4-19 - The Family Overview The Family: Basic Concepts...

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Unformatted text preview: The Family Overview The Family: Basic Concepts Changes in Family Patterns in the U.S. The Family: Basic Concepts The most basic social institution Dominant modes of social organization designed to meet society's basic needs Serves critical functions of reproduction and socialization Tremendous variation across cultures Continually evolving within our own culture The Family: Basic Concepts Family: two or more people living together, related by blood, marriage, or adoption Household: one or more people who occupy a house, apartment, or other residential unit Most households in U.S. are maintained by families The Family: Basic Concepts Nuclear Family: parents and unmarried children living together The nucleus or core upon which larger family groups are built Extended Family: living arrangement where other relatives live the same household as parents and their children Changes in Family Patterns Important Trends in U.S. Declining share of Americans living in families Declining share living in married couple families with kids in particular Increasing share living other family types and nonfamily arrangements Changes in Family Patterns Factors Related to Declining Share of MarriedCouple Families with Kids Rise in divorce Declining fertility within marriage Many choosing to delay or forgo marriage Changes in Family Patterns Rise in SingleParent Families Most singleparent families are headed by women Driven by rise in divorce during the 1960s and 1970s Increasingly the path to single parenthood bypasses marriage In 2000, 40% of single mothers had never been married Changes in Family Patterns Rise in SingleParent Families Most single moms and their kids are not poor, BUT do face greater odds of being poor compared to other family types A central focus of the national debate on poverty and welfare Changes in Family Patterns Delaying or Forgoing Marriage More people postponing entry into first marriages or choosing not to marry at all Remaining single is a clear departure from traditional social expectations Trend related to changing norms and economic change Changes in Family Patterns Cohabitation Many couples are choosing to cohabitate Living together without marrying Motivations for cohabitation vary Changes in Family Patterns Why is the U.S. Family Changing? Changing NORMS Changing gender roles and increasing economic independence for women Greater acceptance of divorce, cohabitation, and sex outside marriage Greater acceptance of nontraditional living arrangements and lifestyles Changes in Family Patterns Why is the U.S. Family Changing? A changing ECONOMY Economic restructuring Deteriorating economic position of men, especially the less educated Marriageable men hypothesis Increasing benefits of a college education Changes in Family Patterns Trends suggest the pace of change in the structure of the American family has slowed Overall In the 1990s... Little change in proportion of twoparent and single mother families Divorce rate in slight decline Cohabitation has slowed ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course SOCL 2001 taught by Professor Mecom during the Spring '07 term at LSU.

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