Lecture1 - Soc 120 Marriage and the Family Lecture 1...

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9/5/11 1 Soc 120: Marriage and the Family Lecture 1 Introduction Prof. Felix Elwert How ± s the American Family? • Well, it depends and what you want to emphasize, and how you want to evaluate it • In deep trouble • Male-breadwinner-female-homemaker family in decline, divorce, cohabitation, single parenthood, gay marriage • Hanging in there • Drastic change in past, recent slow down, e.g. divorce • Just fine, thank you • Marriage remains an ideal of almost all Americans, 90% marry eventually • High fertility (compared to Europe) • Much increased gender equality • Family adapts successfully to a changing world, e.g. cohabitation, gay marriage, female labor force participation [I thank Bert Adams for this intro]
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9/5/11 2 Message • The Family is changing – it always has. • This course: • Factual investigation, no value judgment – More on this distinction next lecture • We will ask: • How is the family changing? • Why is the family changing? • What consequences does this change have for individuals and for society? Class Discussion What defines a ± family ² ? (1) What kinds of groups of (2+)people would you call a ± family ² ? - Why? (2) What groups of (2+) people would you not consider a ± family ² ? - Why?
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9/5/11 3 Two Definitions of the Family (Cherlin, textbook) 1. Private Families 2. Public Families • Both definitions are valid—we are just defining words to draw attention to certain aspects of the world Private Families Definition: ± Two or more individuals who maintain an intimate relationship that they expect will last indefinitely - or in the case of a parent and child, until the child reaches adulthood--and who live in the same household and pool their incomes and household labor . ² (Five criteria—remember!)
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Lecture1 - Soc 120 Marriage and the Family Lecture 1...

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