Review Sheet – Sociology 344: Exam # 1
Perspectives on the Family:
What is a family?
: a unit made up of two or more people who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption
and who live together, form an economic unit, and bear and raise children.
Excludes people who don’t exclusively fit into this category (
ex. Single parents, gay and
lesbian couples with/without children, cohabiting families, etc.
census bureau defines A
-- consists of the two or
more people living together who are related through marriage, birth, or adoption.
include people who live alone or with non-relatives
(roommates, boarders, or cohabitants).
an intimate environment in which two or more people
1) live together in a committed relationship
2) see their identity as importantly attached to a group
3) share close emotional ties and functions
An intimate environment in which a group of people function as family, that is, they
behave towards each other as family by
1) caring for each other
2) supporting each other in need
3) sharing financial and work resources
Sociological Factors Impacting Marriages and Families:
Family as socially constructed and historically changing.
: Family experiences are shaped by groups and institutions of society.
: The social relations in which families are embedded are the product of power
systems and hierarchies.
: Family experiences vary substantially across gender, race/ethnic, and class
groups in society.
: Family outcomes are constructed through social structure and human agency.
Macro Influences on Marriage and Family:
Economic forces, technology, demographic changes, political conditions, religious
culture, popular culture, social movement, family policies, social movements
how the traditional view of the family has changed over time
Singles make up one of the fastest growing groups
the number of cohabitants has climbed
the percentage of people living alone has grown considerably
the number of divorces has increased throughout the years
stepfamilies are becoming much more common