Presentation on theme: "Sociology 101 Chapter 11 Marriage & Family. Introduction Cultural factors play a major role in how marriage is defined and how it functions How we define."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction Cultural factors play a major role in how marriage is defined and how it functions How we define the family has implications for policy –A standard definition is “a universal human institution in a small kinship-structured group with the key function of nurturant socialization of the newborn 3 theories help us understand the family better
Functionalism Sexual Regulation Four Functions of Families Four Functions of Families Socialization Economic Support Psychological & Emotional Support
Percentage of Married Women in the U.S. Labor Force, 1890-1992 Year Percent 5 10 20 30 40 50 190019401950196019701980191019201930 19101990 1992 60
Conflict/Feminist Perspective Women dominated by men in the home –Men do less housework then women Women are expected to put in a “second shift” Men do about 10 hours per week, women about 20 hours –But women still do about 80% of the female dominated jobs –Question: Why do women accept this unequal participation? Fader (1985) says: They often criticize their husband's work (he doesn't fold the laundry correctly) “Women expect men to read their mind” Many mothers won’t relinquish their role as the primary parent
Symbolic Interactionism Focus on how a person interprets their situation –Men do less housework when: (1) they are laid off, and (2) they make less than their wife. Why….? A man feels his masculinity is threatened. He views himself as having failed in his role as primary provider Avoiding housework allows him to reclaim his masculinity and retain “dignity”
The Family: Weaker or Stronger Today? Question: is the family weaker or stronger today than in the past? Why? Stark points out how families were structured in traditional European families. –Female-headed households were common –Children viewed as “little adults” & often neglected Babies who died were discarded in garbage pits and gutters Often left home by age 10 –Strained relations between husband and wife Opinion polls in the 1950's showed that 20% reported their marriages as "unhappy." and another 20% reported only "medium happiness."
Marriage, Children, & Happiness Married people are, on the average, happier & healthier During the 60's researchers noted that mothers often developed the "empty nest" syndrome During the 70's however, they found that a U ‑ shaped curve existed between a couple's marital happiness and the parental responsibilities –Couples reported happiness before children were born, happiness plummets when children are born, and then happiness goes up when they leave.
Choosing a Mate Question: What effect has modernization had on marriage? –Marriages shifted from arranged and/or based on economic alliances to individual choice based on love and romance Question: What are you looking for in a mate? Social factors play a huge role in who you choose: –Age (women, on average, marry a man 2 years older than herself) –Education –Social class –Race (94% choose someone of their own race) –Religion
Thus, we tend to marry people who are like us, a phenomenon social scientists call “homogamy” Question: Why is this? Because of spatial nearness (networks): we tend to meet & fall in love with people we meet at: –church –work –school
Facts About Divorce & Extramarital Affairs Most people who get divorced report that the marriage ceased to provide emotional satisfaction The divorce rate is higher today than ever before, but: –People are less likely to remain in marriages today than in the past Divorce laws are much less restrictive Women have gained more economic independence from men So who is at risk? What are some of the factors that contribute to divorce?
Factors Affecting Divorce Age at Marriage Parental Divorce Premarital Childbearing Education Cohabitation Before Marriage Bad Behavior Six Factors Affecting the Likelihood of Divorce
Gender and Extramarital Sex Men Yes No 24% 76% Women 14% 86% Total 19% 81% 100% Percentage of Men and Women Reporting Extramarital Affairs
How to Build a Successful Marriage Happily married couples typically cite three reasons for an enduring and happy marriage –Their spouse is their best friend –They see marriage as a long term commitment and thus attempt to avoid serious conflict –They try to spend as much time together as possible