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Chapter 12 the family and Intimate RelationshipsComposition: What is the Family?- Family: Set of people related by blood, marriage, or agreed-upon relations who share primarily responsibility for reproduction and caring for members of societyo Nuclear family: Nucleus or core upon which larger family groups are built.o Extended family: family in which relatives live in same home as parents and children. Composition: How many Spouses?- 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. - Polygamy: when an individual has several husbands or wives simultaneously- Polygyny: Marriage of a man to more than one woman at a time. - Polyandry: Marriage of a woman to more than one husband at the same time. Kinship Patterns: To whom are we Related?- Kinship: State of being related to others.o Bilateral descent: both sides of a person’s family are regarded as equally important.o Patrilineal descent: Only the father’s relatives are importanto Matrilineal descent: Only the mother’s relatives are important. Authority Patterns: Who Rules?- Patriarchy: Males are expected to dominate in all family decision making. - Matriarchy: Women have greater authority than men. - Egalitarian Family: Family in which spouses are regarded as equal. Sociological Perspectives on the family- Functionalist Viewo Family serves six functions for society: Reproduction Protection Socialization Regulation of Sexual behavior Affection and companionship Provision of social status- Conflict Viewo Family reflects inequality in wealth and power found in society. o In wide range societies, husbands exercised power and authority within the family.o View family as economic unit that contributes to social injustice. - Interactionist Viewo Focuses on micro-level of family and other intimate relationshipso Interested in how individuals interact with each other, whether they are cohabiting partners or longtime married couples.- Feminist Viewo Interest in family as social institutiono Urge social scientists and agencies to rethink notion that families in which no adult male is present are automatically cause for concern.o Feminists stress need to investigate neglected topics in family studies. Marriage and Family in the United States Today- Over 95% of all men and women in U.S. marry at least once during their lifetimeso Internet is second to friends as a source of romantic partners. o Process of mate selection is taking longer today than in past. Courtship and Mate Selection- Aspects of Mate Selection:o Endogamy: Specifies groups within which spouse must be found; prohibits marriage with members of other groups.o Exogamy: requires mate selection outside certain groups, usually family or certain kin. o Incest taboo: Social norm common to all societies prohibiting sexual relationships between certain culturally specified relationships.o Homogamy: Conscious or unconscious tendency to select mate with personal characteristics similar to one’s own. The Love Relationshipo Coupling of love and marriage not universalo U.S. parents and peers expected to help child confine search for a mate to “socially acceptable” members of opposite sex.o Many world cultures give priority to factors other than romantic feelings. Social Class Differences- United States upper class emphasizes lineage and maintenance of family position.- Lower Class families are more likely to have a single parent home, and children typicall assume adult responsibilities. - The social class differences are less striking today.Step Families- Natures of blended families have a social significance for adults and children. - Cherlin says “the well-being of children in stepfamilies is no better on average than the well – being of children in divorced, single – parent households.” Statistical Trends in Divorce- In the late 1960s, divorce rates increased, then they leveled off.- Since the late 1980s divorce rates have decreased by about 30%.o This is partly due to ongoing baby-boomer population and the decrease in proportion of people that are of a marriageable age. - About 63% of all divorcees have remarried. - Effects of divorce in childreno Crisis period: a period during the first year or two after parents separate when both the custodial parent and the children experience difficulties in dealing with the situationo After Crisis period: majority of children resume normal development;  20-25% were still displaying serious behavioral problems 6 years after disruption.o Almost all children experience an initial period of intense emotional upset after their parents separate. o Most resume normal development without serious problems within about two years after their parents separation.o A minority of children experience some long – term problems as a result of the breakup that may persist into adulthood. Factors Associated with divorce- Factors that Increase divorce;o More opportunities come available for womeno Greater social acceptance of divorceo There are more liberal divorce lawso Fewer childreno Greater family incomePositive Factors of Marriage- Married men and women live longer- Marriage is proven to be good for one’s physical and mental health- Married people have higher incomes and more wealthVariations in Family Life and Intimate Relationships- Racial and Ethnic Differenceso Subordinate status of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States affect family lives. o Black single mothers belong to Kin networkso Native – American families cushion hardshipso Mexican Americans are more based of familistic Machismo: Sense of virility, personal worth, and pride in one’s maleness.  Familism: Taking pride in the extended familyChild – Rearing Patterns - Parenthood and Grandparenthoodo Most recent trends in parenting and grand parenting; Little anticipatory socialization Limited learning during pregnancy Transition to parenthood is abrupt Little consensus on how to produce happy, well – adjusted offspring. - Recently the U.S. has witnessed an extension of parenthood with adult children living at home. o This is sometimes called the “boomerang generation” or “full – nest syndrome” - Single parent families : only one parent is present to care for childreno In 2009, the single parent headed about 24% of white families with children under the age of 18. o 34% of


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KSU SOC 12050 - Chapter 12

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