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Functions of the Family

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  1. Functions of the Family

  2. Functions of the Family 1. Addition of New Members Families have children through birth, adoption, and may also use the help of fertility clinics, etc. • Benefits to Canadian Society: -Population increases -Economy may improve (increased demand for goods/services)

  3. Functions of the Family 2. Physical Care of Members Bathing children, feeding family, taking older parents to appointments, etc. • Benefits to Canadian Society: -Individuals within the population stay healthy -Members will be able to contribute to society (especially when in good health)

  4. Functions of the Family 3. Socialization of Children Teaching children language, taking them to school, helping with homework, taking children to cultural activities, church, etc. • Benefits to Canadian Society: -Individuals will have the skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes consistent with employability and citizenship expectations -People will be educated, find careers, have their own families, earn money

  5. Functions of the Family 4. Social Control of Members • Teaching children right from wrong, discipline, etc. • Benefits to Canadian Society: -Individuals will obey the laws of the society and country

  6. Functions of the Family 5. Affective Nurturance (love) - Maintaining Morale of Members • Family members comfort children when crying, support them in making decisions, etc. • Benefits to Canadian Society: -Individuals will care for others in society -Individuals will develop strong relationships and raise their own families

  7. Functions of the Family 6. Producing and Consuming Goods and Services • Parents or guardians earn money through work/careers, perform household chores, pay bills, buy food and clothing, provide shelter, pay for activities, etc. • Benefits to Canadian Society: -Parents provide for their families -Families contribute to society (economically) -Families provide goods or services (through skills and employment) -Families require goods and services (and will pay for them)

  8. Holloway, M., Holloway, G., Witte, J. Zuker, M. (2003). Individuals and Families in a Diverse Society. Toronto: McGraw Hill Ryerson Ltd. The Family In History Time Line:

  9. The Origin of the Family • We can only speculate using fossil evidence that has been uncovered by archaeologists or research of cultural anthropologists who have studied isolated human groups (humans who have not been influenced by other human societies). • First groupings of humans into families may have occurred because of unique human characteristic (large brains relative to body size) • Large brain -> enable us to think, problem solve, use language, invent and feel emotions

  10. Earliest Family Form... • Informal pairing for various lengths of time on the basis of convenience • A simple division of labour, possibly based on gender and age • Economic activities dependent on mutual co-operation • Similar status for men and women

  11. History to Present Day • The Hunter-Gatherers • Agricultural Families • Pre-Industrial Families • Urban Industrial Families • The Contemporary Canadian Family (past 50-60 years)

  12. The Hunter-Gatherers • Earliest stationary human family form • (approx 15, 000 years ago) • 99% of human history, h-g, was the major means of subsistence of our ancestors • Both men and women worked full time in their daily quest for food • Women: gathered fruits, nuts, grains, herbs and small prey, used plants for medicinal purposes, nurtured small children

  13. Today, 2/3 + calories consumed are supplied by women Women are essential to survival and carry high status due to their role as child bearers and providers of food for the group Men: hunted and made tools (left for long periods of time due to pursuing and hunting larger animals)

  14. H-G Family Relationships • Informal group marriage was most prevalent • Family • Trend towards couples marrying in stable (stationary as opposed to nomadic) h-g societies • Therefore, parents were able to support their children until they became self-sufficient, at about the age of 5 (Holloway et al., 2003)

  15. Men spent more time with children as well as individual females -> new social role for men: father; new social role for the family: the couple

  16. The Social Structure of the first Canadians – The Aboriginal Peoples • Lived in small nomadic bands (groups) of 5 to 80 people who were related by consanguinity (by blood or marriage) • No hierarchy; differed only by gender and age • Equal decision makers • Leadership acquired through personal qualities of strength and intelligence • Lacked formal rules and law

  17. Agricultural Families • Occurred about 11, 000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent area of Southwest Asia and independently developed in China, 7500 B.C.E; Mesoamerica & South America, 3500 B.C.E; North America, 2500 B.C.E • Allowed for more permanent settlement (no longer required daily quest for food)

  18. The Social Structure • Agriculture provided more food -> more manual labour -> larger families • Food surplus enabled development of towns and cities • Concept of private property developed and thus land had to be defeated and surplus had to be controlled

  19. The Social Structure of Families • Monogamy was preferred however, polygamy became common (as farmers could afford many wives) • Patriarchy was established, in which men were the “rulers and decision makers of the family” in an attempt to ensure fatherhood and orderly inheritance (Conway, 1997) • Arranged marriages with young women ensured more children • Young adults lived at home (inheritance; work on family land), creating extended families

  20. Roles in Agricultural Famiilies • Men: if not farmers, became artisans, builders, merchants, soldiers and politicians • Women: shifted from community to private family household • Caregiver • Handled domestic work • Toiled the family fields • Became chattels (property of their husbands with few legal rights) • Children: • Viewed as economic asset (work on land)

  21. Pre-Industrial Social Structure • European settlers brought pre-industrial family systems with them in the 17th century (1600’s) • Rapid population growth resulted in growth of villages and towns • Occupations such as commerce, technology and crafts developed • Merchants and artisans began to work at home where their wives and children could help. This economic activity is called cottage industry. • Agricultural and commercial activities were family affairs

  22. Pre-Industrial Families • The family: father, mother, children, domestic servants and male apprentices (young men from another family learning a trade or craft) • Apprentice families -> less able to sustain with large families -> couples were usually monogamous and had fewer children • Predominately patriarchal in organization • Marriage was economic necessity (no work for single women and no housekeeper for single men)

  23. Pre-Industrial Family Roles • Both men and women worked side by side clearing the land or establishing a business • Father: head of the household • Dominant in public community life • Could discipline their wife and children harshly

  24. Women: at first (early years of European colonization), enjoyed a relatively high status (because the shortage of marriageable women and essential economic role) • As the population grew, roles were rigidly defined • Confine their activities to family household • Property of husband • Had very little legal protection • Women who physically defended themselves against domestic assault were punished by the legal system (i.e. Imprisonment)

  25. Children: economic necessity (less than 50% reached adulthood) • Period of innocence and play did not exist • Considered property of father • By age 7-8, assisted in economic activities dictated by gender • Girls: household work • Boys: work on the farm or become an apprentice • Young adults: left home to work with other families • Married later (difficult to find partner when living in isolated existence)

  26. Urban Industrial Social Structure • Economic shift from agriculture and commerce to factory production (1800’s) • Work became something done outside the home to earn a wage to provide for family subsistence • All family members, including children began working in a wage-based labour force (until the late 1800’s) • Family lost role as producer and remained consumers • Development of the industrial working class

  27. Urban Industrial Families By the late 1800’s: • New version of family: the industrial nuclear family • The home was no longer a center of economic activity rather a place of emotional contentment and love

  28. Roles in Urban Industrial Families • Men: money-earners who worked to provide for their families • Women: • Notion of motherhood: a “sacred” and primary role of women became the ideal, if not the norm • Worked at home, supported by their husbands, nurturers for their children

  29. Roles in Urban Industrial Families • Children: No need to work in factories • Compulsory education was instituted in 1871 in Ontario for all children under 14 to attend school • In 1905, all provinces expect Quebec had mandatory education • Working class children left school as soon as they could to contribute to family income • Childhood as an “age of innocence” was conceptualized (coined) in the mid 1880’s • Child labour laws were passed • Young Adults: married early and moved away from parents (able to support themselves)

  30. Family Structure in the Early 1900’s • Delayed marriage (afford separate household) • Smaller family size (birth rates declined) • Fewer children desired (costly to support) • Adolescence became a distinct age group because of the extension of schooling into the teen years • Consumer Family • Baby Boom: 1946-1967 (economically possible to support larger families)

  31. Roles during the 1900’s • Men: the exclusive provider, head of the household, and link between family and society • Women: wife, mother and housekeeper • Homemaker (at this time, new products were manufactured to assist in creating comfortable home) • “Mystique of motherhood” implied that women reached their potential only if they had children • By the 1900’s, about 5% of married women did work due to necessity (such as widowhood). • Earned 1/3 less than the “family wage” earned by men for the same work. They were seen as a threat to the male’s role and demeaned by society.

  32. Contemporary Canadian Family • After the post-war decade ended, families found it increasingly difficult to pay for things on only one wage • By the 1960’s and 1970’s, women began to work outside the home to supplement family incomes *Statistics Canada

  33. Contemporary Canadian Families • Birth rates declined • Status of women changed with the support of a growing women’s movement • 1968 Divorce Act established • Birth control legalized • Intercourse before marriage became more acceptable

  34. Changes in Contemporary Families • Nuclear family remain to be most common however new kinds have emerged: • Transitional families: the mother temporarily leaves the work force to look after young children • Dual-income families: both spouses work full time • Blended families: divorced partners with children remarry “Family unit is no longer an economic necessity but has become more of a psychological unit that people choose to form in order to meet their social and emotional needs.” Conway, 1997

  35. Questions to Ponder • How are family forms, roles and priorities influenced by immigration? • Identify five significant changes in the roles of men and women up to the 20th century and explain the factors that caused them

  36. KEY TERMS • Hordes/ bands: consisted of loose grouping of males and females and their offspring. Developed taboos (aggression and sexual activity) to ensure peace and co-operation necessary for survival. • Kinship: • Socialization: • Consanguinity:

  37. Monogamy: having one marital partner • Polygamy: having several wives • Patriarchy: men are the “rulers” and decision makers of the family • Polyandry: • Arranged marriages: • Extended families: • Roles: set of expected behaviour or obligations based on social position or status; permitted forms of behaviour guided by social norms