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The Family and Intimate Relationships

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Kim Cullen

on 18 May 2015

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Transcript of The Family and Intimate Relationships

Functionalist view
Conflict view
kinship: the state of being related
kinship is culturally learned, not biological or marital.
example: adoption creates kinship.
kin groups include aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, etc.
kinship implies responsibility - respect, support, assistance. This is a cultural aspect of kinship.
what is family?
marriage and mate selection
child-rearing and parenting styles
diverse lifestyles
Monogamy: Form of marriage in which one woman and one man are married only to each other
Serial monogamy: When a person has several spouses in his or her lifetime, but only one spouse at a time
Social Institutions: The Family
Schaefer, p. 316
Family is a cultural universal.
Family exists to perform 6 functions:
Regulation of sexual behavior
Affection and companionship
Provision of social status
Family contributes to inequality of wealth and power.
Has traditionally legitimized and perpetuated male dominance.
For every stay-at-home dad, there are 38 stay-at-home moms.
perpetuates inequality of social status (children inherit their parent's privilege or lack thereof).
socioeconomic status will influence nutrition, health care, housing, educational opportunities, and life chances as an adult.
Focus on micro level of family
How individuals interact with one another, how relationships are developed.
Involvement of mothers and fathers in child-rearing, decision making processes (authority)
interactions and roles in alternative forms of family (e.g. blended families. where there are step parents and step siblings and/or half siblings.)
*chapter 14 (pp 310-333)
Family (schaefer): Set of people related by blood, marriage, or agreed-upon relations who share primary responsibility for reproduction and caring for members of society
Nuclear family:
Nucleus or core upon which larger family groups are built (schaefer)
consists of parents and dependent children (Brittanica.com)
Extended family:
Family in which relatives live in same home as parents and children (Schaefer)
expansion of the nuclear family (Brittanica.com)
Polygamy: When an individual has several husbands or wives simultaneously
Polygyny: Marriage of a man to more than one woman at a time
ex. TV show "Big Love" (Mormon polygamous family)
Polyandry: Marriage of a woman to more than one husband at the same time
Schaefer, p. 314:
14.1: One Wife, Many Husbands: The Nyinba
Why would a monogamous marriage be considered an unfortunate one in the Nyinba culture?
What might be some other ways for a society to handle the physical constraints of life in a mountainous terrain?
96% of all men and women in the USA marry at least once in their lifetimes.
People are generally expected to marry within their own racial, ethnic or religious group.
Reinforces cohesiveness of group.
requires mate selection from outside of the group.
Incest taboo: prohibits sexual relationships between certain culturally specified relatives.
the tendency to select a partner who is similar to oneself
homogamy drives internet dating sites
in contrast to the opposites attract philosophy
love is frequently the foundation of an intended long term relationship.
parents in the USA value love as a rationale for marriage; loving/affectionate relationships are encouraged
love is promoted via the media - examples
contradiction: "at the same time, our society expects a person to confine his or her search for a mate to "socially acceptable" members of the opposite sex." (Schaefer, p. 319)
the coupling of love and marriage is NOT a cultural universal
arranged marriages - frequently have economic grounds; love is expected to develop later. advantages? disadvantages?
From page 319:
If your parents were to arrange for you to marry a suitable partner, what kind of person would they choose for you and why?
would your chances of having a successful marriage be better or worse than if you selected your own mate?
social class differences
racial and ethnic differences
Divorce rates increased in late 1960s, then leveled off
Since late 1980s, it has declined by 30%
Partly due to aging baby-boomer population and decline in proportion of people of marriageable age (post WWII, 1946-1964)
About 63% of all divorcees have remarried
Greater social acceptance of divorce
More liberal divorce laws
Fewer children
Greater family income
More opportunities for women
National study that tracked 6,332 children before and after divorce found their behavior did not suffer
Other studies have shown greater unhappiness among children who live amidst parental conflict
patriarchy: where males are expected to dominate family decisions.
matriarchy: females dominate.
egalitarian family: men and women carry equal weight in decision-making
Feminist perspective explores families without a male role-model: single parent households, lesbian couples
diverse lifestyles
Remaining single
What are some of the reasons someone might want to stay single?
cohabitation: living together, without marrying (about 50% of currently married couples in the USA report having lived together before marriage)
Iceland: 62 percent of all children are born to single mothers
France, GB, Norway - 40%
Pareja de hecho (no legal rights in Spain)/common law marriage (limited legal rights in some states of the USA)
Cohabitation is a frequently chosen alternative to marriage by children of divorced parents.
married, no children
In 2006, 16-17% women did not have children (compared to 10% in 1980)
types of kinship groups (property, inheritance, emotional ties)
patrilineal descent: father's relatives are important
matrilineal descent: mother's relatives are important
bilateral descent: both sides are equally important
Create a family tree in which you identify your kinship lines on both mother's and father's sides through 2 generations.
Recognition of same-sex partnerships not uncommon in Europe
Trend toward recognition in North America
Domestic partnership: Two unrelated adults sharing a caring relationship, residing together, who agree to be jointly responsible for dependents, basic living expenses, and common necessities
Why is gay marriage so polemic?
Functionalists: marriage closely tied to reproduction; religious views cannot be ignored
Conflict theorists: denial of right to marry reinforces second-class citizenship, prevents committed same sex couples from having same legal rights
Interactionists: focus on support or opposition of family, co-workers, and friends
same sex partnerships
What do you think?
Your Questions
What is family to you?
Is everyone made to be part of a family?
How can a family be destructive to its members?
What does family provide for you?
To what extent should family get involved with your personal problems?
What is the role of parents/family in education children?
Why do we do things for family members expecting nothing in return? (love is not the answer)
What makes up a family?
Legal Advantages of Marriage
Entitlement to share in one another’s government benefits.
Joint insurance policies.
Joint tenancy in property ownership.
Inheritance rights.
Tax advantages.
Hospital visitation rights.
The right to make medical decisions for a partner.
Family leave to care for a sick partner.
Confidentiality of conversations.
Wrongful-death benefits.
Immigration for foreign partners.
Domestic violence protection orders.
Joint parental custody.
Divorce rights; alimony.
See “Equal Treatment Is Real Issue—Not Marriage,” USA Today (December 9, 1996): 12A.
Child rearing/Parenting
What is the main goal of child rearing?
Mate Selection
What we learn / how we learn it
google "parenting styles", click on images
visit: http://www.extension.umn.edu/specializations/familydevelopment/authpar.html
with the goal of socialization in mind, which style of child-rearing do you think will be most effective?
Essential Questions
What makes a family?
If marriage is a cultural universal, is love?
What functions of the family could not be adequately supplied by another outside source or social institution?
How can same sex unions fulfill the socialization needs of children?
Why should people get married?
Why shouldn't people get married?
How does the family promote instability and inequality in society?
Does divorce breed divorce?
Looking at your family tree, identify the existence of patri- or matri- lineal preference, and patri-or matri- archy.
how we learn it
what we learn...
social expectations
gender roles
attitudes, approaches
problem solving techniques
...what else?
Final Reflection
Part 1:
Referencing the text and class discussions, write a reflection of 1-2 full pages (500 words or less) that addresses the following question: To what extent do you think the existence of family promotes instability and/or inequality in society? Provide evidence for your statements.
You may use your text and notes.

Part 2:
1) Tell me something you think you know about religion.
2) Tell me something you would like to learn about religion.
Full transcript