Presentation on theme: "Chapter Two – Approaches to Studying Individuals & Families HHS 4M Individuals and Families in a Diverse Society."— Presentation transcript:
1 Chapter Two – Approaches to Studying Individuals & Families HHS 4M Individuals and Families in a Diverse Society
2 Introduction Preconceptions About Individuals & Families in Canada Theoretical PerspectivesDevelopmental Theories
3 PreconceptionsExperiences that you have in your own families, the opinions they have formed from observing & discussing their friend’s families, and the families they have seen portrayed in the media will affect the perceptions they have of the subject.What are your preconceptions?
4 Theoretical Perspectives Four basic questions in Social Science:What happens?How does it happen?Why does it happen?How can people change what happens?
5 Theoretical Perspectives & Development Theories FunctionalismSystems TheorySymbolic InteractionismSocial Exchange TheoryConflict TheoryFeminist Theory
6 Key Terms in Theoretical Perspectives Disciplines: specific branches of learning (ex. Math, physics, psychology)Theory: a framework for organizing & explaining observable evidence. Without facts, a theory is just a speculation or a guess.Macro: large scale study of societyMicro: small scale study of individual casesAnthropology: study of cultureEthnocentrism: the tendency to evaluate behaviour from the point of view of your own cultureSociology: study of behaviour of individuals in groups, families and societyPsychology: study of behaviour based on mental process
7 Theoretical Perspective 1. Functionalism Functionalism: attempts to explain how a society is organized to perform its required functions effectively Also called Structural Functionalism – focus on structures’ function in societyOldest theoryStructures are called institutionsAssumes that society are stable when structures function in ways that benefit societyChange occurs slowly to maintain equilibrium
8 Theoretical Perspective 1. Functionalism Examines the roles that individuals play within an institutionGroups within society motivate individuals to actStatus is acquired when an individual takes a specific role in a groupIndividuals learn the appropriate behaviour through the process of socialization
9 Theoretical Perspective 1. Functionalism Functionalist observe the most prevalent behaviours as the normBehaviours that rarely occur are below the normUse a macro level of observationThe organization of society is based on a consensus about what is functional
10 Theoretical Perspective 1. Functionalism Main Ideas:Every society has an underlying structure - religious, political, economic, educational, & familialIn order for the society to survive, certain functions must be donePeople’s behaviour is governed by laws, regulations, and expectations which help to maintain a stable society
11 Theoretical Perspective 1. Functionalism - Example Family as an InstitutionThe family has a number of important functions in society:Provides for physical protection of its membersProvides for emotional well being of its membersSocialization of new members
12 Theoretical Perspective 1. Functionalism - Example Family StructureThe family is organized around three statuses:1. husband/father2. wife/mother3. childEach of these statuses carry a set of expectations concerning suitable behaviour so that it can function efficiently.
13 Theoretical Perspective 1. Functionalism - Example What This Means ?The husband/father has an active, doing role and is responsible for economic support of the family membersThe wife/mother has an expressive (emotional) role and is responsible for physical and emotional support of the family members This structure was thought to be functional for the family as well as for the industrialized society.
14 Theoretical Perspective Questions Asked by Structural Functionalists What is happening to the size of families in Canada?Is the number of single parent families increasing?Are there adequate day-care facilities?What effect does education have on incomes?
15 Theoretical Perspective Limitations / Criticisms Puts males & females into stereotyped roles regardless of individual differencesFamilies from different social classes, situations were completely ignoredInteractions within the family are also ignoredViewed change as negative & disruptive
16 Theoretical Perspective 2. Systems Theory Attempts to explain how groups of individuals interact as a systemA micro approachThe family is a social system because its members are INTERDEPENDENT. This means that the behaviour of one affects the restA system or subsystem must be studied within its context (i.e. married couple cannot be studied without the larger family context)
17 Theoretical Perspective 2. Systems Theory Organization of a SystemHierarchy refers to a descending order of size complexity, and power.Supersystem: the UniverseEcosystem: Neighbourhood, City, Province, Country, WorldSystem: The FamilySubsystem: Husband/Wife, Parent/Child, Siblings, the Individual.
18 Theoretical Perspective 2. Systems Theory Healthy Families have clear boundaries that are openly communicatedDysfunctional Families is the result of individual failure to fulfill role responsibilities, or of unrecognized roles
19 Theoretical Perspective 2. Systems Theory Think of the family as a scale or mobile. When one change occurs there is a temporary imbalance. Families strive for equilibrium or homeostasis, thus a new balance will be attempted to be found.During the strive for homeostasis each family member will react differently and each members reaction will in turn affect the system as a whole.
20 Theoretical Perspective 3. Symbolic Interactionism Psychological theory attempting to explain how individuals choose how they will act based on their perceptions of themselves & of othersEmphasizes the importance of relationship dynamics between and among family membersRole expectations are developed through these interactions
21 Theoretical Perspective 3. Symbolic Interactionism German sociologist Max Weber ( )Social sciences cannot be studied in the same way as the natural sciences - one simply examines data & draws conclusions from those facts The sociologist must try to get inside the mind of the people to find out what their motives are.American sociologist George Mead ( )Stressed that humans are able to interact & cooperate with each other because they share a common set of symbols – language. Without this common foundation socialization would not be possible.
22 Theoretical Perspective 3. Symbolic Interactionism Three Basic Concepts:Individual has two parts“me” – objective (tall, male, student)1. “I” – subjective awareness of self based on how feedback from others is interpreted2. People must be able to anticipate what the other person will do (role-taking). By anticipating others reactions, one can formulate their own behaviour3. Language is the means by which individuals give meaning to their experiences It is a useful micro theory for observing people within groups
23 Theoretical Perspective 3. Symbolic Interactionism Limitations:Because the researcher “interprets” what he/she sees & hears there is room for misreading the intent & meaning of the messageThis approach does not recognize the individual’s/family’s connection with the larger society Each situation is isolated & general conclusions cannot be assumed or applied
24 Theoretical Perspective 4. Social Exchange Theory Is another psychological theory that attempts to explain the social factors that influence how individuals interact within reciprocal relationships.Although individuals are constrained by role expectations, they act within each role to maximize the benefits they will receive and to minimize the cost to themselves.Basically, individuals interpret their experiences of self & others to determine the benefits & costs.These benefits & costs are not facts, but are perceptions formed by the individual
25 Theoretical Perspective 4. Social Exchange Theory CostsBenefitsCharlesNeeded to end relationship with Camilla Parker-BowlesDiana’s beauty, fertilityensures healthy & attractive heirPublic favourNoble blood, socialized for public lifeDiana(The costs were greater than the rewards!)Restrictions placed on her by the royal family Husbands affairWealth, luxurious lifestyle & opportunity to become queenProduce two sons
26 Theoretical Perspective 4. Social Exchange Theory Relationships are stable when the benefits that each individual received balance the costs of the relationshipBenefits – meet perceived need, physical or emotional security, access to goods & services & social approval- Costs – actions that meet the others needs, such as providing the list aboveSocial scientists use the social exchange theory to explain how individuals make decisions in relationships that might not make sense to othersSome people are offended by this theory since it assumes all individuals are motivated to serve their interests
27 5. Conflict TheoryConflict Theory is social and political theory that examines how power holds a society together.Conflict exist between groups because of inequalities in power – groups compete with each otherPower inequalities among family members can cause dysfunctionMacro level theory that basically explains inequalitiesIt is used to criticize, not explain society
28 Conflict Theory An example: - Proletariat – working people Karl Marx – describe the class system in 19th centuryBourgeoisie – wealthy, control means of production. Small group in society, but had massive amount of control- Proletariat – working peopleMarx predicted that the gap between the rich and working would widen.Many people believe that inequality is a natural state of human societyMarx believed that this inequality should be eliminated
29 Conflict Theory Another example: Friedrich Engels – the division between sexes in marriage not only paralleled the division between classes, but also were necessary to maintain class distinctions of capitalismMen wielded economic power within the household, which came from working for a wage.Wage was linked to capitalism. Capitalism will continue to create conflict.Therefore, in this example, conflict theory describes the relationship between men & women as one of exploitation & oppression.It analyses power & authority within the family
30 6. Feminist Theories Developed in the second half of the century Explained the impact of sex & gender on behaviourAlso, consider human behaviour from the specific view of women Root in conflict theory, but separate gender from classAndrocentricity – a bias that assumes male experience is human experience & therefore applies to women. Often doesn’t include gender in researchDouble Standard – are biases that apply a different standard for evaluating the behaviour of womenChange is required so that the needs of all people are met
31 6. Feminist TheoriesAttempt to explain social inequalities between men & women from a female perspectiveLiberal feminism – argues discriminatory policies force women into an inferior class, restricting their right to fully participate in society. They try to change policy through political meansSocialist feminism – challenges capitalism & the patriarchal model of the family. Inequality is rooted in the sexual division of paid & unpaid labourRadical feminism – male-female relationships can be explosive. A separate female culture could correct this
32 Developmental Theories Developmental theories attempt to describe patterns of growth & change throughout the human life spanChallenges that individuals experience are called development tasksThey describe predictable changes in the behaviour of individuals or familiesThey explain how a personal or family systems adapts in response to internal or external stimuli
33 Developmental Theories These theories examine biological, psychological, social & cultural factors that influence developmentThe Family Life Cycle demonstrates predictable stages, marked by normative events – such as marriage, birth of child, child leaves home, etc.At each stage, the family faces specific developmental tasks.Not all stages will fit all familiesNon-normative events create unique challenges