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Eric Davis

on 20 July 2016

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Transcript of Families

Substantive Definition of the Family
Based on...
Blood (shared genetic heritage)
Law (social recognition)
Boundaries are clear
Enables tracking of who is related to whom
Kinship Patterns
State of being related to others; culturally learned
Bilateral Descent

Both sides of a person’s family are regarded as equally important
Patrilineal Descent
Only father’s relatives are important
Matrilineal Descent
Only mother’s relatives are significant
Family Types
Extended Family
Family in which relatives—such as grandparents, aunts, or uncles—live in same household as parents and their children
Nuclear Family
Married couple and their unmarried children living together
Married couples with children under 18 make up 32% of total families
Percentage of single-parent and nonfamily households has risen steadily over the past 50 years
Arranged Marriage?
Would you allow your family and/or close friends to arrange your marriage?
Functionalist Definition of the Family

Definition of families that focuses on what families do for society
Regulation of sexual behavior
Affection and companionship
Provision of social status
Over 95% of U.S. men and women will marry at least once

Our social positions shape our choices when picking partners
Historically, not uncommon for marriages to be arranged by families or matchmakers
In U.S. most assume true love will guide the way
In practice, pool of potential partners is substantially reduced by social location
Courtship and Mate Selection
Restriction of mate selection to people within same group
Requires mate selection outside certain groups, usually one’s own family or certain kin
Incest Taboo
Social norm common to virtually all societies prohibiting sexual relationships between certain culturally specified relatives
Conscious or unconscious tendency to select mate with personal characteristics similar to one’s own
Courtship and Mate Selection
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
Form of marriage in which an individual may have several husbands or wives simultaneously
Types of Marriage
Authority Patterns
Society in which men dominate in family decision making

Society in which women dominate in family decision making

Egalitarian Family
Authority pattern in which spouses are regarded as equals
Authority Patterns
Egalitarian family has become more common pattern in the U.S. In recent decades, but male dominance over family still prevails
Family serves as basis for transferring power, property, and privilege
Children inherit privileged or less-than-privileged social and economic status of parents
Socioeconomic status of child’s family has marked influence on nutrition, health care, housing, educational opportunities, and life chances
Caring for children is a universal function of the family
*Parenthood one of most important social roles in U.S.
*Abrupt transition to parenthood
*Society lacks clear
guidelines for
Greater social acceptance of divorce
More liberal divorce laws
Fewer children
Greater family income
More opportunities for women
Factors Associated
with Divorce
Full transcript