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The Changing Family Chapter 11.

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Presentation on theme: "The Changing Family Chapter 11."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Changing Family Chapter 11

2 Marriage and Family Defined
Family - a group of people related by marriage, blood, or adoption. social institution that unites individuals in cooperative groups that care for members, regulate sexual relationships, and oversee the bearing and raising of children Functionalist perspective Most important social institution – Enduring features of social life Stresses how family is related to other parts of society and how it contributes to the well-being of society

3 The Problem in Sociological Perspective
Effects of the Industrial Revolution on the family Men left home Children became an economic liability Formal education A lower birthrate From rural to urban Loss of functions Changes in women’s roles

4 The Scope of the Problem
Modernity Social and cultural factors relating to recent times or the present So powerful, family isn’t going to be able to adjust Divorce Increased steadily since 1970 Is divorce a sign of weakness or strength? Can interpret divorce statistics in many ways The children of divorce Involves other things that cannot be quantified Cohabitation

5 Family Types Nuclear family – wife, father, and children
Extended family – nuclear family plus other relatives – like grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. Marriage - a legal union based on mutual rights and obligations Marriage = wedding - culture

6 Mate Selection Romantic Love – idea of people being sexually attracted to one another and idealizing the other Ex. Soul mate 2 components: 1) Emotional – feeling of sexual attraction 2) Cognitive – feeling we describe as being “in love” Homogamy –the tendency to marry someone similar to oneself based on personal preference. Heterogamy – partners are dissimilar with respect to some important social characteristics. Interracial marriage

7 New Family Forms Marriage rate – the number of marriages per year for every one thousand members of a population. The U.S. marriage rate has fluctuated since 1940.

8 Median Age at First Marriage


10 Cohabitation Cohabitation – living with someone in a marriage-like arrangement without the legal obligations and responsibilities of formal marriage. While cohabitation is more common among people with less education, it is increasing at higher educational levels. Cohabitation is on the rise. In 2009, cohabitation increased by 13 percent, twice the average annual increase of the preceding few years. Cohabitation has almost doubled since 1990.

11 Single-Parent Families
have been on the rise since 1970; 23 million children now live in single-parent families (32 percent of all children); 6 times higher than 1940, 3 times higher than 1970, and about double what it was in 1980 95% of children in single-parent families are in single-mother families Children in single-parent families are without the same economic resources available in two-parent families. Most research indicates that growing up with a single parent negatively affects a child’s well-being.

12 Single-Parent Families – Economic Outcomes
Children in single-parent homes: exhibit more behavioral problems, have higher teenage pregnancy rates, perform lower academically, score lower on tests of psychological well-being, are less able to adapt in social settings than children living with their biological parents

13 Childless Marriages Reasons to remain childless:
In the past, there was a stigma attached to marriages without children. In 2008, one in five American women ages 40–44 was childless, up 80 percent since 1970 Highest rates among White women, highly educated women. Reasons to remain childless: less stigma importance of careers Independence do not enjoy children too much delay physical or mental limitations.

14 Same-Sex Domestic Partners
Due to the stigma surrounding homosexuality, it is difficult to know exactly what proportion of the American population is gay. Americans have differing views of legalizing same-sex marriage: 48% of Americans oppose legalizing gay marriage; 42% favor it. Same-sex partners living together with children—are also increasing in number, although their number is small compared with heterosexual marriages.

15 Adult Children Returning Home
“Boomerang kids” – young adults (18-34) have a much higher probability of living in their parents’ home than they did 30 years ago. Contributing factors: Young adults are marrying later. More young adults are continuing their education, and live at home while doing so. Due to the high cost of living, young adults return home after completing their education. High divorce rate also increases the proportion of young adults living at home.

16 Adult Children Returning Home: Consequences
An added financial burden for older parents. Many parents complain that their adult children do not share in expenses, fail to help around the house, invade privacy, and prevent them from developing relationships with spouses and friends. Adult children living at home forfeit some freedom and are subject to some unwanted parental control.

17 The Sandwich Generation
More middle-aged adults are finding mothers and fathers living with them. Sandwich generation – term applied to those adults caught between caring for their parents and caring for the family they formed after leaving home. Elderly parents receive better care from those who love them and feel responsible for them. Aging parents also offer emotional support and financial resources. Taking care of an elderly parent is not easy, physically or emotionally. The burden of caring for an aging parent falls much more heavily on women. About 2/3 of unpaid caregivers are female.

18 Divorce Divorce rate – the number of divorces annually for every thousand members of the population. The nagging dilemma of divorce Decision to divorce is usually painful, preceded by years of dissatisfaction and unhappiness Research – people who go to college, belong to a religion, wait to get married, and have children have a much better chance of their marriage lasting. Working with co workers of opposite sex and working with people who are recently divorced, increase one’s risk of divorce Divorce and children


20 Family Violence Over 1/5 of all reported cases of aggravated assault involve domestic violence, however many episodes go unreported. Domestic violence involves children, spouses, siblings, and older people. As many as ½ of married women in the U.S. are victims of spousal violence. At least 4 million women are battered by their husbands annually. 4,000 women each year are beaten to death. 14% of married women are sexually attacked by their husbands every year. ¾ of spousal violence occurs during separation or after divorce.

21 Family Violence Alcohol and violence
The more people drink, the more likely they are to beat their spouse. The social heredity of violence Children learn from their parents that violence is a way to solve problems.

22 Family Resiliency Family resiliency – refers to the family’s capacity to emerge from crises as stronger and more resourceful. Families that flourish despite distress are resilient. Family friendly policy

23 Functionalist Theory of Families
- Stresses how family is related to other parts of society and how it contributes to the well-being of society Functions of the Family Economic production, socialization of children, care of sick and aged, recreation, sexual control, and reproduction.

24 Conflict Theory and Family
Draws attention to the struggles of scarce resources: Housework = time, energy, leisure “second shift” False consciousness Failure to recognize the state of one’s exploitation Power and the marital experience Today’s women are less dependent on mates. Conflict theorists stress that marriage and family patterns reflect historical struggles between men and women. Examines women’s oppression and how the family has been used to maintain male domination of females. The family perpetuates gender inequality

25 Symbolic Interaction and Family
An overloaded institution Symbolic interactionists examine what people expect out of marriage The love symbol: engulfment into unrealistic expectations Optional emotions have now become mandatory emotions Changing Ideas about Divorce Changing ideas about children Changing expectations of parenting Changing marital roles Society used to expect the husband to assume the role of breadwinner How each sex experiences marriage differently Ex. housework Relationships within the family are constantly being redefined.

26 Conservatives: Traditional Family Values
The family as the core of a society Source of problems stem from a break with traditional families Rising divorce and cohabitation; gay marriage “Me” generation Solution would be to go back to traditional family values

27 Liberals: Many Kinds of Families
Support variability in family form Poverty and domestic abuse are the biggest problems Increase support to families Child Care Higher minimum wage Pay women as much as men

28 Radicals: Replace the Family
Family is related to inequality Family is how property is passed on from one generation to the next Family is related to perpetuating inequality Perpetuates inequality based on sexual orientation

29 Looking Forward Is the nuclear family deteriorating?
Family Decline Perspective Family Change Perspective The nuclear family remains the most popular choice among Americans.

30 The Future of the Problem
Rapid social change as normative Change is so rapid and extensive that parents and children live in different worlds. Changes we can expect Age at first marriage will continue upward Cohabitation will continue to increase Marriage will become even more oriented around companionship Divorce rate may decline The ideological struggle


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