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Chapter Seven Marriage and the Family. Today’s Statistics Until the late 20 th century, having a child “out of wedlock” was relatively rare in the U.S.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter Seven Marriage and the Family. Today’s Statistics Until the late 20 th century, having a child “out of wedlock” was relatively rare in the U.S."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter Seven Marriage and the Family

2 Today’s Statistics Until the late 20 th century, having a child “out of wedlock” was relatively rare in the U.S. and was shameful. By contrast, in 2007 nearly 40 percent of babies born in the U.S. were delivered by unwed mothers. – 1.7 million out-of-wedlock births of 4.3 million total births

3 Naturalistic View of Marriage and the Family Natural: Both quintessentially modern and traditional at the same time. It was natural for a man and woman to be bound permanently to each other through sexual love; natural to have children; natural to remain married; natural to have families consisting only of themselves and their children.

4 Naturalistic View (cont.) Statistics show (see page 209) that these models were not typical. For example: – In 1970, there were just over 500,000 unmarried heterosexual couples living together in the U.S. By 1980, the figure tripled; by 1990, the figure it doubled again. – In 1960, 75 percent of all households consisted of married couples (more than half contained children). By 2000, only 53 percent consistent of married couples (only a quarter of which contained children).

5 Naturalistic View (cont.) By a ratio of three to one, people surveyed in a 1990 Newsweek magazine poll defined the family as “a group of people who love and care for each other” rather than, as in earlier times, “a group of people related by blood, marriage, or adoption” (Stacey 1996:9).

6 Micro-Institutions Micro-Institutions: Institutions that structure socialization and the affectual life. These institutions tend to be personal and private; they relate to our sense of personal security and shape the satisfaction we find in our personal interactions.

7 Functionalism Functionalism: An analytical perspective that views society as a system composed of various interdependent parts, such as actors, institutions, and the state. These parts have particular functions to serve within society and are assumed to work together with a tendency toward stability.

8 Modern to Postmodern Society Gendered Division of Labor: The differing ways that work and responsibility are divided up in the family between husband and wife (outside of the home vs. domestic work). Rates: The number of times a particular phenomenon takes place in a specific period of time.

9 Figure 7.1 Median Age at First Marriage by Sex

10 Figure 7.2 Median Age at First Marriage

11 The Marriage Squeeze The Marriage Squeeze (or the Marriage Crunch/Marriage Gap) refers to the restricted supply of available partners that results when a woman chooses to delay marriage. Because cultural norms suggest that women should not marry younger men and men have a tendency to marry younger women, women who marry later may be caught in a “squeeze,” limiting their choices as they grow older.

12 Figure 7.3 The Increase in Divorce Rates

13 Contracts Contracts: Binding relationships, often regulated or enforced by law, that specify and negotiate particular behaviors. Marriage is a type of contract. For many, it is a contract between a man and a woman that is legally binding and lifelong. Some today want the marriage contract to be revised to include “various types” of relationships.

14 Transformation of Marriage Refers to postmodern efforts to denaturalize marriage and redefine the nature of the marriage contract. The movement in favor of gay marriage in the U.S. is perhaps the clearest example of this transformation.

15 Denaturalization Denaturalization: The process by which something assumed to be normal, universal, and accepted is challenged or modified and thus no longer seems obvious or natural. – Example: The definition of a “relationship” between two people has changed.

16 Nuclear vs. Extended Families Nuclear: Family organization usually consisting of a husband, wife, and children who are their offspring. Extended: Family organization combining several generations and a variety of different kinship relations under one roof.

17 Consanguineal vs. Conjugal Nuclear Families Consanguineal: Family organization that includes the conjugal nuclear family as well as a larger kinship network. Conjugal nuclear: Family organization that emphasizes the marital bond and the nuclear family.

18 Family Units vs. Family Systems Terms introduced by William J. Goode (1963, 1976, 1993) that highlight the differences between traditional and modern families. After examining divorce rates, Goode suggested that rising divorce rates may represent a “sifting device,” whereby the society in question makes greater use of an already established social procedure to “tame” disruptions in other parts of the social system.

19 Family Unit/System cont’d Family Unit: Refers to the modern understanding of the family as a self- sustaining group. Family System: Refers to the traditional understanding of the family as an interdependent group of individuals who work together as a micro-social system.

20 Effects of Industrialization on Conjugal Nuclear Families With industrialization, economic production began to take place in specialized institutions whose market- related, instrumental relationships were fundamentally incompatible with family ties. Family relations became separated from work and community, even as they became more emotionally intense.

21 Gender Inequality at Home Increasing individuality and the length/complexity of socialization was caused as a result of industrialization. However, autonomy was restricted between male and female roles.

22 Gender Inequality (cont.) In the home-centered agricultural production of more traditional societies, women had been able to play important economic roles. After the early years of industrialization, women were relegated to the home, which had changed to a place for homemaking.

23 Gender Inequality Autonomy was gained, yet men continued to dominate women and gender became even more sharply differentiated. Patriarchy: The organization of the family around father-rule; the organization of society around the idea of male dominance. It played an important role in creating serious strain on autonomy for women who were tied to child- rearing and to permanent and unbreakable connections through marriage.

24 Feminist Criticisms In 1963, Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique. It triggered modern feminism, which promoted women’s equality and ending sexist practices while observing how gender and gender inequality are employed and enforced in society. Friedan attributed frustration of middle-class women to male subjugation and their isolation from the public sphere.

25 The Degendering of Social Life In 1940, only 14 percent of wives were in the workplace. In 1980, slightly more than 50 percent were employed. Today, 80 percent of married women under 35 years of age hold jobs. The rise of modern feminism can be attributed to the change in these statistics, creating an increase in women’s workforce participation.

26 Figure 7.4 Labor Force Participation Rates of U.S. Married Women with Children

27 The Denaturalization of Reproduction Reproductive Technology: Technological developments, ranging from contraception to artificial insemination, that have allowed sex to be entirely separated from child-bearing.

28 The Conservative Backlash Due to the dramatic changes in defining the family, relationships, and labor autonomy, many critics say that there has become a loss of family values: – The supposed postmodern phenomenon whereby the family is breaking down and its significance is declining.

29 Study Questions What does it mean to have a “naturalistic” approach toward marriage and the family? What are the limitations of this view? How did modern sociology define marriage and the family? Why were they viewed as highly evolved adaptations to the demands of modern life?

30 Study Questions What four trends in marriage statistics in the last three decades have posed a major challenge to the naturalistic view of marriage? What is the difference between the consanguineal family and the conjugal nuclear family? What terms did William J. Goode introduce to make a similar distinction?

31 Study Questions What is the advantage of the consanguineal family? How did modernization, in terms of both its values and the transformation of economic production, contribute to the decline of the consanguineal family?

32 Study Questions In what ways did industrialization transform gender relations and the economic role of women? What is meant by the “degendering” of social life? What other related processes are transforming and denaturalizing the family in postmodern society? What are some of the effects or results of these processes?

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