Changing Families and Relationships in the US. Lecture 2 Family Sociology
Changing Families & Relationships in the U.S. How have families changed over time Families have become more private spheres How have the functions performed by families changed? Social institutions have developed that perform the functions previously carried out by families In sum, modern families perform fewer functions than families of the past
Changing Families and Relationships in the U.S. • Are families in decline or adapting to long term trends? • Myths about the past lead to emphasis on decline • Sociologist, Andrew Cherlin, argues the breadwinner/homemaker family of the 1950s faded quickly
History of Families in the U.S. • Images of the “good old days” are largely myths (Coontz, 2000) • Taking a historic, long term approach leads to adaptation conclusion • Don’t make comparisons to the 1950s!
Changing Families and Relationships in the U.S. Carrie Samantha Miranda Charlotte
Article by Hymowitz • According to the article by Hymowitz, “The New Girl Order,” the “Sex and the City” lifestyle, is going global. • What three demographic changes are at the core of this lifestyle shift? • First, women—especially, but not only, in the developed world—are getting married and having children considerably later than ever before.
Article by Hymowitz • What three demographic changes are at the core of this lifestyle shift? • Second, young people, particularly women, are enrolling in colleges and universities at unprecedented rates. • Between 1960 and 2000, the percentages of women age 20 -25, enrolled in school more than doubled in the U.S. • Third, urbanization -- women more likely to live on their own in cities after finishing school and before getting married.
The Sex & the City Lifestyle • MANY women are • getting a college education • moving to urban areas and • starting a career BEFORE marriage • This leads to women postponing marriage, getting married at an older age and having sex prior to marriage
What percent of women in Age 30 – 34 are not married? • A: 7 % • B 15% • 22% • Answer 22%
Women are postponing marriage • More women attending and graduating from college • Pursuing careers before marrying • Cohabiting before marriage
Women are Postponing Marriage • What is the average age that women and men marry today • A: 23 and 24 • B: 25 and 27 • C: 26 and 28
In 2011 the average age men marry is 28 and women 26 http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/hh-fam/tabMS-2.pdf
Changing Demographic Trends & Families in the U.S. • More women are pursuing a college education • Today women are more likely to graduate from college than men • Research published in the journal DEMOGRAPHY, 2006 • http://www.jstor.org/stable/4137230
Why are women postponing marriage? • What percentage of Americans over age 25 have a college degree? • A: 25 % • B: 40% • C: 55%
Why are women postponing marriage? • What percentage of Americans over age 25 have a college degree? • Only 25% • Women are more likely to graduate from college than men • Data like these can be found on the U.S. Census website www.census.gov • Click American Fact Finder
Changing Demographic Trends & Families in the U.S. • Single and married women’s labor force participation rates have increased • This leads to postponing marriage • Watch this clip of Sex & the City http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyuCwCN78lA
Changing Demographic Trends & Families in the U.S. • Lessened economic dependence of women on men • Decline in homemaker role • Movement of women into the labor market (esp. married, middle-class mothers) • Remember – women were more economically dependent on marriage in the 1950s than 50 years BEFORE – when everyone worked on farms or in factories
Changing Demographic Trends & Families in the U.S. • What type of women (married, single, mothers) have the highest labor force participation rate? --- are most likely to be in paid work force? • A: Single, never married women • B: Married women • C: Divorced/Separated/Remarried women • Hint: Since 1960s we have witnessed the greatest movement of women into the labor market (esp. married, middle-class mothers)
Changing Demographic Trends & Families in the U.S. • Of all married women with children ages 6 and over, what percentage are working for pay • A: 55% • 64 % • 76 %
Labor Force Participation Rates of Married Women with Children by Age of Youngest Child, 1975 - 2008 • http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2010/ted_20100507.htm
Changing Demographic Trends & Families in the U.S. • In 2008: • 63.6 percent of mothers with younger children -- under age 6 were in the labor force • 77.5 percent of mothers with older children -- ages 6 – 17 were in the labor force • Unmarried mothers are more likely to work than married mothers (76% unmarried, 69% married mothers are employed) In general women are more independent financially – thus less dependent on marriage Source: http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2010/ted_20100507.htm
Changing Families & Relationships in the U.S. Summary 1) Always take a “long view” when looking at family trends • Don’t just compare today to the 1950s 2) Men and especially women are postponing marriage 3) Women are concentrating on finishing college and starting a career BEFORE marriage 4) And once women DO marry and have children they are more likely to stay in the labor force than in the past In sum, married mothers have high rates of labor force participation