Chap 13 (Family) - Chapter 13 The Family What is family...

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Chapter 13 The Family
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What is “family?” Reasonable to approach from a functionalist perspective: A small kinship structured group with the key function of nurturant socialization of the newborn. Kinship not necessarily biological – socially defined connections Functions and structure very different across cultures E.g., Atlas of World Cultures is data set of non- industrialized cultures
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Variations in Family Life in Premodern Societies Men may have multiple wives 77 Easy for a man to divorce his wife 75 Couple has privacy when sleeping 28 Grooms are much older than their brides 70 Couples spend much leisure time together 27 Nuclear family is typical 29
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Breakdown of the family? Compared to when? What is you measure of “breakdown?” History of the family not always a pretty history High infant and child mortality Children leave home and work at early ages Parents often indifferent - Abuse and neglect common Marriage typically an economic arrangement Good mothering is an invention of modernization
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In the “Modern Family” Marriage is about choice, and “cupid’s arrow,” finding happiness This kind of marriage a product of modernization and industrialization This is a good thing, right? Research on novelty and attraction Idealizing romance or sexual attraction probably related to increase in divorce
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Couples marrying later, waiting longer to have kids Family size dropping – 2 most often response to “ideal” question – mean is between 2 and 3 Children = strain in marriage – marital happiness highest before and after kids 60%+ of American mothers employed outside the home Preschool and daycare more common Egalitarian relationships more common (but still not
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Chap 13 (Family) - Chapter 13 The Family What is family...

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