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Sociology - Families and Households

Sociology - Families and Households
by

Heather Graves

on 10 January 2013

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Transcript of Sociology - Families and Households

Families & Households Sociology Family Types Nuclear family - parents and children
Lone/single parent families
Shared care family - contact with both parents
Cohabitating - live together but are not married
Reconstituted - parents got divorced and remarried
Extended family - aunts/uncles, cousins
Adopted/ foster families
Same sex Functionalist See society as made of various parts, which contributed to maintenance and well-being of the system as a whole. They say society needs consensus, which are agreements about norms and values which perform functions that benefit society as a whole. George Murdock 4 functions:
Sexual - rules limiting or forbidding sexual relationships outside of marriage
Economic unit of production, unit of consumption
Reproduction - main unit for the production of children
Eduction - without primary socialisation, no shared culture / consensus about societies norms and values Talcott Parsons Two basic functions:
Primary socialisation - learn norms and values so there is consensus and it becomes internalised as part of the personality structure
The stabilisation of adult personality - unstable personalities are a threat Criticism -Too much focus on nuclear family
-Parsons' 2nd function is no longer relevant
-Sexist
-Unstable people don't always threaten society
-People have different norms and values
-Doesn't take into account the 'dark side' of family life Marixism - Karl Marx Unequal conflict between two social classes: bourgeoisie (upper class); proletariat (working class). Societies institutions maintain the class inequality and capitalism. Functions of the family: Inheritance of property
Ideological functions - socialising children into the idea of hierarchy and inequality are inevitable
A unit of consumption Criticisms -Measures in place (e.g. fair trade) to stop exploitation
-Labour government introduced minimum wage
-Ignored possibility that families can be positive for its members
-Only focus on nuclear family
-Tend to only focus on social class The New Right Conservative and anti-feminist perspective on the family, firmly opposed to family diversity. Traditional or conventional patriarchal nuclear family. Role of breadwinner and homemaker are decided by biological differences. Charles Murray Growth of lone-parent families has led to a 'dependency culture' on the overgenerous welfare state. Criticisms -Sexist
-Don't take into account that family diversity is socially acceptable
-No evidence that support lone-parent families to lack discipline or resort to crime
-Based on patriarchy with is oppressive to women Feminism Women suffer injustices in patriarchal society. Family is an institution that benefits men more than women and children.
Areas where feminists see women as oppressed:
-Domestic labour
-Emotional labour
-Economic labour
-Male domination Types of feminist Liberal feminism - optimistic view, increased inequality, relationship as an equal partnership
Radical feminism - critical and negative view, patriarchy
Marxist feminism - critical and negative way by capitalism
Germaine Greer - political lesbianism Criticisms -Some cases only look at the 'dark side' of marriage
-Many women want to get married
-New Right would argue that equality isn't always suitable because of children Social Control
Surveillance of the family Jacques Donzelot sees social policies as a form of state power over families. He uses Michal Foucault's concept of surveillance. Foucault sees power as not just being held by the government state but as diffused throughout society by professionals exercising power over the clients.
Donzelot applies these ideas to the family; saying professionals carry out surveillance, 'policing of the family'. This surveillance is targeted on poorer families as they are said to be more problem families. Criticisms -Marxists argue that social policies generally operate in the interests of the capitalist class
-Feminists argue that men are the main beneficiaries Marriage Reasons marriage is declining:
-More acceptable to have children before marriage
-Cohabitation is an accepted alternative
-Divorce reform act 1969
-People are delaying marriage to pursue a career
-Delaying marriage until later in life
-More people do not support / believe in marriage
-Enjoy independence
-People cannot afford to get married
The marriage rate is the number of marriages per 1000 of the population. Cohabitation Advantages:
-Avoid paying for a wedding
-Better relationship quality
-Less empty-shell marriages
-Reduced divorce rate
-Secularisation
-Easier to separate from person Disadvantage:
-Less incentive to be faithful
-May feel less committed
-More likely to break up
-Have less money
-Higher levels of depression
-Pension not given to partner Divorce A divorce is the legal termination of a marriage. The divorce rate is the number of people divorcing per 1,000 of the marries population. Reasons for rise in divorce rate:
-Decline in religion (secularisation)
-Divorce reform act 1969
-Media influences
-Changes in attitudes
-Change in social position of women Divorce law The Matrimonal Causes Act - 1857
The Matrimonal Causes Act - 1923
The legal aid and advice act - 1949
The divorce reform act - 1969
The matrimonal and family proceedings act - 1984
The family law act - 1996 Joint and segregated conjugal roles - Elizabeth Bott Joint conjugal roles - couples share tasks such as housework and childcare, as well as spending their leisure time together
Segregated conjugal roles - couples have separate roles, male is breadwinner, female is homemaker. Also have separate leisure times Young & Wilmott March of the progress - gradually equality is improving over time, long-term trend away from segregated conjugal roles and towards conjugal roles Ann Oakley: rise of the housewife Radical feminist disagrees with Young & Wilmott, argues that 15% of husbands have a high level of participation in housework, only 25% have a high level of participation in childcare, based on 40 married women so not reliable. The impact of paid work Studies conducted in the 1970s and 1980s showed women were full time housewives. Now 3/4 of married or cohabitating women have paid jobs. Lydia Morris (1990) When husband is unemployed you expect men to compensate for the fact that they are not working by doing housework and childcare, but they do little housework because they feel their masculinity is threatened. Jonathan Gershunny Women are still responsible for the majority of housework and childcare, men compensate for wives working by doing more housework, but it is still unequal. March of the progress idea. Man-Yee Kan Most women are now working but they still do the majority of housework and childcare. Women in full time work do 12 hours of housework a week. For every £10,000 increase in the woman's annual salary reduced weekly housework by two hours. Decision Making
Jan Pahl Pooling - both partners access to income, joint responsibility for expenditure
Allowance system - men give their wives an allowance Stephen Edgell -Very important decisions - finance, change of job or moving house - husband alone or jointly but husband makes final decision
-Important decisions - children's education or where to go on holiday - jointly or bu the wife
-Less important decisions - choice of home decor, children's clothing, food purchases - wife Domestic Abuse Types of abuse:
-verbal abuse
-confinement
-neglect
-psychological / emotional abuse
-physical abuse
-rape and sexual assaults
-forced marriage
-prostitution
-human trafficking
-child abuse
-elder abuse
-female genital mutilation Dobash & Dobash Found that violent incidents could be set off by what a husband saw as a challenge to his authority such as his wife asking why he was late home for a meal. They argue that marriage legitimates violence against women by conferring power and authority on husbands and dependency on wives. Richard Wilkinson Sees domestic violence as the result of stress on family members caused by social inequality. This refers to some families having fewer resources than others and bad housing. This causes high stress levels which reduces their chances of maintaining stable, caring relationships and increases the risk of conflict and violence. Childhood Pre-industrial (pre-1760)
-farming
-housework (girls)
-working on the land with the family
Industrial (1760 - 1960)
-Work in factories
-Mining
-No education
-Work house
Modern (1960 - onwards)
-education
-minimum age 14 (part time)
-laws to protect children Phillipe Aries Childhood as we know it is a relatively new concept / ideology. Before 1966, children were treated the same as adults, 'little adults'. Reasons childhood is not a positive experience for everyone:
-if a child is in care
-if they have 'bad' parents
-homeless
-family / traumatic experience
-bullying
-abuse
-illess Postmodernism Postmodernism argue that we no longer live in the 'modern' world, with its predictable, orderly structures such as the nuclear family. Instead, society had entered a new, chaotic postmodern stage, In postmodern society, family structures are fragmented and individuals have much more choice in their lifestyles, personal relationships and family arrangements. As a result family life has become more diverse and there is no longer one single type of family that is dominant. Neil Postman: disappearance of childhood Argues that childhood is disappearing at a dazzling speed, he points to the trend towards giving the same right as adults. The disappearance of children's traditional unsupervised games, the growing similarity of adult and children's clothing and even to cases of children committing adult crimes such as murder. In his view childhood is now disappearing and this lies in the rise and fall of print culture and its replacement by television culture. Iona Opie: separate childhood culture Iona Opie argues that childhood is not disappearing. Based on a lifetime of research into children's games, rhymes, and songs conducted with her husband, Peter Opie. he argues that there is strong evidence of the continued existence of a separate children's culture over many years. Sue Palmer: toxic childhood Some writers suggest that children in the UK today are experiencing what Sue Palmer calls toxic childhood. She argues that rapid technological and cultural changes in the past 25 years have damaged children's physical, emotional and intellectual development. These chances range from junk food, computer games, and intensive marketing to children, to the long hours worked by parents and the growing emphasis on testing in education. Demography
Birth The number of birth affects the population size. Sociologists use the concept of birth rate to measure births. The birth rate is defined as the number of live births per 1000 of the population per year. In recent years the birth rate has declines. There are several reasons for this, they are:
-Women work more
-More reliable contraception
-Abortions are available
-Expense of children
-Divorce is easier
-Change in the position of women in society Decline in infant mortality The infant mortality rate measures the number of infants who die before their first birthday per 1000 babies born alive per year. Many sociologists argue that a fall in infant mortality rate leads to a rise in birth rate, this is because if many infants die parents have more children to replace those they have lost, there by increasing the birth rate. Reasons:
-improved living conditions
-improved medical advancements
-improved nutrition
-improved services for women
-better knowledge of hygeine Deaths In the UK, the overall number of deaths has remained fairly stable over the past few decades, at around 600,000 per year to 123,000 births. The death rate is the number of deaths per 1000 of the population per year.
Reasons:
-improved housing
-improved health care
-improved nutrition
-public health measures (social policies)
-decline in 'dangerous' manual jobs The aging population The average age of the UK is rising in 1971 it was 34 by 2007 it stood at 39 and by 2013, its predicted to reach 42. The affects of population:
-public services will be affected - older people consume a larger proportion of services such as healthcare and pensions
-One person pensioner households - the number of pensioners living alone has increased by 14%
-The dependency ratio - as the number of retired people rises, this increases the dependency ration and the burden on the working population, however it would be wrong to assume that old people are necessarily economically dependent Migration Immigration - movement into an area or society
Emigration - movement out
Net migration - difference between the numbers immigrating and the numbers emigrating, is expressed as a net increase or net decrease due to migration Sociologists George Murdock - 4 functions
Talcott Parsons - instrumental and expressive roles, primary socialisation, the stabilisation of the adult personality
Karl Marx - legitamises capitalism
Neil Postman - childhood is disappearing
Young & Wilmott - march of the progress
Phillipe Aries - childhood is a new invention
Elizabeth Bott - joint and segregated conjugal roles Ann Oakley - patriarchy through industrialisation and housework
Germaine Greer - political lesbianism
Emile Durham - social solidarity
Charles Murray - welfare dependency
Michal Foucault - social control
Iona Opie - childhood is continuing
Stephen Edgell - men make more important decisions
Dobash & Dobash - patriarchy can lead to domestic violence Sociologists Sociologists Richard Wilkinson - stress could be a cause for domestic violence
Jacques Donzelot - surveillance of the family
Lydia Morris - men who work and don't work don't do housework
Jonathan Gershunny - women are still responsible for housework
Jan Pahl - pooling and allowance system THE
END
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