Sociological Trends, Concepts, and Theories in the Study of the Family Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Sociological Trends, Concepts, and Theories in the Study of the Family Deck (30):

What is a step family?

stepfamilies are families in which at least one of the children in the household is from a previous relationship of one of the parents;

OR a cohabiting or legal union of two adults with at least one member bringing a child or children from previous relationships


What are blended families?

the marital union of two people at least one of whom was previously in a marriage or marriage-like union and is also a parent. A blended family is created when one parent of an established family marries or cohabits with another such partner, and all their children are considered members of the new family (involves two people with previous kids)


What are transnational families?

also known as satellite families/kids --> includes immigrant families and foreign domestic workers, and separation from their children or spouses due to work (temporary)


What is Delayed Child Launch/Boomerang children?

the term given to adult children who return to the "empty nest" alone or with a family, subsequently cluttering it again; young adults, particularly men are more likely to return for financial assistance and/or instrumental support (assistance w/ meals and cleaning and child care)


What are bi-nuclear families?

a family consisting of children and their parents who live in two households, usually following a divorce

children often go back and forth between the house


What are extended families?

also called multigenerational household --> a family in which two or more generations (like grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) share a household


What are the 2 main census family types to have the highest percentage of change from 2001-2011?

common law/cohabiting increased;

male lone parent-families increased


what are the three important legal changes in Canada according to their date that had ramifications in the way families are structured?

1. 1968 --> Divorce Act; women had access to divorce
2. 1985 --> Divorce act was fine tuned
3. 2005 --> same sex marriage became legal


What is a 'household'?

a set of related and unrelated individuals who share a dwelling


what is 'kinship'?

kinship systems establish relationships between individuals and groups on the model of biological relationships between parents and children, between siblings and between marital partners


what is 'kin'?

kin are your relatives through "blood" (biologically), and marriage (i.e cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, parents etc.)


How is family a form of practice? what does it mean by saying 'doing family'?

family is a form of social practice and something one does, and helps us transcend/surpass heteronormative (heterosexual being the norm), patriarchal (male centred), and Eurocentric; and its learned behaviour through genetics, family history, friendships etc..


Describe the theory of Functionalism?

proposed by Talcott Parsons --> assumes that society is a living organism or machine, made up of serious interrelated parts working together for the good of the whole
- most conservative definitions of family is based on this theory
- looks at change as being bad and says that any alterations to family life is deemed deviant
- this was developed in the 50s and 60s where nuclear families were the norm


What are the limitations of Functionalism

- often tautological/repetitive in application
- highly Eurocentric
- cannot account for social change because 'all change is deviant'


Describe Marxism?

- proposed by Friedrich Engels
- private property and accumulation of this property int he hands of.male patriarchs is the source of familial inequality
- therefore, said inequality within the family is NOT NATURAL or inevitable and that change is a normal part of social life
- historical materialism: looks at causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans produce the necessities of life collectively
inequality is not considered devaint


what are some limitations to marxism?

- assumes conflict and contradiction
- can struggle to account of causes and effects outside of socio-economic (i.e. race, gender, ability)


Describe Symbolic Interactionism theory?

- society is built from individuals and their immediate interactions
- if you want to understand social life in general and family life in particular, you should examine how individuals construct meaning through their daily interactions with others


What are some limitations to symbolic interactionism?

1. struggles to account for large scale sociological, psychological and biological factors
2. overly individualized and ahistorical 'lacks historical context or perspective'


What is the Exchange theory?

Focuses on understanding balance between the costs and rewards that marital partners obtain when choosing to be and remain within a conjugal relationship


what are some limitations of exchange theory?

1. assumes that human agents are rational actors with no personal history -> that humans just add everything up all the time in their heads and act according to how numbers add up
2. almost useless outside of micro interacts


What is the Family Systems Theory?

theory that families are closed systems of interactions or site of interacting personalities

interactions between individuals and their micro (family environment), mesh (school), eco (parents workplace), macro *customs, clues, laws of a culture)


what are some limitations with family systems theories?

1. focus on homeostasis which means its often working to prevent change that probably should happen - says family looks at everything from a systematic level
2. its a model - based on brofenbrenner and not really a theory
3. confuse the system for the "thing"


What are developmental theories?

- mainly psychologically based
- families influenced by developmental stages/life cycles
- life-course develops these theories sociological implications


what are limitations of developmental theories

- its a psychological study therefore makes use of a different object of study
- it struggles to account for sociological phenomena, especially those related to race, gender and class
- it is heteronormative and exclusionary


What are feminist theories?

- when theory meets activism
- "private" matters are worth study and in need of change


What are the 4 types of feminism?

1. liberal --> equality before the law
2. marxist --> SES equality for females
3. Radical --> tear apart entire system of gender and rebuild
4. post-structural --> power from below i.e. wearing heels to seem more assertive and authoritative
5. post-colonial -> feminism in terms of inequality with the colonization process


what is queer theory?

queer theory is focuses on the mismatch between gender, sex and desire


what are some limitations for feminist theory?

1. some feminist theories struggle to account for additional forms of systematic inequality
2. early forms of feminism were associated with some rather questionable movements, such as eugenics and prohibition
3. activism can comprise research


what are the seven biases in theorizing about the family?

1. monolithic --> under represents diversity in family forms
2. conservative --> only provide view of nuclear family; change is considered bad
3. sexist --> assumption of natural division between sexes
4. ageist --> families consist of two middle aged adults and excludes children
5. micro-structural --> treats families as encapsulated units and ignores extraneous/external factors
6. racist --> ignored families of non-euro/white cultures
7. heterosexist --> treated heterosexual family as "natural" and denied gay and lesbian families

not all theories consisted of all of these but these were the top that was presented in some theories


What are definitions of the two biases mentioned in class (classist and Ableist)?

1. Classist --> assumes that families are always middle class, excluding both the poor and wealthy from analysis
2. Ableist --> assumes that all family members are able bodied