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Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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1 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010
Chapter 11 The Changing Family This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; any rental, lease or lending of the program. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

2 Chapter outline Kinship Nuclear vs. extended family Family in decline?
Defining Family Kinship Nuclear vs. extended family Family in decline? Diversity in Families Singlehood and postponing marriage Cohabitation and domestic partnership Dual-earner marriage 2 parent vs. 1 parent homes Child related issues Reproductive freedom Infertility Adoption Teen pregnancy Other issues Divorce Remarriage Domestic Violence Sociological Perspectives Functionalist Conflict and Feminist Interactionist Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

3 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010
Defining Family A family is a relationship in which people: Live together with commitment Form an economic unit Care for the young Consider the group critical to their identity Traditional family based on kinship: network of people based on common ancestry, marriage or adoption. Prior to industrialization extended family was common, but today in industrial society most are nuclear families. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

4 Current views on the family
Family today has changed from family of the past: Marriage is no longer a cultural imperative Median age of first marriage is increasing Cohabitation has become an intermediate step between singlehood and marriage More people are living alone The family is adapting to societal changes and people remain committed to marriage as evidenced by serial monogamy. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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Singlehood Singlehood continues to increase in U.S. Reasons people choose singlehood: Greater freedom from commitment More career opportunities Desire for self-sufficiency and freedom to change Some people are involuntarily single: Varies greatly by race and ethnicity Many more African American males and females have never been married compared to whites By necessity Economic reasons prevents many young, working-class people from marrying because they can’t afford to set up their own household. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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Postponing marriage Median age for first marriage has increased: Men 27.5 years of age Women 25.1 years of age Reasons for postponing marriage: Economic uncertainty Women’s increasing participation in labor force Sexual relationships outside marriage are more acceptable and contraception more effective Concern about risk of getting divorced Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

8 Cohabitation and Domestic Partnership
Two unmarried adults living together in a sexual relationship without legal marriage Some times a step in the dating process Mixed results on it’s relationship to marital success Domestic Partnerships A legal move by states to allow some people similar rights and benefits as married couples Common among gay and lesbian couples who can’t legally marry in most states , although preference is still for same sex marriage which accords more rights to the couple. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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Dual-Earner Marriage Marriages in which both spouses are in the labor force 50% of marriages fall into this category More common among minority families Many women in these marriages end up doing the “second shift” Domestic work that employed women perform at home after completing their work day on the job. Women do about 1 extra month more of work each year than their husbands In households where men and women have egalitarian views on roles the house work is hared more equally. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

10 Two Parent vs. Single Parent Homes
About 9% of homes in U.S. are single parent homes. A very conflicted 2 parent home is worse than a supportive single parent home. Effects of a single parent household on children: Negatives: higher risk for poor academic achievement, dropping out of school, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, early marriage and divorce. Positives: less conforming to gender roles, more mature and self sufficient. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

11 Child related family issues
Reproductive freedom: Very controversial topic related to contraceptive use as well as abortion. Has both personal and social consequences. Infertility and Reproductive Technologies: 5 million couples affected by infertility Many new technologies to help them, but don’t always work. Adoption an option Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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Teen Pregnancy The teen birthrate is higher in the U.S. than any other high-income nation Rate had been decreasing for decades but increased in 2006 Largest increases seen in African American girls Teen pregnancy is problematic because: Teens mothers typically unskilled at parenting Likely to drop out of school Have no social support outside of family Children from teen moms have limited opportunities as they age. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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14 Divorce and Remarriage
We have a high rate of divorce in the U.S. Several factors affect likelihood of divorce: Younger age at time of marriage Level of importance a woman attaches to religion Lower level of education Higher rates of unemployment and lower levels of income Race and ethnicity Asian American women have the lowest rates, followed by whites and Latinas African American women have the highest rates Even though divorce rates are high remarriage rates are also high in the U.S. creating many blended families. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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Domestic Violence Child Abuse: neglect that is physical, mental, sexual or negligent treatment of a child under 18. Much child abuse remains hidden unless a serious injury or death occurs. As many as 15% of children experience sexual abuse as a child. Spouse Abuse: Historically it was ignored and tolerated Today as many as 5 million spouses are abused. Women more likely to be victims. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

17 Perspectives on Family
Functionalist Family provides social order and economic stability Instrumental and expressive roles (Parsons, 1955) Family is the solution to many societal problems Socialization, caring for elderly and sick, emotional needs Dysfunctional families threaten well-being of individuals and society To solve family problems we need to strengthen family ties and eliminate divorce/cohabitation which threaten institution of the family. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

18 Perspectives on Family, cont.
Conflict and Feminist Family as a major source of inequality and conflict. Family reproduces inequality that exists in larger society. Reinforces patriarchy and female subordination To fix family problems we need to enact tougher laws for those who threaten others in domestic situations. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

19 Perspectives on Family, cont.
Symbolic Interactionists Focus on how family members play their diverse roles Problems occur because: Men and women experience marriage differently Sociologist Jessie Bernard (1982) Husbands and wives see their marriages very differently Unrealistic expectations about love and marriage Problems in marriage will be reduced if people become aware of the different realities they have and work toward making a more positive home life. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2010

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