Sociology Topic Two

Sociology Topic Two - Sociology Topic Two: History of the...

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Sociology Topic Two: History of the American Family The Origins of the Family and Kinship Some of the earliest kinship groups – clans, tribes. People who part of tribe traced selves through either mother or father, but not both – developed kinship groups lineages; served function to limit number of persons related that were in debt to share resources with. Marry someone outside of lineage and bring back to fathers home. Groups insured survival, maintained order in family. Defended against other tribes, provided labor at harvest times. In most societies today, kinship groups are much smaller units. Larger kinship groups are relatively weak – extended family. Blended families, stem families, all through conjugal family unit (nuclear family). Nuclear family is result of rising prosperity – can afford to separate ourselves from larger groups. *For insured survival and to provide resources. Mexican families rely on extended families for support when in crisis and in financial need. Chinese families – 3 different kinds. Split-home families – men came to America to work and fulfill production aspect of family and sent money (remittances) home to families. Modes of Production Most families produced, reproduced, and consumed. Produced much of goods – clothing, other goods and services they used; produced like family enterprise. Bore and raised children. Consumed food, firewood, and other essentials as a unit. Kinds of families are following familial mode of production. Being replaced by labor market mode of production. Moving to this production separates family and production. Once a unified unit becomes two separate things. This separation becomes important to development of current form of family. Begins to erode the authority of the father in the household. The American Family before the American Revolution (1776) 1. American Indians: The Tribe Were not conjugal units, were tribes based on a lineage system – both matrilineage and patrilineage 2. African American Slave Family 3. The European Colonists: The Public Family Conjugal family was central. Public Family because provided many services and public goods to the community that today are produced by other institutions (education all done in home, health care was done by those with special skills – no hospitals, criminals were housed with upright families - no prisons, if parents died children adopted into other homes - no orphanages).
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Family’s private role was much smaller. Our privacy was not possible in colonial families. Very little opportunity for intimacy among spouses. All common living spaces. Some say family was not separate from society. The larger colony was much more involved in the family than they are today. Rightful head of conjugal family was the father.
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Sociology Topic Two - Sociology Topic Two: History of the...

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