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Families and Social Changes, Week 3 notes

by: Clarissa Hinshaw

Families and Social Changes, Week 3 notes Soc 354

Marketplace > Northern Illinois University > Sociology > Soc 354 > Families and Social Changes Week 3 notes
Clarissa Hinshaw
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Notes on the history of families
Families and Social Change
Jan Reynolds
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Clarissa Hinshaw on Monday February 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soc 354 at Northern Illinois University taught by Jan Reynolds in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see Families and Social Change in Sociology at Northern Illinois University.


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Date Created: 02/08/16
Week 3 The Family in history  Prehistoric Family: human families existed, even in prehistoric times! Families have  been documented to have ocured as early as 4,600 years ago. Skeletons close together  have be DNA tested to biological links. Family consisted of more than just blood  relatives as, unlike other animals, care was necessary for survival. Humans also needed  care for longer periods of time before they could become independent.   Europe to US time: very traditional, not taken on by everyone. Stories consisted mostly  of white families. People in church played government’s role in deciding who could  marry. The rich and poor were both expected to marry. o Patriarchy: the practice of men being heads of household with women and  children obeying the man.   Origins of the American family o Colonial American (pre 1820)  American Indians: were expected to have strong respect for authority and elders. Family went beyond immediate relatives. Marriages were mostly  monogamous, but divorce rates were higher, due to weaker bonds.  Practiced traditional gender divisions of labor.   Colonial Americans: People married for social acceptance, not love.  Arranged marriage was dissolved, but women were expected to serve the  husband they chose. Men were allowed to be arrested for failing to control their wives, but not for marital abuse. Women couldn’t vote, hold  positions of power, so were forced to marry for support. Any property  women had become her husband’s when the married.   Coverture: practice of women being incorporated into their  husband’s citizenship.   Families had many children, but some died in childhood. Children  expected to work and provide. Inheritance went to the favored  child, usually oldest son. The rest would have to wait until  marriage.  o Extended family: relatives outside of nuclear family.  Example: aunts, uncles, cousins. o Stem Family: an adult child living at home, helping out  with younger siblings.  o African Americans: Became slaves for white Americans in the eighteenth and  nineteenth centuries. Slaves were not given family names. Marriage and parenthood were not legally recognized. Slave owners owned all children of slaves and could sell them  whenever they pleased.   Emerging modern family o Included wives, children, slaves, and servants.  o Division of traditional gender roles returned. Conservatives tried to deny  women’s right to vote, as they thought it would break down the traditional family. o Couples began to value love in marriage more as they now had more choice over  who they married.  o Courtship began. Dates took place in public places, usually supervised. If things  became more serious, the man would meet the woman’s parents. If her parents  approved, the couple would marry.  o Due to the invention of condoms, people had fewer children. Infant mortality rates declined. Children began receiving toys to play with and birthdays were  celebrated. However, there was still a very small population of adult age sixty and older.  o More white collar jobs emerged.  o President Lincoln believed in peace within families. Government didn’t get in the  way of patriarchy, but did regulate who could marry. o People were only allowed to practice monogamy (having one significant other)  and polygamy (having two or more significant others) was banned. The mailing  of porn and other ‘obscene’ material was also banned. o There were lots of widows and orphans during this time. African American,  Asian, and Mexican families were torn apart.   1900­1960 o Partners became companions and people started marrying for love.  o Women worked during the war, then ‘traditional’ family returned in the 1950s.  The new family wage made this possible. o Courtship began  o Men were still in control over the family.  o The baby boom consisted of people marrying younger and having more children.  1960­present o Families became more diverse o Marriage became less of a necessity. o Women’s employment began growing. o People lived with extended family less o Single parenting became more common o Divorce rates rose. o People started marrying at older ages and lived on their own before marriage. o People became more independent from their families. o Parents became more emotionally attached to their children o Trends in baby names changed.


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