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1 Public and Private Families Andrew Cherlin, author 6th Edition McGraw-Hill Publishers Prepared by Cathie Robertson, Grossmont College © 2010 The McGraw-Hill.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Public and Private Families Andrew Cherlin, author 6th Edition McGraw-Hill Publishers Prepared by Cathie Robertson, Grossmont College © 2010 The McGraw-Hill."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Public and Private Families Andrew Cherlin, author 6th Edition McGraw-Hill Publishers Prepared by Cathie Robertson, Grossmont College © 2010 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., All Rights Reserved

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12 1. What is a family? 2. Public Family and Private Family 3. Marriage and Individualism 4. Research 5. Theories 12

13 Public and Private Families 13

14 14 What is a Family? 1.Social Conservative definition  One “correct” family

15 2. Economic Definition: Financial Benefits ◦Two or more persons residing together and related by:  Blood  Marriage  Or adoption 15

16 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?

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18  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 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

20  Costs and Benefits Externalities:  Costs or benefits to others when an individual or business produces something 20

21  Positive externalities : Benefits received by others when individuals or businesses produce something for which they are not fully compensated. 21

22 Negative externalities: Costs to others when an individual or business produces something of value to itself 22

23 23 Private goods & services Benefit consumer Public goods & services Benefit others Benefit community

24 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 25 Functions for society: ◦Reproduces society (e.g., children) ◦Cares for young, poor, sick, & elderly  Saves public funds The Public Family

26  Free-rider problem  People who obtain & enjoy public goods  By letting others produce the goods 26

27 27 Definition:  Two or more individuals  Lasting intimate relationship  Same household  Combine income  Share household labor The Private Family

28 28 Private Family Provides to family members:  Intimacy  Emotional support  Love  Financial support

29 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

30 ◦Individualism:  Pursuing own interests  Personally rewarding life 30

31  On one hand, “marriage-centered” family life preferred  On the other, more tolerance for family life without marriage  Never marrying is acceptable 31

32 32 Most Americans want to marry  But…  Feel less need (pressure) Marriage and Individualism

33 Marriage may compete with: ◦Staying in school ◦Developing a career ◦Cohabitating ◦Having children 33

34  Self-reliance  Personal achievement 34

35  Developing one’s feelings  Emotional satisfaction 35

36 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

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38 38  Two Research Methods: 1.Survey 2.Observation How Do Family Sociologists Know What They Know?

39 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 40 Sociological Theory and Families  Four perspectives or theories 1.Exchange 2.Symbolic Interaction 3.Feminist 4.Postmodern

41 Rational economic model Calculation Rewards Costs 41

42 42 Exchange Theory Examples  Women: Household & childcare services for men’s income  Men: Income for women’s household & childcare services  Movie/video clips

43 ◦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

44 Unique contributions to family studies  Families are social groups ◦ Symbols ◦ Language 2. Develop “self” through social interaction in families 44

45 45 3. Feminist Perspective  Power & inequality based on gender  Men’s domination of women  Men & women experience family life differently

46 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 47 Postmodern Perspective ◦ Post Modern Era: Mid-to-late 20 th century ◦ Choices: ◦ Marry? ◦ Cohabit? ◦ Have children? ◦ Childcare? ◦ Career?

48  Self-identity: ◦ Sense of self ◦ Place in social structure  Reflectivity: ◦ Take in knowledge ◦ Reflect ◦ Alter behavior 48

49  Functionalist Perspective  Conflict Perspective 49

50  Men’s and women’s complementary roles  Social stability and cooperation  Social institution  stability of society 50

51  Inequality  Competition  Social change 51

52 52 A Sociological Viewpoint on Families  Family=social institution  Major functions ◦Rearing children, ◦Caring for elderly ◦Providing comfort and emotional support to its members


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