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Schneider and the American Family. The Symbols of American Kinship  Unconscious, underlying metaphors for how we think about the world  What is a relative?

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Presentation on theme: "Schneider and the American Family. The Symbols of American Kinship  Unconscious, underlying metaphors for how we think about the world  What is a relative?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Schneider and the American Family

2 The Symbols of American Kinship  Unconscious, underlying metaphors for how we think about the world  What is a relative?  What is a family?  How does a person become a relative?

3 Kinds of American Relatives  Basic terms  Father (Step-, -In-law, Grand, Great grand)  Mother (Step-, -In-law, Grand, Great grand)  Sister (Step-, -In-law, Half-)  Brother (Step-, -In-law, Half-)  Son (Step-, -In-law, Grand-, Great grand-)  Daughter (Step-, -In-law, Grand-, Great grand-)  Uncle (Great-)  Aunt (Great-)  Nephew  Niece  Cousin (First-, Second-, Once removed, etc.)  Husband (Ex-)  Wife (Ex-)  Derivative term modifiers  Step  In-law  Great  Grand  First  Second  Once  Twice  Removed  Half-  Ex-  Foster

4 Categories of American Relatives  By Blood  “Biogenic”  The essence/biological material of the body is shared by relatives  Genes are shared by relatives  Kinship as possession of a common substance  Mother as genetrix  Father as genitor  Mother and father contribute equally to the child’s substance  Biogenic means “natural” rather than cultural  “Real” “Blood” “True” “By Birth”  Enduring and unbreakable ties  Involuntary  By Code of Conduct  By custom, cultural rule or law  Marriage as a culturally determined phenomenon  Fictive kin  Not natural, but man-made relationships  Come about by choice and free will

5 Blood Vs Marriage (con’t)  In nature (no cultural code of conduct  Natural child (son or daughter)  Illegitimate child (son or daughter)  Natural mother  Natural Father  In law (cultural code, no nature)  Husband  Wife  In-laws (father, mother, sister, brother, etc.)  Step- (mother, father, sister, brother)  Foster (son, daughter  By Blood within cultural conventions  Father  Mother  Brother  Sister  Son  Daughter  Uncle, aunt  Niece, nephew  Grandparents  Great grand parents  Grandchildren, Great grandchildren  Cousin, first cousin, etc.

6 The Family as Set of Relatives Conjugal Family or Family of Procreation  Nuclear Family in the U.S.  Derived from the joining of two non-relatives by cultural convention through marriage.  Sexual intercourse is what allows these two “naturally unrelated” individuals to contribute to the creation of a new person who is related by possession of essential bodily materials to both parents.  Without sexual intercourse, new blood relatives cannot be produced.  Marriage is a cultural convention that is designed to make non- relatives become relatives to one another The “Natural” Nuclear Family in American Society Mother Father Son Daughter Living together in a single unit/household

7 Sexual Intercourse as Symbol  Marriage requires sexual intercourse as one of the duties of the husband and wife. (Is a marriage without sex a real marriage?)  Marriage and Sexual Intercourse both unite “natural” opposites in many other ways  “Natural act (occurs throughout nature) that happens in culturally appropriate ways (where, when and with whom) as an act of free will.  Sex: Fitting genitalia together  Gender: Maleness united with femaleness  Creating blood ties out of code of conduct ties  Dividing activities and behaviors into distinctive opposing and complementary roles (code of conduct roles)  Combines physical (intercourse) with spiritual (love)  Produces cognatic/non-sexual love relationships out of conjugal/sexual love relationships.

8 Marriage and Sexual Intercourse Uniting Opposite Genders  How do we tell male from female?  Facial hair  Breasts  Temperament  Physical strength  Mechanical aptitude  Nurturing qualities  Aggression  Passivity  Genitalia We are uncomfortable with same sex marriage precisely because we see the uniting of opposites through intercourse as an inherent part of “family.”

9 American Marriage: Unification of Sexual Intercourse and Love  Intercourse alone is not sufficient to form a family.  Love without sex is not sufficient to form a family.  Marriage presupposes that both are present.

10 Definitions of Love  Schneider  Love is “enduring, diffuse solidarity”  Enduring = long lasting  Diffuse = pertains to a wide variety of things  Solidarity = loyalty and group affiliation - support network  Personal  Spiritual  Is a natural part of family  An intense sexual or romantic attachment to another person.  What is attachment? Strong feelings of loyalty, affection toward someone or something. A bond with someone or something.  What does attach mean? To fasten or bind something to something else.  An intense feeling of deep affection  What is affection? A feeling of liking or caring for someone or something.

11 Schneider’s Types of Love  Conjugal love (sexual love)  Cognatic love (non-sexual love)

12 12 Styles of love (Hendrick & Hendrick)  Logical love (pragma)  “I consider a lover’s potential in life before committing myself.”  Possessive, excited love (mania)  “When my lover ignores me, I get sick all over.”  Selfless love (agape)  “My lover’s needs and wishes are more important than my own.”  Romantic love (eros)  “My lover and I were attracted to each other immediately.”  Game-playing love (ludus)  “I get over love affairs pretty easily.”  Friendship (storge, philia)  “The best love grows out of an enduring friendship.”

13 13 Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love  Three main components of loving relationships  Intimacy  Feelings of closeness, bondedness, and connectedness  Desire to share one’s innermost thoughts with the other  Desire to give and receive emotional support  Passion  Intense romantic and/or sexual desire for another person, which is accompanied by physiological arousal  Commitment  Commitment to maintain the relationship despite potential hardships

14 14 Sternberg’s Types of Love  Nonlove  All components of love are absent.  Liking  Intimacy is present.  Passion and commitment are absent.  Infatuation  “Love at first sight”  Passion is present.  Intimacy and commitment are absent.

15 15 I+P+C Consummate Love PassionCommitment Intimacy Empty Love Liking Infatuation I+C Companionate Love I+P Romantic Love P+C Fatuous Love Sternberg’s Triangular Model of Love

16 16  Empty love  Commitment is present.  Passion and intimacy are absent.  Romantic love  Passion and intimacy are present.  Commitment is absent.  Companionate love  Intimacy and commitment are present.  Passion is absent. Sternberg’s Types of Love, con’t

17 17  Fatuous love  Passion and commitment are present.  Intimacy is absent.  Consummate love  Full or complete measure of love  Combination of passion, intimacy, and commitment  An ideal type of love  Harder to maintain than to achieve Sternberg’s Types of Love, con’t


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