Sociology of the Family (PowerPoint)

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					Sociology of the Family
      Gender Role Theory
        Historical Evolution of:
1.   Nuclear Family
      - As an institution for socialization
2.   Gender Roles
      -How it’s divided:
         - Men and Women
         - Boys and Girls
3.   Concept of Childhood
      - Child rearing
   Has the definition of “nuclear family” changed
    over the years?
     Yes or no?
     If yes, how?

     How would this have an affect on the concept of
      “agents of change”?
           Questions to consider…
1.    What has been the historical role of men?
     1.   Within the household
     2.   Within society
     3.   Within the workplace
2.    What has been the historical role of women?
     1.   Within the household
     2.   Within society
     3.   Within the workplace
3.    How has child rearing changed over the years?
               Historical Ideas
   Men’s unique physical advantages in term of
    body size and upper body strength provided
    them an edge over women in those social
    activities that demanded such physical attributes
    such as hunting, herding and warfare.
   women’s biological capacity for reproduction
    and child-bearing is proposed to explain their
    limited involvement in other social activities.
   male-advantaged gender hierarchy - The activities men
    involved in were often those that provided them
    with more access to or control of resources and
    decision making power
       industrial economy
   sexual division of labour and gender hierarchy
   A person's gender role is composed of several
    elements and can be expressed through:
     clothing,
     behaviour,

     choice of work,

     personal relationships and

     other factors.

    Q: How have these elements evolved through time?
   Clothing                          Clothing
       Dressed to the neck               Victoria secrets, Playboy
   Work                              Work
       Child care                        CEO’s
   Politics                          Politics
       couldn’t vote                     Sarah Palin, Hilary Clinton
   Home life                         Home life
       Distinct, separate roles          Equal roles
   Violence & Abuse                  Violence & Abuse
       Social Tolerance                  Unacceptable in all forms
   Education
        Gender-specific education; high professional qualification is important only for
         the man
   Profession
        The workplace is not the primary area of women; career and professional
         advancement is deemed unimportant for women
   Housework
        Housekeeping and child care are the primary functions of the woman;
         participation of the man in these functions is only partially wanted.
   Decision Making
        In case of conflict, man has the last say, for example in choosing the place to live,
         choice of school for children, buying decisions
   Child care and education
        Woman takes care of the largest part of these functions; she educates children and
         cares for them in every way
                   Specific Issues
   changing roles of family members.
       Each member is restricted by the sex roles of the
        traditional family, these roles such as the father as
        the worker and the mother as the homemaker are
        declining, the mother is becoming the supplementary
        provider and she retains the responsibilities of child
        rearing. Therefore the females’ role in the labour
        force is “compatible with the demands of the
        traditional family”. Sociology studies the adaptation
        of the males role to caregiver as well as provider.
Major Issues affecting
 women in society
      Then and now…
        Domestic Violence, then…
   Victorian Period
     Nineteenth-century religious beliefs encouraged
      women’s subordination in the household and,
      therefore, contributed to domestic assault.
     These principles often led husbands to justify their
      “right” to use violence to control their wives.
     In addition, these ideals created social tolerance of
      domestic assault
   The Victorian period was a time of great
    religious following.
     This emphasis of religious based subordination
      suggested that, for a woman to be virtuous and serve
      God, she must follow the lead of her husband.
     In addition this gave men the impression that they
      had a God given right to control their wives, even if
      this meant through use of physical correction.
   During the nineteenth century, domestic
    principles were based on a patriarchal system.
   The husband was seen as the superior being in
    the house. The wife was viewed as being
    property of her husband, just as one of his
    slaves or children.
       As owner of his wife, a man could do as he pleased
   These standards a man’s domination over his
    wife created social acceptance of moderate
    martial cruelty
   Most states enforced a common law, which
    stated a husband had the legal right to control
    his wife and all her possessions. This meant,
    upon marriage, a women lost control over her
    children, inheritance, wages, all her belongings,
    and, in effect, herself.
       widely accepted that wife-beating was included in a
        man’s legal right power over his wife
        Domestic Violence, now…
   American women are no longer limited by
    society’s patriarchal views. As a result, factors
    contributing to domestic violence are now based
    more on personal rather than social standards
    and situations.
     Substance abuse can often play a role in domestic
     6 months – 3 years in jail!
             Separation, then…
   many domestic violence victims stayed in their
    abusive situations because they felt dependent
    on their spouse due to their lack of job skills
   obtaining a divorce base on marital cruelty was
    extremely difficult. The violence had to be life
    threatening before the courts would consider
    granting a divorce!
                   Laws, then…
   During the 1850’s, several states in America
    began to liberalize their divorce law, BUT…
       According to these laws, the abuse had to be
        habitual, life threatening and could not have
        been provoked by the wife’s misbehavior
                  Laws, today…
   In 1994, under the Victims of Crime Act, the
    Violence Against Women Act was passed.
     legal right to sue the perpetrator
     restraining orders valid across state lines

     mandatory arrest laws

     possible jail time if convicted
Social Construction of Gender
            Gender Role Theory
   Gender role theory states that boys and girls
    learn the appropriate behavior and attitudes
    from the family and overall culture they grow up
    with, and so non-physical gender differences are
    a product of socialization.
   Social role theory proposes that the social
    structure is the underlying force for the gender
                 Gender Roles
   Gender roles can be defined as the behaviors
    and attitudes expected of male and female
    members of a society by that society.
   Different cultures impose different expectations
    upon the men and women who live in that
   home, the workplace, and the school
   with the increased presence of women in the
    workplace, old attitudes and behaviors have had to
   Men and women are more aware of sexual harassment
    than previously; whereas 20 years ago a woman who
    refused to have an affair with her boss may have had to
    quit, she now has other options.
   policies that are family-friendly, such as flex time, job
    sharing, and on-site child care policies that benefit both
    men and women.
   Parents are our first teachers, not only of such
    basic skills as talking and walking, but also of
    attitudes and behavior.
   Some parents still hold traditional definitions of
    maleness and femaleness and what kind of
    activities are appropriate for each.
   studies have shown that parents tend to respond more
    quickly to an infant daughter’s cries than they are to
    those of an infant son.
   Parents also tend to cuddle girls more than they do
   They are also more likely to allow boys to try new
    things and activities - such as learning to walk and
    explore - than they are girls; parents tend to fear more
    for the safety of girls.
       “sissy”, “tomboy”.
   Children look to their parents for examples and
    role models. If a girl sees her mother taking part
    in physical activities, for example, she will grow
    up with the idea that it’s okay for girls to play
    sports. If a boy sees his father helping to take
    care of the new baby, he will integrate this image
    of “daddy as care giver” into his developing
    definition of masculinity.
   children who grow up with parents who are in an
    abusive relationship have been found to repeat the
    same pattern as adults: male children of abusive
    husbands often grow up to abuse their own wives, and
    daughters of abused wives can grow up to be victims of
    domestic violence, because their parents have shown
    them that this is “normal”. Children develop their
    gender identity (knowing whether they are male or
    female) by the age of three.
   Society is constantly evolving and changing.
   Even though they may be able to get ahead in
    the workplace, things at home remain
    remarkably the same as they did in their parents’
     primary doer of housework
     food shopping, child care, laundry, cleaning, cooking

     Women do most of the work…Men earn most of
      the money.

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