Sociology 352: Sociology of Families by WvrQZsN


									Sociology 352: Sociology of Families
Spring 2009
Prof. J. Brines
1st Exam Study Outline (Exam date: Monday, April 20)
April 15, 2009

Ideas, Terms, Trends You Should Know:

I. Myths and Realities about Families in the U.S. and W. Europe:

Examples of “family myths”

Actual Family Patterns (from lecture and section exercise #1)

       Before Industrialization (pre- 1800)

II. The Demographic Transition

       Description of the model
       Crude birth rate
       Crude death rate
       Rate of replacement
       Stages of the model, and reasons for high/low death rates or birth rates
       Roles of industrialization, urbanization, spread of literacy
       Where (i.e., in which countries) did the transition first occur?
       W. European countries below replacement today
       Countries that have not yet completed the transition.

III. Contemporary Family Patterns

Legacies of the Demographic Transition in the U.S.

       Age pyramids
       Consequences of Population aging and increased life expectancy for family

       Age at marriage
       Stay at home “moms” vs. “dads”
       Living arrangements; consequences for intergenerational family relations
       The 1950s as an “aberration”

          Roles of contraceptive technology, economic cycles, war in shaping 20th century

IV. Dating and Courtship

          Consequences of greater longevity for dating, relationships in one’s 20s.

                  Role of Parental Influence
                  Changes/variation in this role due to industrialization

                 Courtship and Dating

                         Two phases of courtship
                         End of courtship and Rise of Dating: 1900- 1960
                                Class differences in early 20th century dating practices
                                (working vs. middle classes)

                         1960s: Mass Higher Education and In Loco Parentis

Summary: Dating becomes more informal as it becomes less tied to marriage and social
control over premarital sexuality.

V. Interracial Dating and Marriage

          Prevalence; race/ethnic differences in prevalence and in who does it
          Institutions that structure interracial dating opportunities
          Do parental attitudes matter?

       History of U.S. law
       Rates of interracial marriage by race/ethnicity

VI. Attraction, Love, Dating and Mating

          A stage model of relationships

                 Attraction and Initiation
                 Intimate Self Disclosure
                 Mutual Dependency and Need Fulfillment

                 “Fatal attractions”

Romantic Love

       Webster’s definition
       Common descriptions

Biochemistry of Romantic Love

       Early-stage romantic love is a cross-cultural phenomenon

       “Falling in love” associated with feelings of euphoria, anxiety, and
       obsession over the love object.

The Amygdala: Emotional Memory Center of the Brain

       Role in storing emotional memories, regulating anxiety, and motivation-
       reward response

       Reaction of amygdala and promixate regions of the brain in the presence
       of the beloved

       “Falling in love”: a drive or an emotion?

       Gender Similarities and Differences in “love” brain patterns

       Changes in “Love” Brain Chemistry over time

Why do Fools Fall in Love? An Evolutionary Perspective

       Sociobiological view of women’s and men’s mate selection strategies.

       Gender differences in type of “reproductive investment”

       Mate preference implications

       What the data show

The Most Highly Ranked Characteristics in a Romantic Partner (from Section
Exercise #2)

       Gender similarities and differences in the top characteristics

              Patterns consistent with an evolutionary perspective?

       What provokes romantic jealousy in women? In men?

                     Patterns consistent with an evolutionary perspective?

VII. Cohabitation: A New Family Form?

      Percent of all households with couples that contain heterosexual cohabitors, same-
      sex cohabitors, and married couples.

      Percent of all women expected to live with an opposite-sex partner at least once
      during adulthood.

      How often do heterosexual cohabitors end up getting married? Splitting up?

      Variations by race, ethnicity and age.

VIII. Same-sex cohabitation

      Methodological Issues
      Prevalence of cohabitation among gay men and lesbians
      Similarities to and differences from straight marriage and cohabitation:
             Relationship formation; stages of relationship development
             Economic organization
             Power; resource theory
             Sexuality; sexual exclusivity
             Relationship stability

IX. Childbearing

      Childbirth in the 1800s
      Rates of Maternal Death over the past century

      Trends in Fertility in the U.S. since 1900

             Key “peaks” and “valleys”

             Changes since the 1960s
             Trends since the early 1980s

      Theories of Fertility Change (post 1960)

             Microeconomic theory
                   Concept of “opportunity costs”

             The Easterlin Hypothesis

                    Cohort size and employment prospects
                    The Baby Boom “Echo”

      Understanding the Baby Boom: 1947-1964

             Demographic expectations after WWII
             Reality vs. these expectations; role of “pent-up demand”

             Fertility patterns of Baby Boom Mothers:

                    Timing of first birth
                    Age at first marriage
                    Rate of premarital conception
                    Completed family size

             Baby Boom Mothers: Race Differences

      Baby Boom “Echo” in 1980s

             Fertility patterns of Baby Boom Daughters

      Key differences between the fertility of BB mothers and daughters

             Family size
             “Exposure” to risk of nonmarital childbearing

X. Nonmarital Childbearing/Single Mother Families

             The increase in nonmarital fertility since 1960 can be thought of as a
             puzzle. Why?

             Trends between 1960-1990s
                    15-19 year olds (“unwed teen” fertility)
                    20-29 year olds

                   Changes in:
                          premarital sexual activity
                          norms governing entry into/timing of marriage
                          popularity of “alternatives” (i.e., cohabitation)

             Nonmarital Fertility Trends by Race

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