1 Chapter 13 - Chapter 13 Stepfamilies The Incomplete...

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Chapter 13 Stepfamilies The Incomplete Institution: Stepparents still a third party Limited rights and responsibilities when it comes to the children While they do help out in the family context, they have no legal need to do so Stepfamilies forced to create their own rules and shared meanings Figure out what is your child going to call you; how are you going to discipline them; need to come to an understanding about how your family is going to function Stepfamilies operate under different roles and norms o Roles : things you are responsible for doing within the family o Norms : society’s accepted rules for how we are supposed to behave in certain circumstances (socially acceptable way to do things) Members pulled by other networks Despite challenges, stepfamilies can be successful What is a Stepfamily? Stepfamily - a household in which: 1. Two adults are married or cohabiting 2. At least one of the adults has a child present from a prior marriage or relationship Cohabiting stepfamily vs. married stepfamily Co- relationship with a partner from a previous relationship but you do not marry Married- relationship with a partner from a previous relationship that you marry Cohabitating stepfamily is more recent Doing the Work of Kinship: Must consider not just who is present in the household but also who is investing time and effort into the stepfamily Kinship means seeing each other regularly, corresponding with each other, and/or giving or receiving help (maintaining relationships) Although easier between biological parents and children, it is not automatic between stepparents.
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