Unformatted text preview: Soc 120: Marriage and the Family
Lecture 25: Understanding Family Violence Family Policy & Social Policy Prof. Elwert Functional perspective says birth, marriage, adoption matter, but is not everything. Aditionally asks what people themselves consider to be true about their relationships. Common law marriage doctrine was a function definition (seems to be coming back in a different context of gay marriage and step families. Review Formal vs. Functional Definition of the Family Approaches to family law Allison vs. Virginia Conflict & Domestic Violence History Prevalence Numbers Measurement issues 1 Preview Conflict & Domestic Violence Risk factors Explanations & interpretative frameworks Family Policy & Social Policy The reach of family policy Welfare and welfare reform Domestic violence is more common among those that are poor, low education, and unemployed. Doesn't mean the upper class is immune (just less common). Upper middle class want to keep it out of the press. Cohabitating individuals are at a greater risk of experiencing violence from an intimate partner than divorce individuals and married individuals. Groups less likely to have domestic violence are those that are married. Younger people are at greater risk of victimization (less violence after 30). Intimate Partner Violence: Risk Factors Clear social gradients Domestic violence more frequent among: Poor, low income, low education, unemployed Cohabitation/divorced/remarried vs marriage Young males (<30) Drug & alcohol abuse Race/Ethnicity (Female lifetime victimization 30% Black, 25% white, 15% Asian) Obvious problem of selection vs causation Risk factor !cause E.g., evidence suggests that greater prevalence of violence in cohabitation vs marriage is due to selection of violent individuals into cohab and out of marriage Drug and alcohol abuse plays a part in violence. Cohabiting women are at much greater risk than married women. Those that are more prone to violence are more likely to cohabit than marry. Married couples that experience violence are more like to dissolve than cohabiting couples that experience violence (more likely to stay in cohabitation). 2 Social learning refers to individuals who witness violence, particularly within their own families growing up, are more likely to use violence in their own relationships when they grow (parent styles and class structure). Those that hit their spouse or partner more than likely to have experienced or watched that kind of abuse. The great majority of those who witness violence in their own family do not actually abuse their partner (just increases the risk). Agression-frustration is when one cannot attain a goal that they want to achieve. This makes them angry or frustrated and they need an outlet. Explanations Social learning Social & intergenerational transmission Note: not deterministic Aggression-frustration Anger displacement Social Exchange Rational actor model, calculated abuse Aligns with social gradients of abuse Medical model views violence as a disease and views the victim as the patient. Tries to intervene through mental health services (mediate abuser to improve impulse control). Political model focuses on social gradientsbetween classes and gneder (tool of power and control mostly of men over women). Official doctrine of coverture. How is this supported? Point out that the law, until recently, supported and legitimized certain acts of violence of men against women (marriage rape exemption). Social exchange perspective treats individuals as rational actor that relate in calculated abuse. Calculated abuse means that sometimes is fairly clear that violence doesn't happen in the rash of the moment. Often violence happens in a very cold and calculating matter. Rational actor weighs the pros and the cons (benefits and costs of actions). Benefit: releasing anger. Costs: person they beat up my leave or go to the police, but how likely is that? Look at social gradients of abuse. Those in a breadwinner-homemaker model are more like to be victimized than those in dual earnings models. Women's rights movement has invested in mechanism to enable women in depenedent relationships to leave that relationship (ex. women's shelters). Interpretative Frameworks Medical Model Focus on violence as illness, consequences Political Model Domestic violence as tool of power and control of men over women Supported, facilitated, legitimized by law (e.g. marriage rape exemption), customs (e.g. gender role expectations), social structure (e.g. economic power of men) Even though the law no longer legitimizes rape it still facilitates violence against women. Political model takes a social view on violence. These two models aren't contradictory. Be equally engaged or critical of these models. 3 Family policy: spousal and child abuse are family policy. Economic family policies: common misconception is that economic support for American families is the same thing as welfare for the dirt poor. Tax code benefits certain families, and these certain families are usually structured in male dominant households. Family Policy Broad set of laws and programs influencing family structure and behavior Family policy is much more than welfare Family policy sets frameworks for everybody E.g. marriage & divorce laws, contraception Programs do not only benefit the poor Also powerful (and expensive) programs primarily targeted at middle & upper class families E.g. tax policies: joint filing, child care deduction, mortgage deduction Family formation: defense of marriage act and state constitutional laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman. Common law marriage = the rights and obligations to individuals. Familly adoption: Strictly regulated and fairly hard to adopt because there are certain requirements that must be met (age, incest taboo, interracial marriage). Family dissolution: no-fault divorce legislation. The law liberalized divorce. Child support, alimony, andthing that involved the separation of property between married and unmarried and those with children and without children. Family Policy Domains Broadly differentiate between policies that affect Family formation Family dissolution Fertility Gender roles (Much overlap) Fertility: abortion regulations, incent, artificial insemination, statutory rape law, regulation on what health plans can or can't cover (can't cover reproductive treatments). Gender roles: anti-discrimination laws, letting a woman take maternity leave from her job (parental leave legislation), coverature, and tax laws. 4 Contraception: Has been around for a long time. Wasn't until the late 20th century that there was a spread of knowledge of concraceptives. The birth control pill had been around for a few years but a few states forbid the use of it. Granted the right to only married couples (because only married couples should be having sex to begin with). 1972, Baird gave birth control to unmarried couples. Birth control was available to minors in 1977. Abortion was largely illegal until 1973 (still happened but illegally). State Regulation of Fertility Fertility Contraception Increasingly tolerated since 1930s (Margaret Sanger) Griswold v CT 1965: birth control for married couples Eisenstadt v Baird 1972: birth control for unmarried couples Carey v Population Services 1977: birth control for minors Poor could not get an abortion and often led to dangerous procedures. Roe vs. Wade was a conditional right because one could not abort at any stage of pregnancy. Both the availability of contraceptives and abortion have lead to a decline in teenage birth rate. Abortion Roe v Wade 1973: (conditional) constitutional right to abortion Availability of contraception and abortion led to decline in teenage birth rate Welfare (1935-1996) Social Security Act (1935) Act primarily addressed at men Enshrines family wage system, Forces women out of federal employment Creates AFDC (Aid for families with dependent children) = "Welfare" Entitlement program No time limit on benefits First widows, later all poor families w/ children, in the end predominantly divorced/never married women w/ children First no work requirement (supporting family wage system, breadwinner/homemaker ideal), then gradually work requirements for recipients 5 Aid for Poor Families Today Welfare Reform 1996 PRWORA creates TANF to replace AFDC Block grant Must work w/in two years of receipt (significant blow to breadwinner/homemaker ideology) Caused massive reduction in welfare roles, increase in labor force participation of poor mothers, generally small increase in earnings 5 year lifetime limit on assistance Limits begin to take hold recent stop-gap extensions Earned income tax credit (EITC) Income subsidy for low earners (working poor) w/ children Costliest program for poor families, bigger than TANF Aid for Poor Families Today Notice ideological inconsistencies in incentives Tax code rewards breadwinner homemaker model PRWORA & EITC encourage mother's labor force participation => Different models for different classes! 6 Big Questions What family forms should the government encourage? Marriage ideal vs independence Should there be any interference? What gender roles should the government encourage Female labor force participation vs breadwinner/homemaker and motherhood 7 ...
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- Fall '09
- family policy, Family Violence Family