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HDF212 Week 4 Notes

by: Samantha Schabel

HDF212 Week 4 Notes HDF 212

Marketplace > Central Michigan University > HDF 212 > HDF212 Week 4 Notes
Samantha Schabel

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In class we talked about the Census some more and then we talked about some of the theories.
Families in Cultural Perspective
Polly Pritchard
Class Notes
HDF212, familystudies, families, census, theories
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Samantha Schabel on Thursday September 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HDF 212 at Central Michigan University taught by Polly Pritchard in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views.


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Date Created: 09/22/16
9/19 & 9/21 NOTES Page 1 Why American Families Need the Census (by S. Coontz) ☆ Family researchers use statistics to understand trends of the family unit ☆ Consider the stock market and how we understand investment over time ☆ We need longitudinal data to put together social policies, legal codes, and advice/counseling for families Three reasons gender roles are changing- 1. The realization that traditional characteristics of “masculinity” and “femininity” are not inherent… a. They are conditioned 2. The development of contraceptives which gave women freedom to plan for careers and families 3. The explosion of technological culture a. More important skills i. Intellectual ii. Interpersonal b. Less important skills i. Manual labor c. [The women’s movement argues that conditions of modern life have removed most of the necessity for a sex-based division of labor] What’s Studied by Scientists Family Issues The Family Itself ☆ Divorce ☆ Income ☆ How to handle money ☆ Size ☆ Extended families ☆ Family roles ☆ Kids behavior ☆ Composition ☆ Parenting styles ☆ Age We got another note sheet that had fill in the blanks so those words are written in ORANGE Research on Families ☆ Census data has helped us understand a whole new stage of life called the “age of independence” or “emerging adulthood” which is defined as: o “a prolonged period of life when youths have moved away from parental supervision but have not yet established stable social networks or found clear avenues to economic self-sufficiency” ☆ In 2012, 36% of Americans are 18-31 were living with their parents ☆ Social scientist agree that the family is changing. They disagree on whether it is… 1. Changing in drastic and unhealthy ways 2. Continuing to adapt and adjust to changing circumstances 3. Changing in ways that will ultimately make it stronger Why study theories? ☆ Researchers are debating which structures and methods of inquiry are most appropriate for our changing society ☆ It’s most difficult to recognize diversity among families when we don’t know how to define diversity. ☆ Some theoretical disputes in family science can be attributed to disagreement around what defines a FAMILY ☆ Therefore, scientists usually choose to study A. Family Issues or B. The Family Itself All social scientists believe: 1. Society impacts families 2. Families impact society Some social scientist believe: ☆ Families are units that mediate between individuals and the larger society. ☆ The universal function of families is to meet the need for human survival through reproduction and socialization of children. Why study theories and research? 1. What we don’t know can hurt us 2. Theories/research help us understand ourselves and our families 3. They help us with critical thinking and informed decisions making. Think about this: What is one thing you have learned from #1, #2, and #3 What is a theory? ☆ A theory is a set of statements that explain why a phenomenon occurs. Different theories to study families and culture: 1. Ecological Perspective o Studies the relationship and adaptation of human groups (such as families) to their social environment 2. Structural - Functionalist Approach o Examines the relationship between the family and the larger society as well as the internal relationships among family members. o Anything that interferes with the fulfilment of social functions is seen as dysfunctional 3. Conflict Theory o Examines the way in which groups disagree, struggle over power, and compete for scarce resources. o Rather than seeing change or conflict as bad or dysfunctional, conflict theorist see conflict as natural and inevitable. 4. Feminist Theories o Examine how gender roles shape relations between men and women 5. Symbolic Interaction Theory o Examines how our ideas, beliefs, and attitudes shape our daily lives 6. Social-Exchange Theory o States people make decisions and choices based on perceived costs and rewards o In an attempt to maximize rewards and reduce costs. 7. Life Course Development Theory o Examines the changes that family’s experiences over the life-span o According to the classic model, the family life cycle begins with marriage and ends with the death of one or both partners. Over time, developmental theories have begun to incorporate the developmental stages of different types of families, like single parent families, childless couples, stepfamilies, and grandparent-grandchild families 8. Family Systems Theory o Views the family as a function unit that solves problems, makes decisions, and achieve goals. o Family systems theorists are interested in the rules that hold families together Research Methods ☆ Social scientist use these six major research methods to answer questions about families a. Surveys b. Clinical research c. Field research d. Secondary analysis e. Experiments f. Evaluation research


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