Family

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Family
Functionalists
• I. Functionalists argue their are 5 functions of the family
• A. Regulation of Sex
B. Reproduction
• C. Socialization
• D. CARE AND PROTECTION
• E. SOCIAL PLACEMENT
• EVALUATION: --ignores diversity in family life in US
• --overlooks some of the controversies of family life
(violence, patriarchy)
CONFLICT PERSPECTIVE
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A. PROPERTY AND INHERITANCE
B. PATRIARCHY
C. RACE AND ETHNICITY
EVALUATION:
--reveals another side of the family that is usually
ignored.
• --but the family appears to carry out many social
functions that are not easily accomplished by
other means.
INTERACTIONISM
• A. Symbolic interactionist
• people actively construct family life, and all view it
differently depending on their construction.
B. Social exchange analysis
• depicts courtship and marriage as forms of negotiation.
• EVALUATION:
• --gives us sense of individual version
• --misses the big picture
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DEFINITIONS
I. Nuclear family: household of spouses and offspring
II. Extended family: household of several generations and their children. Core: blood relatives
III. Family of orientation: the family you are born into
IV. Family of procreation: the family you create
V. Endogamy: marriage between people of the same social category
VI. Exogamy: marriage between people of different social categories.
VII. Monogamy: marriage involving 2 partners
VIII. Polygamy: marriage that unites three or more people.
IX. Patrilineal Descent: view as relatives only those related to the male parents and fathers pass on
property to their sons.
X. Matrilineal descent: define only the mothers kin as relatives and mothers pass on property to
daughters.
XI. Bilateral descent: tracing through both
SEVEN ELEMENTS OF A FUNCTIONAL
FAMILY
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I. Families change over time, they EVOLVE
II. Communication
III. Affirmation and Respect
IV. Humor, play and leisure
V. Responsibility and Morality
• VI. Creating traditions and family history
• VII. Seek help when need it.
Dysfunctional Families
• Dynamic of dysfunctional families is FAMILY
SECRETS.
• Generally there is a great deal of energy put
into keeping this secret.
• I. Alcohol drug abuse
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• II. Abuse in the household
Stages of Family Life
• Courtship and Romantic Love
– Cognitive obsession
– Reciprocity
– Concern with sexual passion and interest
– Shared identity
After about 90 days the couple reintegrates
themselves into the group
Marriage
• 90 percent of Americans will marry
– Undermines romantic love
– Social class
– Gender differences
Child Rearing
• Industrialization has changed children from
being an asset to being an economic burden.
The expense of raising one child is $300,000
(includes a college education).
Child Rearing by Class
Blue Collar/working class
• More authoritiarian
• Physical discipline
• Obey parents
• Neat
• Average student
• Good manners
Middle class
• Emphasis on self control
• Curiosity encouraged
• Responsibility
• Understanding how lucky
they are
• Less physical discipline
Family in later life:
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Empty nest
Sandwich generation
Retirement
Widowhood
Divorce
• 9 out of 10 people in America eventually get
married. But today, many of these marriages
unravel. USA has highest divorce rate in the
world.
• 4 out of 10 marriages divorce (for A.A.’s this
rate is 6 in 10).
• 4 out of 5 people remarry within 5 years after
a divorce
Divorce Factors
• I. Individualism is on the rise:
• II. Romantic love often subsides:
• III. Women are less dependent.
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• IV. Stressfulness of today’s marriages:
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• V. Divorce is more socially acceptable
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• VI. Divorce is easier to obtain.
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Alternative Families
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I. One parent families
II. Cohabitation
III. Gay and Lesbian couples
IV. Singlehood
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