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Families and Intimate Relationships


In which kind of society do families serve fewer and more specialized functions? ... Some conflict theorists claim that families in capitalist societies mirror the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Families and Intimate Relationships

Chapter 11
  • Families and Intimate Relationships

What do we mean by family?
  • A social institution found in all societies that
    unites people in cooperative groups to oversee
    the bearing and socializing of children
  • Is this a micro view or a macro view of

What is kinship?
  • A social network based on common ancestry,
    marriage, or adoption
  • Kinships serve different functions
  • Basic needs (e.g., food, shelter)
  • Property-transfer arrangements
  • Economic production
  • Power allocation

A macro contrast Industrialized vs. Traditional
  • In which kind of society do families serve fewer
    and more specialized functions?
  • Industrialized (including post-industrialized)
  • Why?

Types of Families
  • The family into which a person is born or adopted
    and socialized is called a…
  • family of orientation
  • The family that a person forms by having or
    adopting children is called a…
  • family of procreation
  • Persons who are not related by blood or adoption
    by who are accepted as family members are called…
  • families we choose (Judy Root Aulette)
  • (Also called Family of choice)

Types of Families…
  • A family unit composed of relatives in addition
    to parents and children who live in the same
    household is called an…
  • Extended family
  • A family unit composed of one or two parents and
    their dependent children, apart from other
    relatives is called a…
  • Nuclear family

What do we mean by marriage?
  • A legally recognized and/or socially approved
    arrangement between 2 or more individuals that
    carries certain rights and obligations and
    usually involves sexual activity.
  • A marriage between 2 partners is called…
  • monogamy
  • What about serial monogamy?
  • A marriage between 3 or more partners is called…
  • polygamy
  • 2 kinds polygyny
  • polyandry

Theoretical Perspectives of Families
  • Here, we are going to try to explain families
    from macro and micro sociological perspectives,
    paying attention to patterns and variation…
  • I. How would functionalists explain the
    existence of families?

Functionalist Perspectives of Families
  • In industrialized postindustrialized societies,
    families serve 4 key functions for society
  • 1. Sexual regulation (boundaries)
    reproduction of societal members
  • 2. Socialization (especially early in life)
  • 3. Economic and psychological support
  • 4. Provision of social statuses

Conflict Perspectives of Families
  • II. How would a conflict theorist understand and
    explain families?
  • Some conflict theorists claim that families in
    capitalist societies mirror the workplace, i.e.,
    are sources of inequality and exploitation of
    some over others. Womens work is unpaid and
    therefore devalued and women are subordinated.

Conflict Perspectives of Families…
  • Other conflict theorists claim that inequalities
    experienced in the workplace place stress on
    lower-class families and contribute to family
    problems (e.g., high divorce rate, family
    instability in lower social classes).
  • Feminist theorists focus on traditional
    patriarchy (rather than capitalism) as a source
    of womens powerlessness in families. Thus, they
    question the traditional family structure.
  • What does this structure look like?

Symbolic Interactionist Perspectives of Families
  • III. How would symbolic interactionists
    understand and explain families?
  • Focus on how we modify our roles (and selves) to
    others expectations
  • Also, focus on how we experience family life and
    how our self-concepts are shaped by it
  • Marriage involves the construction of a shared
  • If this shared reality does not develop OR one
    or both members subjective experience changes,
    what may happen?

A Postmodernist Perspective of Families
  • IV. How would postmodernists understand and
    explain families?
  • Postmodernists recognize that families are
    diverse and often disjointed. Because of
    technology, family life and work life are
  • What are possible consequences of technology on
    family life?

Cohabitation Domestic Partnerships
  • Cohabitation 2 people living together as a
    couple without being legally married.
  • Domestic partnership Cohabitation with the same
    rights and benefits as accorded to married
    heterosexual couples.

Housework and Child-Care Responsibilities
  • Dual-earner couple both partners are in labor
  • Families in which husbands consider themselves
    the primary breadwinner are less likely to
    contribute to housework
  • Families w/ more egalitarian values are more
    likely to have an egalitarian distribution of
    housework ?

To Have or Not have Children
  • Mean family size 2 children (in U. S.)
  • Infertility affects nearly 5 million couples
    (about 1 in 12)
  • Why? Causes related to male 40 Causes
    related to female 30-40
  • Unknown causes 20. One source of
    infertility in both sexes ? STDs

  • Adoption a legal process thru which the rights
    and duties of parenting are transferred from a
    childs biological and/or legal parents to a new
    legal parent or parents.
  • Thousands of children are available for adoption.
  • Why has adoption of U. S. babies decreased in
    recent decades?

Remaining Single
  • Why has remaining single increased in recent
  • See Figure 11.1 on page 365.

Challenges in the 21st Century
  • Family violence types?
  • Children in Foster Care Why is the staying in
    foster care increasing??
  • Elder Abuse types?

Challenges in the 21st Century… Divorce
  • Macro-sociological causes of divorce
  • Greater opportunities for women to be
    economically self-sufficient
  • Legally, divorces are easier to obtain (no
    fault-based systems exist)
  • Less cultural stigma on divorce
  • Risk Factors of persons to divorce
  • Early age at marriage (lt18 yrs.)
  • Short acquaintanceship lt marriage
  • Disapproval of marriage by relatives friends
  • Limited economic resources low wages
  • No formal schooling beyond high school
  • Having parents in unhappy marriages having
    divorced parents
  • Presence of children at start of marriage

Challenges in the 21st Century…. Remarriage
  • Do most divorced people remarry?
  • YES! (see pp. 371-372)
  • Sex differences?
  • Age differences?
  • Educational differences?
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