last child has left the home
 Difficult time of adjustment for women?
 Rubin found that women’s satisfaction
generally increases when last child
leaves the home
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The not-so-empty nest
Prolonged education
Household costs
42% of all U.S. 24-29 year olds live w/
their parents (boomerang children)
 Widowhood
 Women more likely than men
 Deal w/ “who am I” again
Diversity in U.S. families
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Social class is primary distinction
African American families
Upper vs. middle class
Poverty- men unemployed, have few
skills, women likely single mothers
 45% of families headed by women
 Fictive kin- stretching of kinship
 Marriage squeeze- imbalance in sex ratio
 Latino families
 Social class and country of origin
significant
 Cubans more likely headed by married
couple than Puerto Rican families
 Culture- language, religion, and family
orientation
 Machismo- emphasis on male strength
and dominance
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Asian American families
Structure almost identical to white families
80% married couples, 13% female-headed
20 countries and cultures
Nuclear family w/ Confucian values
More permissive than Anglos in child
rearing
Native American families
Conflict- traditional values or assimilate
Permissive parenting
Elders play active role in family life
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One-parent families
1970- 85% lived w/ both parents
2000- 69% lived w/ both parents
High divorce rate and increase in births to
unmarried women
 Strain and poverty- most one parent
families headed by women
 Kids more likely drop out of school, get
arrested, have emotional problems
 Cycle of poverty
 Families w/out children
 About 20% of married women do not give
birth
 Education
 Race-ethnicity
 Why remain childless by choice?
 Not by choice- adoption, surrogate
mothers, high tech reproduction
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Blended families
Members were once part of other families
Gay and lesbian families
1989- Denmark first to legalize same sex
marriage
2000- Vermont first legalized “gay unions”
Uneven distribution in U.S.
1/5th previously married to heterosexuals
Have children?
 22% lesbian couples, 5% gay couples
Trends in U.S. families
 Postponing marriage
 Cohabitation
 Adults living together in a sexual relationship
w/out being married
 Change in views on sexual morality
 High divorce rate= marriage is fragile
 8 X more common today than 30 yrs ago
 Essential difference?
 Substitute for, step towards, trial, coresidential
dating
 Unmarried mothers
 Industrialized nations experienced sharp
increases in births to single women
 Customs/values play large role
 Grandparents raising grandkids
 Skipped generation families
 Parents are ill, homeless, incarcerated,
addicted to drugs
 Sandwich generation and elder care
 Responsible for own kids and aging
parents
 Divorce
 Problems in measurement
 ½ as many divorces are given each year as
marriages performed
 When look at entire pool, divorce rate is 2%
 Varies by where you live and race-ethnicity
 Symbolic interactionism and the misuse of
statistics
 Self-fulfilling prophecy
 Children of divorce
 More hostility, anxiety, don’t do as well in
school (accurate study?)
 Conflict ridden intact families vs. kids of
divorce
 Live w/ same sex parent= better
adjustment
 As adults, less likely marry, more likely
divorce
 The Absent Father/ Serial Fatherhood
 Divorced father maintains high contact 1st
year or two after divorce-> meets new wife
 Only 1/6 of kids who live apart from dad
see him every week
 Most divorced fathers stop seeing their
kids altogether
 The Ex-Spouses
 Spouse who initiates divorce gets over it
sooner
 Cost of living increases
 Remarriage
 Most who divorce remarry, likely remarry
other divorced people
 Men more likely than women to remarry
 Bring kids into new marriage, more likely
to divorce again
Two sides of family life
 Battering (spouse abuse)
 Husbands and wives equally likely attack
one another
 Wives more often seek medical attention
 Why stay in abusive relationship?
 Child abuse
 Each year about 3 million U.S. kids are
reported as victims of abuse/neglect
 Marital rape (intimacy rape)
 14% of married women report that their
husbands have raped them
 Most commonly occur during a
separation or break up of a marriage
 3 types- nonbattering rape, battering
rape, perverted rape
 Incest
 Sexual relations between certain
relatives
 More common when socially isolated
 Most common offenders?
 Successful marriages
 2/3 married Americans report they are
“very happy” w/ their marriages
 Long term marriages- 15+ years
 351 couples interviewed
 300 happy, 51 unhappy
 Why stay together?
 What makes a happy marriage?
 Spend time together, express appreciation,
committed to promoting one another’s
welfare, religious, deal w/ crisis in positive
manner
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