Lecture Notes (3-26-09) - Marriage in a Postmodern World...

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Marriage in a Postmodern World “Married people live longer than unmarried people. At least it seems longer.” – Kenneth C.W. Kammemeyer Family in a changing society “Marriage is a great institution. But I’m not ready for an institution.” –Mae West “We speak of families—as if we know what families are.” –R.D. Laing What in your mind constitutes a family? Examples? (Nuclear family, people you live with, etc.) Commitment BIG deal—many people are choosing not to get married—Big trend of cohabitating or remaining single. Why do we want to look at families at all in Sociology Sociologists—study social institutions—to see how—different things like— schools, the media, religion—shape who we are and what we do The family is ONE of those institutions—probably one of the MOST common and widespread of them in fact. What is a family? Families started by sperm donation… Teen mothers Gay/lesbian parents… “Blended or step families… Divorced families… Interracial families… Polygamous families… Among others… Hegemony and family
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President Jimmy Carter in 1971 had a conference…called The White House Conference on the Family Liberals vs. Conservatives—battle to define the family What Burgess and Locke say a family is—from 1953: A group of persons united by ties of marriage, blood, or adoption; constituting a single household; interacting and communicating with each other in their respective social roles (husband and wife, mother and father, brother and sister).
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