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SOCIOLOGY Richard T. Schaefer
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SOCIOLOGY Richard T. Schaefer

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  1. SOCIOLOGYRichard T. Schaefer 14 The Family and Intimate Relationships

  2. 14. The Family and Intimate Relationships • The Family: A Global View • Social Institutions: Family and Religion • Studying the Family • Marriage and Family • Divorce • Diverse Lifestyles • Social Policy and The Family

  3. The Family: A Global View • Composition: What Is the Family? • Family: set of people related by blood, marriage, or some other agreed-upon relationship, or adoption who share primary responsibility for reproduction and caring for members of society

  4. The Family: A Global View • Composition: What Is the Family? • Nuclear Family: nucleus or core upon which larger family groups are built • Extended Family: family in which relatives live in same home as parents and their children • 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

  5. The Family: A Global View • Composition: What Is the Family? • 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

  6. The Family: A Global View Figure 14-1. U.S. Households by Family Type, 1940—2003 Source: Fields 2004; see also McFalls, Jr. 2003:23

  7. The Family: A Global View • Kinship Patterns: To Whom Are We Related? • Kinship: state of being related to others • Bilateral Descent: both sides of a person’s family are regarded as equally important • Patrilineal descent: only the father’s relatives are important • Matrilineal descent: only the mother’s relatives are significant

  8. The Family: A Global View • 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 equals

  9. Social Institutions: Family and Religion • Social Institution • Organized patterns of beliefs and behavior centered on general basic needs • Functionalist View • Family serves six functions for society: • Protection • Socialization • Reproduction • Regulation of sexual behavior • Affection and companionship • Provision of social status

  10. Studying the Family • Conflict View • Family reflects inequality in wealth and power found within society • In wide range of societies, husbands exercised power and authority within the family • View family as economic unit contributing to social injustice

  11. Studying the Family • Interactionist View • Focuses on micro level of family and other intimate relationships • Interested in how individuals interact with each other whether they are cohabiting partners or longtime married couples

  12. Studying the Family • Feminist View • Urged social scientists and social agencies to rethink notion that families in which no adult male is present are automatically a cause for concern • Feminists stress the need to investigate neglected topics in family studies

  13. Studying the Family Table 14-1. Sociological Perspectives on the Family

  14. Marriage and Family • Courtship and Mate Selection • Aspects of Mate Selection • Endogamy: Endogamy specifies the groups within which a spouse must be found and prohibits marriage with members of other groups. • Exogamy: Exogamy requires mate selection outside certain groups, usually one’s own family or certain kin.

  15. Marriage and Family • Courtship and Mate Selection • Aspects of Mate Selection Incest Taboo: social norm common to virtually all societies prohibiting sexual relationships between certain culturally specified relationships • Homogamy: conscious or unconscious tendency to select mate with personal characteristics similar to one’s own • The Love Relationship • Coupling of love and marriage not universal

  16. Marriage and Family • Variations in Family Life and Intimate Relationships • Social Class Differences • The upper class emphasizes lineage and maintenance of family position; lower class families likely to have one parent at home, and children typically assume adult responsibilities • Racial and Ethnic Differences • Subordinate status of racial and ethnic groups profoundly affects family life

  17. Marriage and Family • Child-Rearing Patterns in Family Life • Parenthood and Grandparenthood • One of most important roles of parents is socialization of children • Recently, U.S. witnessed extension of parenthood with adult children living at home • “Boomeranggeneration” or “full-nest syndrome”

  18. Marriage and Family • Child-Rearing Patterns in Family Life • Adoption • Process that “allows for the transfer of the legal rights, responsibilities, and privileges of parenthood” to a new legal parent or parents • Dual-Income Families • Among married people between the ages of 25 and 34, 92% of men and 75% of women in the labor force

  19. Marriage and Family • Child-Rearing Patterns in Family Life • Single-Parent Families • In 2000, a single parent headed: • 21% of White families with children • 35% of Hispanic families with children • 55% of African American families with children • Stepfamilies • Rising rate of divorce and remarriage led to significant increase in stepfamily relationships • Stepfamilies are exceedingly complex

  20. Marriage and Family Figure 14-2. Percentage of People Aged 20 to 24 Ever Married, Selected Countries Source: United Nations Population Division 2005

  21. Divorce • Statistical Trends in Divorce • Divorce rates increased in late 1960s, started to level and decline since late 1980s • About 63% of all divorces in U.S. remarry

  22. Divorce • Factors Associated with Divorce • Greater social acceptance of divorce • More liberal divorce laws • Fewer children • Greater family income • More opportunities for women • Impact of Divorce on Children • About a third of children benefit from divorce because it lessens exposure to conflict

  23. Divorce Figure 14-3. Rise of Single-Parent Families in the United States, 1970-2000 Source: Bureau of the Census 1994:63; Fields 2001:7

  24. Divorce Figure 14-4. Trends in Marriage and Divorce in the United States, 1920—2004 Source: Bureau of the Census 1995:64; National Vital Statistics Reports 2005

  25. Diverse Lifestyles • Cohabitation • Remaining Single • Marriage without Children • Lesbian and Gay Relationships

  26. Diverse Lifestyles Figure 14-5. Unmarried-Couple Households by State Source: T. Simmons and O’Connell 2003:4

  27. Social Policy and The Family • Gay Marriage • The Issue • Idea of same-sex marriage strikes some in U.S. as attack on traditional marriage • The Setting • Vermont gave gay couples legal benefits of marriage through civil union • Massachusetts Supreme Courts rule state’s constitution gives gay couples right to marry

  28. Social Policy and The Family • Gay Marriage • Sociological Insights • Functionalists: religious views toward marriage cannot be ignored • Conflict theorists: denial of right to marry reinforces second-class citizenship • Interactionists: focus on support or opposition of family, co-workers, and friends • As many as 50% of citizens favor civil union

  29. Social Policy and The Family • Gay Marriage • Policy Initiatives • Netherlands, Belgium, and Canada recognize same-sex marriages • Many nations remains strongly opposed • In U.S. local jurisdictions have recognized domestic partnerships for benefits

  30. Social Policy and The Family Figure 14-6. Discriminatory Marriage and Anti-Gay Discrimination Laws Source: Human Rights Campaign 2005