1. What is a family? 2. Public Family and Private Family 3. Marriage and Individualism 4. Research 5. Theories 12
Public and Private Families 13
14 What is a Family? 1.Social Conservative definition One “correct” family
2. Economic Definition: Financial Benefits ◦Two or more persons residing together and related by: Blood Marriage Or adoption 15
16 3.Cultural definition—Varies from culture to culture Western Nations Monogamy Serial monogamy African, Arab, & Asian nations Polygamy Polygyny Polyandry What is a Family?
Public and Private Family: Two key questions 1. How well are families taking care of children, the frail elderly, and the ill? (Public family) 2. How well are families providing emotional satisfaction for members? (Private family) 18
19 Definition: 1 adult or 2 adults who are: Related by ◦Marriage ◦Partnership or ◦Shared parenthood Taking care of dependents And the dependents themselves The Public Family
Costs and Benefits Externalities: Costs or benefits to others when an individual or business produces something 20
Positive externalities : Benefits received by others when individuals or businesses produce something for which they are not fully compensated. 21
Negative externalities: Costs to others when an individual or business produces something of value to itself 22
23 Private goods & services Benefit consumer Public goods & services Benefit others Benefit community
24 The Public Family Provides Public Goods ◦Things enjoyed by or benefit people who did not pay for or produce them: ◦Children ◦Social Security ◦Highways ◦National Defense
25 Functions for society: ◦Reproduces society (e.g., children) ◦Cares for young, poor, sick, & elderly Saves public funds The Public Family
Free-rider problem People who obtain & enjoy public goods By letting others produce the goods 26
27 Definition: Two or more individuals Lasting intimate relationship Same household Combine income Share household labor The Private Family
28 Private Family Provides to family members: Intimacy Emotional support Love Financial support
29 The Private Family Kinship is: Assigned Acquired at birth or by marriage Based on cultural roles Created by ties of: ◦Affection ◦Concern ◦Obligation ◦Responsibility
◦Individualism: Pursuing own interests Personally rewarding life 30
On one hand, “marriage-centered” family life preferred On the other, more tolerance for family life without marriage Never marrying is acceptable 31
32 Most Americans want to marry But… Feel less need (pressure) Marriage and Individualism
Marriage may compete with: ◦Staying in school ◦Developing a career ◦Cohabitating ◦Having children 33
36 How Do Family Sociologists Know What They Know? Scientific method Systematic, organized steps that ensure maximum objectivity & consistency in research Objectivity Unaffected by own beliefs
38 Two Research Methods: 1.Survey 2.Observation How Do Family Sociologists Know What They Know?
39 1. Survey: Individuals selected, usually at random ◦Answer questions 2. Observational study: ◦Directly observe participants How Do Family Sociologists Know What They Know?
40 Sociological Theory and Families Four perspectives or theories 1.Exchange 2.Symbolic Interaction 3.Feminist 4.Postmodern
Rational economic model Calculation Rewards Costs 41
42 Exchange Theory Examples Women: Household & childcare services for men’s income Men: Income for women’s household & childcare services Movie/video clips
◦Interaction and meaning as central to society (language) ◦Meaning is not inherent in object or symbols ◦“Shared meaning” is created through interaction using symbols 43
Unique contributions to family studies Families are social groups ◦ Symbols ◦ Language 2. Develop “self” through social interaction in families 44
45 3. Feminist Perspective Power & inequality based on gender Men’s domination of women Men & women experience family life differently
46 4. Postmodern Perspective Personal life changed-last several decades Modern era—Mid 19 th century to mid-to-late 20 th century In the modern era, individuals moved through a series of roles (student, spouse, parent, housewife, breadwinner) that seemed “natural”
47 Postmodern Perspective ◦ Post Modern Era: Mid-to-late 20 th century ◦ Choices: ◦ Marry? ◦ Cohabit? ◦ Have children? ◦ Childcare? ◦ Career?
Self-identity: ◦ Sense of self ◦ Place in social structure Reflectivity: ◦ Take in knowledge ◦ Reflect ◦ Alter behavior 48