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Outline What is a family? Diversity in families Theoretical perspectives Gender and Family Labor Aging in the Family Abuse Divorce, Breakups and Blended Families
What is a family? Family-social group whose members are bound by legal, biological or emotional ties, or some combination of the three Meaning always changes with social, cultural, political tide of society Industrial Revolution, Women’s Liberation, divorce rates, gay families, single parents, etc… Nuclear family-heterosexual couple with one or more children living in a single household Extended family-large group of relatives (incl. at least 3 generations either in one household or in close proximity
Diversity in Families Endogamy-marriage to someone in one’s social group More common than exogamy Exogamy-marriage to someone from a different social group Increasing, still rare: 5.7% of couples interracial (2000) Monogamy-marrying only one individual at a time Polygamy-allows people to have more than one spouse at a time Polygyny-allows men to have multiple wives Polyandry-allows women to have multiple husbands
Theoretical Perspectives Structural-functionalism-family is essential institution that allows modern industrial economy to function Durkheim-marriage and family decreased men’s suicide rates Conflict Theory-nuclear family contributes to oppressive social relations Competition over scarce resources (time, energy, leisure) Gendered social institution (unequal power between men and women)
Theoretical Perspectives Symbolic Interactionism-looks at how family relations are created and maintained in interaction Family members actively construct meaning of social bonds and roles
Gender and Family Labor The Industrial Revolution created different and unequal roles for men and women-men working outside home for wages/women in home taking care of kids Second Shift-unpaid labor inside the home; often expected of women after paid job Hochschild-“supermom”- women who accept dual roles
Aging in the Family American population is aging-current average life expectancy is 78 years Retirement-Social Security benefits only source of income for 54% of retired population 10% of retired below poverty line
Abuse in Families *People more likely to be killed, assaulted, sexually victimized in own homes by family members than anywhere else Related to privacy of nuclear family (early 1900s) 1 in 3 women will experience violence by partner at some point in her life Women 5-8 times more likely to be victimized than men Domestic violence-any physical, verbal, financial, sexual, or psychological behaviors abusers use to gain and maintain power over victims
Abuse in Families Cycle of Violence-common behavior pattern of abusive relationships 1. Begins happily 2. Relationship grows tense 3. Violence occurs 4. “honeymoon phase”-reason victims stay Neglect-form of child abuse where caregiver fails to provide adequate nutrition, clothing or shelter Elders also subject to abuse in form of neglect, abandonment, financial exploitation, etc… Elders and children both at risk because of relative powerlessness
Divorce, Custody, Child Support 2002-55% of U.S. population married/10% divorced Rates of divorce have been steadily climbing Most who divorce remarry, but rate lower than in 1960s Increase in cohabitation-living together as a romantically involved, unmarried couple Growing acceptance of divorce-less stigma
Divorce, Custody, Child Support Mothers still disproportionately get kids, Trend toward joint custody-physical and legal responsibility of caring for children Children are more likely to live in poverty after divorce Women often experience downward economic mobility
Trends Being single-not just young; gays, long-distance relationships, communes, widows, and due to choice Cohabitation-1960-2000 number of cohabitating couples in U.S. increased 1000% Most 25-34 years old Single parenting-only 10% of single parents fathers Intentional community-any group who form a communal living arrangement outside marriage For a common purpose