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Ch. 10: Family: 

Ch. 10: Family Global perspective 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 : 

Functionalism Family is universal b/c it fulfills basic needs 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: 

Conflict theory Gender and power Power struggle over housework Arlie Hochschild- “the second shift” Affects marital relationship and wife’s self-concept Men engage in strategies of resistance Waiting it out Playing dumb Needs reduction Substitute offerings

Symbolic interactionism: 

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: 

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


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: 

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


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: 

Diversity in U.S. families 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


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


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


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: 

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: 

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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