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Unformatted text preview: Soc 120: Marriage and the Family
Lecture 17: Children and Parents Prof. Elwert Power: Always some sort of conflict of interest in any kind of relationship. The question is who gets to do what they want and who gets to compromise. One sometimes chooses because they hold the power (money, mobility, etc). The exertion of power doesn't require threats all the time. The losing spouse will remember the fight and won't fight this again.
Authority: The ability to get ones will in a way thats considered legitimate by the other. Self Reinforcing Mechanisms: Extremes in the division of labor that divide over time. Ex. the woman does the cooking and the husband feels she gets better and better overtime so therefore the woman is the only one who cooks.
Married couples think that the spouse has first dibs on the others time. Care work and housework are drastically underpaid Review Care work and housework 2 kinds of work Who does what? Second shift Understanding gender division of household labor how are hours divided among different tasks Power & authority Self-reinforcing mechanisms Strategies of coming to terms with inequality Second Shift: If men work full time in the labor force, thats the work they do. But if women work in the labor force, they come home and work a second shift in the home. Came about in the 1980s. On average, men and women work the same amount of hours today. Joey's Problems: Nancy and Evan Holt began where they could both work for pay and profit in the labor force. After they had kids, he demanded her to work more, but she liked the work. SHE WAS IMPLICITLY OKAY WITH INEQUALITY. The gender division of inequality has't changed but the coming to terms with it has. Nancy came to a different understanding of authority relationships. They divided the house, one did up one did downstairs. He did downstairs. He had to clean the room in which he hangs and where the dog is. She did the cooking, cleaning, and joeys room which was upstairs. Family myths 1 Preview Parents and Children Socialization Parenting styles Baumrind: educational styles Fathers Lareau: educational styles by class, intergenerational transmission of social status MacLanahan: parental resources by education Parent roles: Childrearing(parents provide material support, emotional support, and control) and elder care Role of Parents Childrearing is one central task of the parents endow their children with skills and provide them with resources that they public family need to succeed in the world (life chances of the next generation) Material support, emotional support, control Parental circumstances and parenting powerfully shape life chances of next generation intergenerational transmission of class position Challenges popular rhetoric of autonomy and personal responsibility, and equal opportunity different families endow their children with different starting positions based on class position 2 Socialization Socialization involves parents, peers, media Two stages of socialization: Primary socialization: birth until pre adolescence (age 12) Learning norms, attitudes, behaviors that enable Learn the language of the culture membership of a culture Secondary socialization: Begins during adolescence and continues into people's 20s Learning how to function in particular groups within education is a large part; learn how to interact with upper middle class society (e.g. profession) Ongoing process Reinforced throughout life Teach people how to integrate themselves Parenting Styles
Differentiate parenting styles along dimensions of emotional support and exercise of control (Baumrind 1971)
1. Authoritative: high emotional support, consistent control that is reasoned moderate control not the kids best friend (clear diff. between a kid and child) 2. Permissive: emotional support, little control sets few to no boundaries, kids run wild 3. Authoritarian: low support, coercive (unreasoned) control low emotional support, forced control, instead of reasoning and
explaining with a child, the parent just says "you will do because I say so!" 3 Parenting Styles Authoritative often preferred, though Research shows that authoritarian is NOT research not strongest... beneficial for children Authoritarian and discordant (i.e. conflicting) styles thought harmful
Authoritative parenting is most effective in educating well adjusted children Group differences.
Protestants don't fit into the 3 parenting styles because they put great emphasis on paternal authority. Fathers give emotional support. Race/ethnicity African American parents are more authoritarian than white parents. This difference goes away once we control for class position. On average, Religion physical location where blacks grow up are more dangerous. Race and class differences (later slides) Fathers Fathers tend to relate somewhat differently to children ( active play ) than mothers though much more variation today Fathers emphasize active play, mothers emphasize life skills Historically, fathers were breadwinners Today, can be involved in direct care, nurturing, engaging in activities, sharing responsibility for arranging care, etc. Fathers influence is often indirect Income, supporting the mother emotionally, providing united front to the child re discipline, etc. Fathers matter, but may matter less than mothers Fathers matter less Big differences between resident and non-resident fathers Less time spent with child theres been an increase in amount of time Doesn t mean that fathers couldn t matter more fathers spend with children 4 When a father is resident, there is likely to be more resources Evidence about Resident Fathers
Economic resources: Hard to isolate the effects of fathers money per se, but we do know that two-parent families have much higher average incomes than one-parent families ($89k versus $29k in 2006) Economic resources account for about half of gap in child outcomes by family structure
(McLanahan & Sandefur 1994) Evidence about Resident Fathers (cont.)
Parenting/involvement: Much of the research has focused on middle-income samples and school-aged children and adolescents Greater father-child interaction linked to lower behavioral problems and delinquency and higher cognitive ability, education and psych. wellbeing No discernable differences by child age or race/ ethnicity But, many studies not very analytically sophisticated (e.g., one point in time) Fathers matter across the board, but don't differentiate by child age, race, or ethnicity 5 Evidence about Non-Resident Fathers Early studies focused on divorced fathers; more recent work includes unmarried fathers Economic resources (child support): Unmarried fathers pay less support than divorced fathers; but informal support more common among unmarried fathers at least early on Child support payments associated with better child outcomes, especially academic achievement and less externalizing behavior problems kids who have unmarried nonresident fathers are disadvantaged greatly Evidence about Non-Res. Fathers (cont.)
Parenting/involvement: Evidence more limited and less consistent than for resident fathers No effects of frequency of contact or visitation, regardless of race, child gender Positive/authoritative parenting and closeness do seem to promote child and adolescent wellbeing 6 Parental Influence on Childrens' Class Position
1. Lareau: Parenting styles differ by class 2. MacLanahan: Parental resources differ by parent education Annette Lareau Interested in: How social stratification affects life chances, starting during childhood and adolescence How class structure gets reproduced Finds big differences in parenting by social class (but not by race) 7 Family Life Intersects with Other Institutions
For example: Families attend churches/synagogues Children are sent off to school Parents work in organizations Families share leisure together by attending organized events Points of Intersection Vary by Social Class
For example: Certain Mainline Protestant denominations religion separates people by social (Episcopalian, Presbyterian) attended by the class upper-middle class Children of the elite attend private prep where to send child to school is most important decision parent has to make schools Blue-collar vs. white collar jobs form responsible parents try to communicate values of their job to parents' sense of what's important in life their children Leisure time spent watching NASCAR versus going to the symphony diff ways to spend free time 8 Lareau: Families Differ in Childrearing Practices Ethnographic study that followed a total of 12 White and Black families with children in third or fourth grade Collected data via: Observations of parents and children in their homes Interviews with parents Observations in school classrooms Different sets of cultural repertoires: Natural Growth Concerted Cultivation Working-Class Parenting = Natural Growth Parents work hard to feed, clothe and protect their children But they also presume that children will spontaneously grow and thrive Children spend much of their nonschool time in unstructured play Are given independence in school and other institutions 9 Middle-Class Parenting = Concerted Cultivation Parents see their children as a project They seek to actively develop their talents, opinions, and skills through organized activities Reasoning and language development are important Close supervision of their experiences in school Organization of Daily Life Natural Growth: Kids hang out with peers or kin Energetic, boisterous play is fine Concerted Cultivation: Kids involved in many leisure activities that are orchestrated and overseen by adults Self-restraint is rewarded 10 Different Views of the Relationship between Childhood and Adulthood Differences partly the product of occupational differences between workingclass and middle-class parents Working-class parents: Adult work is not liberating or self-expressive, but often deadening One is most fully him/herself away from work, with family Childhood is a time to be free of life s burdens not to prepare for them! Different Views of the Relationship between Childhood and Adulthood Middle-class parents: Work is challenging, rewarding and intellectually stimulating Childhood seen as a training ground for self-actualization as one becomes an adult Emphasis on training for creative careers 11 Language Use NG: Parents use directives Don t do that! Child: Why not? Parent: Because I said so! CC: Child encouraged to pursue reasoning behind parent s directives Much bargaining between parent and child over constrained choice Interventions in Institutions NG: Dependence on institutions, but sense of powerlessness against authority Conflict between practices at school and at home (structured vs. unstructured) CC: Criticisms and interventions on behalf of child Example: PTA involvement, or parents advocate for child in parent-teacher conference Child learns by example to adopt these roles 12 Consequences NG: Child s emerging sense of constraint when confronting social institutions; alienation CC: Child s emerging sense of empowerment and entitlement Learns how to see opportunities within institutional structures to get what he or she wants or to make change Differences in childrearing practices lead to the transmission of social class across generations Parental Influence on Childrens' Class Position
1. Lareau: Parenting styles differ by class 2. MacLanahan: Parental resources differ by parent education 13 14 15 16 How Do Children in Same-Sex Families Fare? Limited research--problems include: Defining and measuring sexual orientation Lack of reliable data on the number and location of same-sex parents with children in the general population. Most of what we do know is not based on representative samples (strong middle-class, white bias) Small Samples Selection (highly motivated, highly educated) Yet, existing evidence suggests no major differences in child outcomes or in children s sexual orientation (except more open attitudes re gender) between same- and opposite-sex parents 17 ...
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- Fall '09