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FAMILY, MARRIAGE

FAMILY, MARRIAGE

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FAMILY, MARRIAGE

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  1. FAMILY, MARRIAGE Issues in Family and Marriage

  2. Conflicting Definitions of “Family” • 1. “family as a group” (which performs “functions” for the society) • 2. “family as a network of relatives (by blood, marriage, adoption) who are mutually obligated to each other”

  3. Text book follows a current view: • Traditional= nuclear family of residence (where husband/father is the breadwinner, wife/mother is stay at home, no other relatives living with this family) • New and non-traditional=dual earner, step family, blended family, single parent family, non-married couples, same sex couples, “singlehood”

  4. Other sociologists would object: • Need to distinguish between an ideal family type and the empirical family type • Ideal=cultural preferences specific to a society • Empirical=the patterns that actually exist in a society

  5. In addition, • Calling the nuclear family “traditional” is inaccurate • Need to distinguish between the historical sequence of family types, and, • Distinguish between the institutional and companionate (companionship) family types

  6. American family type—19th C • “family” the same as “household”? • “family” the same as “the marriage”? • Family was “male-headed” • Similar to European “stem-family”?

  7. Variations In Family and Marriage • Family of Orientation (Origin)vs. Procreation • Nuclear, Extended • Descent: patrilineal, matrilineal, bilineal (bilateral)

  8. Variations: Residence • Where is the newly-married couple expected to live? • 1. Patrilocal=near groom’s family • 2. Matrilocal=near bride’s family • 3. Bilocal=either bride’s or groom’s family • 4. Neo-local=neither (new, independent household)

  9. Variations: Authority • Patriarchy=rule by eldest male • Matriarchy=(does this really exist for a society, as an ideal..may be an empirical type) • Equalitarian authority or “companionship” family type (companionate) • *Note: may be departures from the ideal with patriarchy or male headed

  10. Variations: Forms of marriage • Monogamy • Polygamy: 1. Polygyny=one man married to a number of women • 2. Polyandry=one woman married to a number of men (extremely rare. Husbands may be brothers)

  11. Variations: Mate Selection • 1. By capture • 2. By arrangement (parents with aid of matchmakers, relatives) • (bride price or dowry) • 3. Free choice

  12. Variations: issues in mate selection • Exogamy • Endogamy • Homogamy • Matching vs complementary needs

  13. Institutional vs. Companionate • Institutional: marriage exists for some “purpose” (creating offspring, maintaining family economic status or family line etc_ • Companionate: affection of partners is only reason behind marriage

  14. Permanent Availability Model • “always available” • Source of instability • Consumer culture?

  15. Marriage as lifetime commitment: • Strong marriage de-emphasizes descent issues • In era of weak marriages, descent line emphasized

  16. Marriage & family in USA • Leveling off of divorce rate • Most marry at some point • 2/3rds claim happy • Changes: employed mothers (dual earner households)