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SOCY 305 Notes (1/21/16 - 1/28/16)

by: Julia Lensch

SOCY 305 Notes (1/21/16 - 1/28/16) SOCY 305 001

Marketplace > University of South Carolina > Sociology > SOCY 305 001 > SOCY 305 Notes 1 21 16 1 28 16
Julia Lensch

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These notes cover lectures for 1/21/16, 1/26/16, and 1/28/16
Sociology of the Family
Jennifer M. Augustine
Class Notes
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Julia Lensch on Monday February 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOCY 305 001 at University of South Carolina taught by Jennifer M. Augustine in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 75 views. For similar materials see Sociology of the Family in Sociology at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 02/08/16
Family in Decline  Family is changing from the 1950s nuclear family o Mom stayed at home o Dad went to work o Mom and Dad were married  This was occurring within all socioeconomic groups (middle class and poor)  End of line family dissolution o Occurring at most basic unit  Domestic groups are weakening in carrying out their functions" o Economic o Socialize (morality) o Reproduction o Provide care  Has also lost its: o Social power o Authority over members (parents don't have control over who you marry) o Child centeredness we reconceived what is best for our children; women can go to work; we don't have to have kids)  Fundamental challenges to forms, ideals, and role expectations of the family unit  Don Quayle's comments against Murphy Brown  What is a Family? o Popenoe's definition: 2 folks where one is dependent on the other with a small group of kin (one adult and one dependent person at least) 1. Fewer people are marrying a. By 1970, 70% of households were headed by married couples b. By 2000, only 53% c. Marriage isn't as important 2. Retreat from marriage/delayed marriage a. Women are getting married at older ages to late twenties (this also applies for men) 3. More single parent families due to: a. Divorce (began to be divorce mainly instead of death in 1974) b. Nonmarital childbearing c. No fault divorce was legal in 1970s 4. Lower fertility rates (fewer children being born) a. Drop in family size b. 1950s --> fertility rates at highest c. Taking care of kids is an investment of our time and money --> we'd rather invest in ourselves d. Less childcentered Increase in nonmarital fertility  Nowadays, almost half of all births are outside of marriage 5. Alternative unions, a.k.a. cohabitation (living together in a romantic nonmarital union) a. Gender roles are less clear b. Its on the rise c. Not a stable union type d. Weaker ties e. Less stable and more likely to dissolve f. Marriage doesn't have a strong hold on a romantic union g. Norms are different (no expectation for kids) 6. More People are living alone a. People are choosing not to marry and remain single 7. Decline in breadwinner model and women are going to work a. Women with children under age 5 are working b. Married women Causes (decline in family):  Ideological change - we marry for happiness instead of economic support)  Economic change - certain things are more acceptable today  Attitude change - change in our ideals/views of say gay marriage, cohabitation, single mothers having kids; transmitted intergenerationally Economics changed after the 1950s, we shifted from manufacturing economy to a service economy (world of work, educational opportunity to women). Women's wages increased while men's decreased. Women were pleased and men were unhappy; weakens foundation of marriage. Socioeconomic --> income and education; where you fall within socioeconomic hierarchy Why Should We Be Concerned?  Potential repercussions for the well-being of kids' emotional/physical health, cognitively developing, financially healthy: o Education o Psychological o Social Outcomes (reproduction of family structures across generations) o Antisocial behavior, criminal behavior, teen pregnancy o Crime o Increase in individualism (less on family) o Safety nets (no programs or resources for people who have fallen on hard times)  Well-being of adults  Sign that families are changing and growing more diverse  Are families declining or just changing and growing more diverse (a sign of social progress with individuality) Critical Perspective on Family and Family Change: The Role of Race Race: African American Family  Key features that characterize black families in U.S. history: o Marriage o Fertility patterns o Kinship patterns Increase in nonmarital fertility, single parent households among black families The problem --> poverty Moynihan Report: around Civil Rights Movement, Moynihan was concerned about equality, being single with kids --> poor, socialization (we need a strong foundation or else kids will be socialized in a way that leads to:  Social connectedness  Isolation  Delinquency  Education  Crime  Cognitive development "Tangle of pathology" --> taken a life of their own separate from what raised them Why do we see these patterns? -History --> legacy of slavery thesis: 1. Legacy of non-marriage 2. Legacy of matriarchal families 3. Black women's mobility outplaced men -Culture of Poverty -> there is a culture within a poor community where childbearing norms are weak -Economic Perspectives (structural)  Marriageable men hypothesis o Similar education levels as you o Stability --> jobs --> money o Mental health o Attitude o Self-efficacy o Trustworthiness o Likelihood of abusing drugs -Black men and women who marry have similar levels of education -For black women, the benefits of marrying (money, education) black males is weaker -Sex Imbalance  Interracial Marriage/Assortative Mating o Intermarriage rate for black men measured by 2008 census --> 22% o Comparatively, it was 9% for black women  Incarceration o About 16-18% of black men have served time in prison vs. 2% of white men; this gap has increased but always existed  Higher among lower SES groups -"Super Organization" perspective  Too much emphasis on family structure  Kin structure more like black families than white families --> widespread unit, beyond nuclear family to include neighbors, friends, "fictive kin"  Creates structure of support and trust  Refutes disorganized perspective  Too much emphasis on black-white differences in family structure  Instead emphasizes resiliency of black families  Evidence: rich kin networks - were a functional response to constraints placed on black families Changes in Family Based on Social Class What is a Social Class?  4 classes  Classifies people  Involves education, resources (financial and social) How is Socioeconomic Status Measured?  Education  Income  Occupational status About 1/3 of U.S. population has a college degree 40% of women have a college degree Distribution of families with different family structure by education Family by Social Class:  High education --> unmarried single moms  Middle education --> more common in the low  Low education --> education group  Seeing more of a difference today between education levels What's Happening in Families Today by Social Class?  Divergent Destinies: o Point in history (1950s-1960s) where children's success started to be tied to social class o Different social classes, different opportunities  Gap is widening  Marriage Rates: o Marriage by education decreases in marriage  Retreat from marriage o High school/less education is decreasing fastest o Share of never married goes up fastest for people with little education  Non-marital childbearing: o People with less education are driving this trend  Family income by women's education o Higher education, income increases at faster rate o Growing gap between family income between high and low levels of education  Assortative Mating o Describing partnering people with like attributions (race, religion, etc.) o Couples are growing more educationally similar Why Do These Trends Matter for Families?  Education plays a huge role and connects to all the trends  Trends matter for resources Trends that cut across race/ethnic lines: 1. Feminist Movement - helps women to be more mobile 2. Birth Control - control fertility but marriage behavior consequence 3. Labor Market Conditions - educated women benefitted increased wages 4. Changes in welfare-system - de-sensitized women with low education to not get married or educated or have a good job Why Should We Care?  What does it mean for our future? Micro-level view:  Class differences in family structure/organization/shape the fabric of family life Divorce Rates  Higher education getting divorced faster Age at first birth by education  Lower education people get married earlier, have kids younger  Higher education people marry later, have kids later Employment  Working at higher rates  Rates increase at different rates (quicker for women with education) Father Involvement  Greater levels of father involvement increases at faster rate with education


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