Lecture+11+-+Family - Changing Family Forms Lecture 11 What...

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Lecture 11 Changing Family Forms
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Generally : an institution is a recognized solution to a social problem. More specifically: an institution is an accepted group of interdependent roles, values, and norms that respond to important societal needs and that reproduce themselves over time. What Are Social Institutions?
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What makes the University of Michigan an institution? What Are Social Institutions?
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The University is made up of roles (e.g., Board of Trustees, alums, faculty, students) who share the same values and expectations that students should receive a world class education and a degree at graduation. What Are Social Institutions?
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Social Need Social Institution Socialization of new members Family, Education Addressing members’ health Medicine Selecting members for jobs Education, Labor Market Creating knowledge Science, Religion Exercising social control Law, Religion Defending against enemies Government, Military Producing and exchanging goods & services Economic system
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Institutions develop gradually and without planning. People try a range of solutions to solve any social problem and eventually some solutions are accepted as the “best” way to meet their needs. The solutions we choose are not always the most efficient but tend to be consistent with our social values and norms. What Are Social Institutions?
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Over time, the “best” solution becomes habitualized. Institutionalized behavior seems logical and natural and right, so the thought of solving the problem some other way seems illogical, unnatural, and wrong . What Are Social Institutions?
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Social institutions are very slow to change. E.g., gender roles in the family Institutions are interdependent: change in one social institution can cause changes in other institutions. E.g., women workers during WWII What Are Social Institutions?
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WWII disrupted popular notions of (middle-class, white ) women as too physically and emotionally fragile to work in the paid labor market. What Are Social Institutions?
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Women stepped in to take men’s places in factories when men went to war. Most were forced out of these jobs when men returned, but by then it became clear that women could work outside the home.
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As women have increasingly entered the labor force, new needs in the family were created. E.g,. child care, housework. What Are Social Institutions?
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Every human group in the world organizes its members in families, but cultures experience and define families very differently. Broad definition: A family consists of people who consider themselves related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
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