03 Theories & Methods of Family Research - part 1

03 Theories & Methods of Family Research - part 1 -...

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Theories & Methods of Family Research Part 1
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Definition of a Theory What is a theory? A theory is a set of general principles or concepts, plus the interrelationships that are thought to exist among the concepts, that are used to explain data and to make predictions that may be empirically tested.
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Functions of theories? Organize information Describe & explain phenomenon: way of viewing reality. Generate testable hypotheses Guide research question Make predictions
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Theory - Parts Object of study Set of assumptions (not testable) Hypotheses (testable) Proposed explanation made on basis of reasoning or little evidence, starting point Methodology
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Terminology Interchangeable terms Theories Theoretical Perspectives Theoretical Approaches Theoretical Frameworks
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Family Theories What are the theories & perspectives used Focus Example
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Structural-Functional Theory Sees the family as a social institution that performs certain essential functions for society.
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Structural-Functional Theory Focus Relationship between family & social institutions Contribution of family functions to society 3 Family functions 1. Raise children responsibly 2. Provide economic support 3. Give emotional security
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Structural-Functional Theory Example: Cross-cultural studies of how families provide emotional support for children. (getting them ready for formal school)
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Structural-Functional Theory Strengths Reciprocity Family essential Limitations Biased towards 1950s traditional family Ignores social inequalities
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Feminist Perspective Michael Johnson’s preferred definition of feminism You’re a feminist if you believe that
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course HDF 304 taught by Professor Gray during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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03 Theories & Methods of Family Research - part 1 -...

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