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Introduction to Sociology: Chapter 13 - Family and Religion Roderick Graham.

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1 Introduction to Sociology: Chapter 13 - Family and Religion Roderick Graham

2  Family  A social institution found in all societies that unites people in cooperative groups to care for one another, including any children  Kinship  A social bond based on common ancestry, marriage, or adoption  Marriage  A legal relationship, usually involving economic cooperation as well as sexual activity and childbearing

3 Family: Global Variations  Extended Family  A family composed of parents and children as well as other kin  Includes everyone with “shared blood”  Nuclear Family  A family composed of one or two parents and their children  The nuclear family is the type we see on television and is considered the middle class ideal

4 Marriage Patterns  Endogamy  Marriage between people of the same social category  Limits marriage prospects  Exogamy  Marriage between people of different social categories  Monogamy  Marriage that unites two partners  Permitted by law in higher-income nations  Polygamy  Marriage that unites a person with two or more spouses  Permitted by many lower-income nations

5 Constructing Family Life: Micro-Level Analysis “One way of thinking about marriage and family…”  The Social-Exchange Approach  Describes courtship and marriage as forms of negotiation  Dating allows the assessment of advantages and disadvantages of a potential spouse  Terms of exchange are converging for men and women

6  Several distinct stages of family life across the life course  Courtship and romantic love  Ideal and real marriage  Child rearing  Family in later life

7 Courtship and Romantic Love  Arranged Marriages  Alliances between two extended families of similar social standing and usually involve an exchange not just of children but also of wealth and favors  Romantic Love  Affection and sexual passion toward another person  Homogamy  Marriage between people with the same social characteristics

8 Settling In: Ideal and Real Marriage  American culture gives idealized picture of marriage  Sexuality also a source of disappointment  Frequency of marital sex declines over time  Infidelity  Sexual activity outside marriage  Another area where reality does not match the ideal

9 Child Rearing  Big families pay off in preindustrial societies  Children supplied labor  High death rate  Industrialization transformed children from asset to liability  Parenting is expensive, lifelong commitment

10 Family in Later Life  Increasing life expectancy in U.S.  Couples who stay married do so for a longer time  “Empty Nest”  Requires adjustments  Less sexual passion, more understanding and commitment  Adults in midlife now provide more care for aging parents

11  “Baby Boomers” in their 60s are the “sandwich generation”  Many, especially women, spend many years caring for aging parents as they did for their children  Final and most difficult transition in married life  Death of a spouse  Wives typically outlive husbands because of greater life expectancy  Challenge greater for men  Fewer friends than widows  Lack housekeeping skills

12  After marriage couples have to make the transition from “ideal” to “real” marriage. There can be problems during this transition  Many times couples decide to divorce  The family is the most violent group in society with the exception of the police and the military

13 Divorce  Causes of Divorce  Individualism is on the rise  Romantic love fades  Women are less dependent on men  Many of today’s marriages are stressful  Divorce is socially acceptable  A divorce is easier to get

14 Figure 13.2 (p. 386) Divorce Rate for the United States, Over the long term, the U.S. divorce rate has gone up. Since about 1980, however, the trend has been downward. Society: The Basics, 10 th Edition by John Macionis Copyright  2009 by Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All rights reserved.

15  Who Divorces  Young couples are at greatest risk  Especially after brief courtship  Lack money and emotional maturity  Also rises if couple marries after an unexpected pregnancy  People whose parents divorce have a higher divorce rate  More common if both partners have successful careers  Men and women who divorce once are more likely to divorce again  High-risk factors follow from one marriage to another

16  Divorce and Children  Mothers gain custody but fathers earn more income  Well-being of many children depend on court-ordered child support payments  Courts award child support in 57% of all divorces involving children  3.2 million “deadbeat dads”  Federal legislation requires employers to withhold money from earnings of parents who fail to pay

17 Remarriage and Blended Families  Four out of five people who divorce remarry  Blended Families  Composed of children and some combination of biological parents and step-parents  Blended families must define who is part of the nuclear family  Adjustments are necessary  Offer both young and old the chance to relax rigid family roles

18  Violence against Women  Often unreported to police  700,000 people are victims of domestic violence each year  32% of women who are homicide victims are killed by spouses, partners, or ex-partners  Women are more likely to be injured by a family member than a stranger  Marital Rape Laws  Found in all 50 states  Communities across U.S. have shelters to provide counseling and temporary housing for women and children of domestic violence The Family and Violence

19  Violence against Children  3 million reports of child abuse and neglect each year  1,500 involves a child’s death  Involves more than physical injury  Misuse of power and trust to damage child’s well-being  Child abusers conform to no stereotype  More likely to be women than men  All abusers share one trait  All abused themselves as children The Family and Violence

20  Profane  Occurring as an ordinary element of everyday life  Sacred  Set apart as extraordinary, inspiring awe and reverence  Religion  A social institution involving beliefs and practices based on recognizing the sacred  Faith  Belief based on conviction rather than on scientific evidence

21 Society: The Basics, 10 th Edition by John Macionis Copyright  2009 by Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All rights reserved.

22  Sociologists categorize hundreds of different American religious organizations along a continuum  Church at one end and sects at the other  And then there are cults

23 Church  Church  A type of religious organization that is well-integrated into the larger society  Persisted for centuries  State church  A church formally allied with the state  Considers everyone in the society a member  Denomination  A church, independent of the state, that recognizes religious pluralism  Hold to their own beliefs but recognizes rights of others

24 Sect  Sect  A type of religious organization apart from the larger society  Rigid religious convictions, denies beliefs of others  Charisma  Extraordinary personal qualities that can infuse people with emotion and turn them into followers  Generally form as break-away groups  Actively recruit (proselytize) new members  Churches and sects differ in composition  Churches (high social standing); sects (social outsiders

25 Cults  Cult  A type of religious organization that is largely outside a society’s cultural traditions  Most spin off from conventional religion  Typically forms around a charismatic leader  Because some principles and practices are unconventional, viewed as deviant or evil  Many demand adoption of radical lifestyle  Sometimes accused of brainwashing

26 Religious Commitment in the US  Eight in 10 people claim “comfort and strength” from religion  More than half of U.S. adults are Protestants  One-fourth are Catholics  2% are Jews  Religious diversity stems from constitutional ban on government sponsored religion and high immigrant population  Identification with religion varies by region  Religiosity  The importance of religion in a person’s life

27 Figure 13.4 (p. 398) Religiosity in Global Perspective Religion is stronger in the U.S. than in many other nations. Source: World Values Survey (2006 Society: The Basics, 10 th Edition by John Macionis Copyright  2009 by Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All rights reserved.

28 National Map 13.1 Religious Membership across the United States Society: The Basics, 10 th Edition by John Macionis Copyright  2009 by Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All rights reserved.

29 National Map 13.2 Religious Diversity across the United States Society: The Basics, 10 th Edition by John Macionis Copyright  2009 by Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All rights reserved.

30  Religion is changing in the U.S.  Sociologists focus on the process of:  Secularization  Includes  Civil religion  “New Age” seekers  Religious revival

31 Secularization  The historical decline in the importance of the supernatural and the sacred  Commonly associated with modern, technologically advanced societies  Science is the major way of understanding  More likely to experience birth, illness, and death in the presence of physicians rather than church leaders  Will religion disappear some day?  Sociologists say no

32  Majority of people in U.S. profess belief in God  Conservatives view secularization as a mark of moral decline  Progressives view secularization as liberation from dictatorial beliefs  Secularization sparked by U.S. Supreme Court ban on prayer in schools (1963)

33 Civil Religion  A quasi-religious loyalty binding individuals in a basically secular society  Religious qualities of citizenship  People find religious qualities in political movements  Involves a range of rituals  Standing to sing the National Anthem  Waving the flag at parades  U.S. flag serves as a sacred symbol of our national identity and expect people to treat it with respect

34 Religious Revival: “Good Old-Time Religion”  Fundamentalism  A conservative religious doctrine that opposes intellectualism and worldly accommodation in favor of restoring traditional, otherworldly religion  Distinctive in five ways:  Fundamentalists take the words of sacred texts literally  Fundamentalists reject religious pluralism  Fundamentalists pursue the personal experience of God’s presence  Fundamentalists oppose “secular humanism”  Many fundamentalists endorse conservative political goals


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