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Schneider and the American Family

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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 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. 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

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

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

16 Sternberg’s Types of Love, con’t
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.

17 Sternberg’s Types of Love, con’t
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

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