Chapter 2 - Lecture 2 Family relationships Studying the...

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Lecture 2 Family relationships Studying the familyWhy we should study the family?We are influenced by our own ideas of “normality” and what we are exposed to in culture (in our communities and through media). Misinformation can be dangerous.oFor example the measles outbreak oSpanking issue in the media Family life is complex. Research replicated, over-time, in different contexts can help simplify and provide understanding. oYou spank a kid so they stop doing what they are doing but you may not think about the consequences, for example more prone to violence, can act out in violence oSpanking has less consequences in African American families Why theory matters(1) What we don’t know can hurt us (2) theories and research help us understand ourselves and our families (3) they improve our ability to think more critically and make informed decisions in our own families Provides language and meaning for particular concepts (ex. Inequity, boundaries, costs/ rewards, life cycle, family transition, meaning-making)Increase our ability to think more criticallyTheory: Set of statements that explains why a phenomenon occursWhy are theories useful?oDrive researchoAnalyze findingsoOffer solutions for family problemsRisks of self help booksoEasy access not always correctoThreaten relationshipsoMake people feel worseoCan make things worse by reading wrong information oExaggerates reality or oversimplify complex problems oGives only one solution or generalize limited findings oReinforce gender stereotypesoDon’t have an ethical responsibilityTheoretical perspective on families1.Structural fucntional theoryMACRO how society’s interdependent parts work together to ensure its survival. They look at how fmailies contribute to a society’s stability and the relationships between family memebers and between families and other institutions such as education and religion Change is not seen as a good thing
Family affects and is affected by interrelated to other institutions such as law, politics, and economy. EX family tasks are best accomplished when spouses carry out two distinct and specialized types of rolesInstrumental and expressive Instrumentalroles are those that are carried out traditionally by the husband—i.e., the breadwinner.i.Assigned based on biological sex Expressiveroles are typically carried out by the mom and are about nurturingthe children.There are two kind of famly functions i.Manifestfunctions: Purposes and activities that are intended, recognized and clearly evidentii.Latentfunctions: Purposes and activities that are unintended and unrecognized, but aren’t immediately obvious1.A wedding for example; the contract for the partnership (manifest function) and the latent function is the belief the partnership will produce children, or that women is hands-offCritical evaluationThis overall perspective came under attack for being so

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