Presentation on theme: "Part One American Family I.The Nature of Familiy II.Changing Family Structure and Patterns III.Child-related Family Issues IV. Family Problems V. Family."— Presentation transcript:
Part One American Family I.The Nature of Familiy II.Changing Family Structure and Patterns III.Child-related Family Issues IV. Family Problems V. Family Values VI. The Future of the Family
I. The Nature of Families Traditional Definition: a group of people who are related to one another by bonds of blood, marriage, or adoption and who live together, form an economic unit, and bear and raise children.
Modified Definition: relationships in which people live together with commitment, form an economic unit and care for the young, and consider the group critical to their identity.
II. Family Structure and Patterns Traditional Family Structure: 1. Kinship: the basis of the traditional family structure, a social network of people based on common ancestry, marriage or adoption.
2. Extended family: a family unit composed of relatives in addition to parents and children who live in the same household.
3. Nuclear family: a family unit composed of one or two parents and their dependent children who live apart from other relatives.
The Changing American Family Structure Only 26% of households in the US consist of two parents and their children.
30% are married couples without children. 8% are single parents and their children.
11% are unmarried couples and others living together. In 25% of the households, there is someone living alone.
Diverse Patterns of Contemporary Families and Intimate Relationships 1. Singlehood: 42 million adults in the United States who have never been married.
Some people choose singlehood over marriage because it means greater freedom from commitments to another person.
Other reasons: more career opportunities, the availability of sexual partners without marriage, the belief that the single lifestyle is full of excitement, and the desire for self- sufficiency and freedom to change and experiment.
2. Postponing Marriage Many young people today are remaining single into their late twenties. The median age for men to get married is 26.7 years, and for women is 24.5 years.
Why are more people postponing first marriage? economic uncertainty due to changing job structure in the U.S. women's increasing participation in the labor force
the sexual revolution of the 1970s that made sexual relationships outside marriage more socially acceptable
the rising divorce rate----young people watching their parents divorce may be less anxious to jump into marriage themselves.
3. Cohabitation: it is two unmarried adults living together in a sexual relationship without being legally cohabit as "unmarried couple households"
For some, cohabitation is a form of trial marriage, constituting an intermediate stage between dating and marriage. However, this is not necessarily a first step toward marriage.
Cohabitation is illegal in America since 1805 when the anti-cohabitation statute was passed by the legislature. ----“If any man and woman, not being married to each other, shall lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed and cohabitate together, they shall be guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail.”
figures In 2000: 6,000,000 couples are currently cohabitating In the U.S., 40% are raising children at home. Each year more than one-third of all American children are born out of wedlock. Laws against cohabitation: Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia & West Virginia
Disadvantages about cohabitation: Detrimental impact on children Domestic abuse Less security& well-being Future instability in relationships
Does cohabitation contribute to marital success? Some studies show that cohabitation has little or no effect on marital adjustment, emotional closeness, satisfaction and intimacy.
But other studies indicate that couples who cohabit are more likely to divorce than those who do not.
4. Dual-Earner Marriages It refers to marriages in which both spouses are in the labor force. Over 50% of all marriages in the U.S. belong to this category.
Couples with more egalitarian ideas about women's and men's roles tend to share more equally in food preparation, housework, and childcare.
5. Egalitarian Family A family in which the partners share power and authority equally.
A trend toward more egalitarian relationship in the U.S. as some women gained new educational and employment opportunities
6. Two-Parent and One-Parent Households When the mother and father in a two- parent household truly share parenting, children have the benefit of two primary caregivers. However, living in a two-parent family does not guarantee children a happy childhood.
Children whose parents argue constantly, are alcoholics, or abuse them have a worse family experience than do children in a single-parent family where there is a supportive environment.
How prevalent are one-parent households? The past two decades have seen a significant increase in one-parent households due to divorce, death of a parent, and births outside marriage.
In 1970, about 12% of all children lived with one parent; by 1995, 27% did. Today, 88% of one-parent families are headed by single mothers.
The effect of one-parent household on children poor academic achievement, high dropout rates, more drug and alcohol abuse, and higher rates of teen pregnancy, early marriage, and divorce.
They are often less pressured to conform to rigid gender roles. Rather, they take on a wider variety of tasks and activities.
They show high levels of maturity and self-sufficiency earlier because they have to help out at a younger age than children in other families.
7. Step families (blended families) They consist of mothers, their biological children, and stepfathers. Because women usually win custody of children in divorce cases, 90% of stepchildren live with their biological mothers and stepfathers.
Given the high rates of divorce and remarriage stepfamilies reach some 7.3 million and account for 16% of all married couples with children under age 18.
The happiness of stepfamilies depends largely on how well the stepfather gets along with the children.
The presence of stepchildren has been a major reason why second marriages fail at a higher rate than first marriages.
8. Gay and Lesbian Marriages Same-sex couples now number over 1.6 million in the United States. Gay marriages have recently been approved in only a few countries such as Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
In theUS, gay couples do not have the same legal protections and financial benefits as "straight " couples, such as tax exemptions and deductions or social security survivor's benefits.
In 1993, the Supreme Court of Hawaii ruled that the ban on same sex marriages violates the state constitution's ban against sex discrimination. the first state in the US to legalize gay marriages.
Gay couples are far more egalitarian in their relationship than heterosexual couples, for gay partners have been socialized to the same gender role
Upper, Middle, and Working-Class Families Putting families in the class context shall provide us a structural dimension in looking at different families in the United States.
1. Upper-Class Families members of the upper class in the US receive a distinct education from infancy through young adulthood.
Upper-class families tend to be endogamous, that is, children are encouraged to marry someone of their own social class.
the most frequent occupations of men of the upper class are business and finance.
Since upper-class families are at the top of the social hierarchy in American society, they do not aspire to be upwardly mobile.
2. Middle-Class Families People in middle-class families in the US tend to work in service occupations with other people. Their occupations focus on the manipulation of ideas and symbols that require creativity.
parents have a strong desire for their children to have a better life than they have experienced. Consequently, they emphasize education as the means for upward social mobility.
middle-class families are geographically mobile. They are frequently asked to move when their company needs them to work at another site.
As more middle-class-family women work outside the home, middle-class families are becoming more committed to equality of the sexes.
3. Working-Class Families Stable working-class families participate in production, reproduction, and consumption by sending out their labor power in exchange for wages.
Working-class families in the US are usually nuclear, and many studies seem to indicate that working-class couples marry for love, not for money.
they have jobs that require less skill than middle-class jobs, that have less room for independent judgment, and that leave them with little freedom.
Working-class families typically hold to the traditional notions of gender in marital roles. A higher degree of gender segregation exists within the family.
Because of their limited resources in capital and skills, working-class families are not as geographically mobile. They tend to live close to their kin and form an extensive network of mutual help.
Working-class people place less emphasis on upward social mobility and the importance of achieving immediate goals such as attending college.
III. Child-Related Family Issues 1. Abortion Today, many U.S. women spend about 90% of their fertile years trying to avoid pregnancy. By 1900, most states had enacted laws forbidding abortion.
Abortion is a solution for some pregnant women and their families but a problem for others, particularly when they face religious or family opposition to their decision.
2. Teen Pregnancy and Unmarried Motherhood The teenage birth rate remains high in the U. S.. The number of births among unmarried teenaged females has jumped from about 22 to 45 per 1,000 in the last two decades.
Despite the myth that most births to unmarried teenagers occur in the central cities of large urban areas, the greatest member of teen births occur in the South and in less urbanized areas.
It is widely believed that teens from minority racial and ethnic groups are more likely to be unwed mothers, but the majority of teen births occur among white teenagers.
Family support is extremely important to unmarried pregnant teens because spouse support is often lacking.
Children of unwed teenage mothers tend to have severely limited educational and employment opportunities and a high likelihood of living in poverty.
IV. Family Problems 1. Divorce and Remarriage Divorce is the legal process of dissolving a marriage that allows former spouses to remarry if they so choose.
Why do divorce occur? Getting married during the teenage years. Getting married after only a short acquaintanceship.
Having relatives and friends disapprove of the marriage. Having limited economic resources and earning low wages.
Both partners having a high school education or less.
Having parents who were divorced or who had unhappy marriages. Having children present at the beginning of the marriage.
These factors are interrelated with such factors as class, race, and age. In more than 40% of all marriages, either the bride, the groom, or both have previously been married.
Blended family It consists of a husband and a wife, children from previous marriages, and children (if any) from the new marriage.
Binuclear families refer to families in which the children live with one biological parent and a stepparent part of the time but with the other biological parent and another stepparent the rest of the time.
2. Violence It is estimated that about 12 million wives are beaten by their husbands and that somewhere between 1 and 2 million children are abused every year in the U S.
Violence Between Husband and Wife Researchers estimate that it actually occurs in some form in about one of every two marriages.
Many victims find that the police are reluctant to be of much help. First, most police officers are male, and tend to hold a traditional view of gender roles. Second, many victims drop the charges against their attackers.
Child Abuse According to one estimate, 14 percent of American children are severely beaten by their parents each year.
Traditionally, severe physical punishment was considered essential to the learning process.
Abused children are much more likely to come from single-parent homes and large families. The lower the parents' social and economic status, the more they tended to abuse their children.
Child abuse can be psychological as well as physical. Countless parents cause severe emotional damage to their children without being physically violent.
3. Work and Family Inequality The ideas about the proper role of wives and husbands have been undergoing some remarkable changes.
How fairly are the family burdens divided? In general, men work more hours outside the home and perform automobile and home repairs and other heavy household tasks. Women tend to work fewer hours outside the home but generally do most of the work that needs to be done around the house.
V. Family Values Traditional Values: Respecting one's parents Being responsible for one's actions Having faith in God
Respecting authority Married to the same person for life Leaving the world in better shape
A Blend of Traditional and Newer Values Giving emotional support to other members of the family Respecting people for themselves
Developing greater skill in communicating one's feelings Respecting one's children Living up one's potential as an individual
VI. The Future of Families ----Is Family Going to Die?
In 1949 Carle Zimmerman concluded that "We must look upon the present confusion of family values as the beginning of violent breaking up of a system."
Today, many continue to predict the demise of the family pointing out as evidence the increase in divorce, out-of-wedlock births, cohabitation, and singlehood.
Many traditional families have merely changed into two-career families, which still hang together as nuclear families rather than disintegrate.
Despite the increased number of people staying single, an over- whelming majority of those who now live alone will eventually marry.
Although divorce rates have doubled over the last two decades, three out of four divorced people remarry. Most of the young adults who live together before marriage will also marry eventually.
According to a recent survey, 60% of married individuals said "very happy", 36% said "pretty happy", and only 3% said "not too happy".
2. What will families be like in future? As American society becomes more diversified (or rather more fragmented), families in the US will manifest diversity without destroying the basic family values.
Research shows that the vast majority of young people in the U. S. still value marriage, parenthood and family life, and plan to marry, have children, and be successful in marriage.
Part Two Old Age I. Causes for an Aging Society II. Problems of the Elderly III. Solutions to These Problems
I. The Causes of an Aging Society 1. Continued Low Fertility Rate Until the 20th century high fertility and high mortality kept the U.S. a youthful nation. However, during this century, the birth rate has fallen.
2. Ever-greater Life Expectancy Rate Greater longevity because of advances in medical technology has increased the life expectancy of Americans. The average life expectancy in 1900 was 49 years, and in 1990 it was 75.6 years.
3. The Baby Boom Generation Reaching Old Age The baby boom generation refers to the 75 million people born from 1946 to This generation will reach old age, beginning in 2011 and ending in 2030.
II. Problems of the Elderly The plight of the aged has recently come to be regarded as a major social problem in theUS. In a sense, the elderly (sixty-five and over) are a "newly-discovered" minority group.
1. Health One of the severest problems of the aged is that of declining health and of how to pay for the needed medical treatment.
Although the elderly represent only 10% of the total population, they represent a third of hospital populations and consume a quarter of the drugs prescribed each year.
Many elderly people have trouble getting the care and treatment they need for their ailments. Most hospitals do not have the facilities or personnel to treat the chronic degenerative diseases of the elderly.
And even with the help of Medicare, the elderly in the United States often have a difficult time paying for the health care they need.
2. Physical and Psychological Abuse Elder abuse involves psychological as well as physical violence. Actually, psychological threats, verbal attacks, and social humiliation are probably more common than outright violence.
Many elderly persons are also financially victimized by their caregivers; some caregivers intimidate them into turning over their savings or pension checks; others simply take their property without permission.
3. Financial Problem Poverty among the elderly is higher than it is for those in their middle years, especially among widows and members of the minority groups. Medical bills increase, and as the elderly grow more feeble, they must hire others to do many of the chores.
One source for these financial problems is that as people grow older, they are less likely to be employed.
Another problem arises from technological changes that may suddenly make the skills that older workers have acquired over a lifetime obsolete.
Retired men and women receive income from a variety of sources, including pensions, Social Security, and personal savings. Only a minority of the elderly receive any pension at all.
4. Housing Housing for the elderly often lacks proper heating. Those who are physically handicapped or disabled also need wheelchair ramps, elevators, and other special facilities.
Even owning a home is not easy for many elderly people. There may be mortgage payments to meet, and rising taxes and insurance premiums must also be paid.
Almost a quarter of all Americans over age of 84 live in nursing homes. Most of these institutions are profit- making businesses.
5. Problems of Transition The three most significant personal transitions that the elderly must face are retirement, the loss of friends and loved ones, and their own death.
III. Solutions to These Problems 1. Social Security It is the only source of income for about half of the retired people and a major source of income for 80 % of the elderly in U.S..
Social Security has reduced poverty significantly among the elderly (from 35.2% in 1959 to 10.8% in 1996).
Social Security also provides life insurance benefits to the survivors in case of the death of a breadwinner and disability payments when a wage earner is unable to work.
2. Health Care Of all age groups. the elderly are the most affected by ill health. Health problems occur especially from age 75 onward, as the degenerative processes of aging accelerate.
Although the elderly make up 13 % of the population in 1998, they consume more than one-third of all health care in the U.S..
3. Medicare and Medicaid With the advent of Medicare in 1965, persons 65 and older experienced improved access to medical care and hospitalization.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for the aging that is divided into two basic components: Part A, hospital insurance, and Part B, supplemental medical insurance.
Part A pays for hospital care and for restricted amounts of skilled nursing care and home health care.
Part B covers physician services, hospital outpatient services, additional home health care, diagnostic laboratory and X-ray services, and so on.
The Medicaid program, enacted by Congress in 1965, represented a major expansion in federal contributions to the states for the provision of health care to needy persons of all ages.
Individuals whose income and assets are below a designated level established by the federal government are eligible for Medicaid.
4. Older Americans Act The Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965 and its Comprehensive Service Amendments of 1973 and 1978 represent an attempt to establish a system of coordinated social services for elderly citizens.