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Presentation on theme: "HOW DO SOCIOLOGISTS LOOK AT MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY??"— Presentation transcript:


2 WHAT IS A FAMILY?? Every human group in the world organizes its members in families, but the world’s cultures display so much variety that the term family is difficult to define….

3 WHAT IS A FAMILY?? For the purposes of our examination a family will be defined initially as “a social institution that unites people in cooperative groups to oversee the bearing and raising of children”

4 Additional terms Family unit: a social group of two or more people related by blood, marriage or adoption who usually live together

5 Additional terms Kinship: a social bond based on blood, marriage or adoption; all societies have families but who people call their kin has varied through history and varies from one culture to another

6 Additional terms Extended family: family unit that includes parents and children as well as other kin-also called the “consanguine family” because it includes everyone with “shared blood”

7 Additional terms Nuclear family: family unit composed of one or two parents and their children-also called the “conjugal family” meaning “based on marriage”

8 What is Marriage????? In this country and in many areas around the world, families form around marriage

9 What is Marriage????? Marriage: a legal relationship usually involving economic cooperation as well as sexual activity and childbearing, that people expect to last

10 Different ways of looking at marriage Today, some people object to defining only married couples and children as families because it endorses a single standard of behavior as moral

11 Different ways of looking at marriage Because some businesses and government entities still use conventional definitions, people who are unmarried but are committed partners of same or opposite sex are excluded from certain benefits

12 The family is a social institution When stable sets of statuses, roles groups and organizations form, they provide the foundation for addressing fundamental societal needs. These enduring patterns of social life are called “social institutions”.

13 The family is a social institution Sociologists typically think of institutions as the building blocks that organize society. They are the patterned ways of solving the problems and meeting the requirements of a particular society.

14 The family is a social institution Key social institutions include the family, education, economics, politics, law and religion as well as health care, the military and the mass media.

15 New definitions of families Another definition of family that can be used is “those sharing economic property, sexual access among the adults and a sense of commitment among members…………..”

16 Theoretical Analysis of the Family Functional Analysis Conflict Analysis Symbolic Interactionist Analysis

17 The structural-functional analysis of the family All societies must have a way of replacing their members and reproduction is essential to the survival of human society as a whole. The following are some of the specific functions of family:

18 socialization The family is the first and most important setting for child-rearing. Ideally, parents help children become will-integrated and contributing members of society; family socialization continues throughout the life cycle and is not a one way street…


20 Sexual relations among adults are regulated

21 Social placement Families are not needed for people to reproduce, but they help maintain social organization ; parents pass on their own social identity in terms of ethnicity, religion and class to their children

22 Social-conflict analysis focuses on ways the family perpetuates social inequality Property and inheritance- families concentrate wealth and reproduce the class structure in each new generation

23 patriarchy

24 Race and ethnicity

25 Symbolic Interactionist analysis Symbolic interactionist approach Social exchange approach/ Exchange theory

26 Symbolic Interactionist theory Explains how individuals learn their particular behavior patterns and ways of thinking Social construction of reality The definition of a situation

27 Exchange Theory Suggests that we evaluate the costs and rewards of engaging in interaction

28 Exchange Theory Patterns in the family are reinforced to the extent that exchanges are beneficial to members; when costs outweigh rewards, the relationship is unlikely to continue


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