WebCT+Families+Lecture+#1

WebCT+Families+Lecture+#1 - The Contemporary American...

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Knowing and Serving Families The Contemporary American Family
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What is a family? The U.S. Bureau of the Census (2000) defines a family as two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption who reside in the same household. This is a legal definition , relying solely on relationships determined by blood or contract. The sociological definition of a family is concerned with the way that a family functions. The family is the most common social group among the world’s people.
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Population Count The 2000 U. S. A. census surprised the demographers with the increase in population. The projection for 2000 had been 275 million people; however, the census identified 281,421,906 people living in the United States in 2000. In July 2001, there were 284,796,887 people living in America, and increase of over 3 million people in one year! The number of children (under the age of 18) in the United States in 2000 was 72,293,812. Berger, 2004, page 93.
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Current Demographics Married couples with children made up 25% of households. People living alone made up 25% of households. 51% of families had no children under 18 living at home. The average was 2.65 people per household. Only 1 out of every 10 households had 5 or more people. 12.1 million families were maintained by women with no husband present. 3.2 million families were maintained by men with no wife present. Four out of five households were in metropolitan areas.
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Roles of Families Families do two important things for children: 1. Protect them from a range of harmful influences. 2. Prepare them to function within their culture and society, called enculturation by anthropologists. What has changed is not the function of the family, but rather the nature of the dangers and the character of the society in which parents must prepare their children.
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Roles of Parents The first function of a family is to nurture and supply nutrition, protection, and shelter. Parents socialize their children to follow the norms of society in accordance with the parents’ cultural beliefs (enculturation). Families provide interaction, love, and support. The family has a right to rear the child as it sees fit and a responsibility to see that the child receives adequate care.
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Today’s Families Most parents and caregivers have extensive knowledge about their world and how to operate within society and evaluate their surroundings. Parents should pass on: Social Skills (ex. negotiating in playing games & taking turns) Hidden Rules Homemaking Skills/Household Repair Skills Family orientated experiences to enrich their children’s emotional and academic progress. Barbour & Barbour, 2001.
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WebCT+Families+Lecture+#1 - The Contemporary American...

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