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Chapter 1 Notes: Definitions of Family Systems and Historical Perspectives

by: madisoncasey3

Chapter 1 Notes: Definitions of Family Systems and Historical Perspectives hdfr 2200

Marketplace > University of Colorado Denver > hdfr 2200 > Chapter 1 Notes Definitions of Family Systems and Historical Perspectives
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Goes over all of the family systems used in the book and historical perspectives on the 'family' and how/why it is changing throughout time.
Love, Family, and Human Development
H. Gomez
Class Notes
Human, development, family, Family Sciences
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by madisoncasey3 on Monday October 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to hdfr 2200 at University of Colorado Denver taught by H. Gomez in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views.


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Date Created: 10/03/16
LFHD Chapter 1 Notes What is a Family? Traditional Definition:  Family has been traditionally definied as: a unit consisting of two or more people related by  birth, blood, marriage, or adoption living together  The traditional definition leaves out a variety of couples/groups of people that consider  themselves family.  Ex) Child free couples, LGBTQ, elderly siblings, grandparent/grandchildren, man + animal Current Definitions of the Family  Family: Intimate group of 2+ people that 1) live together in a committed relationship 2) care for one another + any children and 3) share activities and close emotional ties  More inclusive than the traditional definition  Can also be fictive kin: non­relatives that are considered part of the family  How are Families Similar  ? Functions:  Sexual activity: ­ Every society has norms (cultural rules) about who may engage in sexual activities, with whom and  under what circumstances ­ Incest taboo is also common amongst most societies; one of the universal rules of sexual behavior   Procreation/Socialization: ­ Procreation is essential to family functions because it helps regenerate the population ­ Socialization: process of acquiring language, knowledge, and values/beliefs to properly function in  society ­ We are socialized through roles.  Economic Security: ­ An economic unit that provides financial security/stability ­ Obtaining supplies that ensure a families physical survival ­ Ex) Recession of 2007; families relying on extended family to help with debt, jobs, place to stay, etc  Emotional Support: ­ Primary Group: The first 'go­to' people in your life; people you wouldnt hesitate to call at 3 AM for  a ride home. Can be family, friends, etc. ­ Secondary Group: People you are associated with through a short term commitment; usually leaves  after a goal is accomplished ­ Ex) Classmates, peers, coworkers, teachers, etc.  Social Class Placement: ­ People from the same social classes have the same interests, attitudes and values ­ We inherit our original social class placement, but can move higher up or further down the hierarchy  depending on personal motivation, luck, connections, etc. ­ There are class variations in marriage, how many children you can have, how to socialize children,  and how spouses should relate to eachother Marriage:  Marriage is a scoially approved mating relationship that people expect to be stable and  enduring, is universal.  Marriage everywhere is an important rite of passage that represents adulthood and its related  responsibilities, esp. providing for a family  Most marriages are ceremonial, meaning they had to follow all state provided regulations to  obtain their status as married  There are aslo non­ceremonial marriages such as: common­law marriage: marriage that  people establish just by living together; no specified time.  In both marriages, the partners must meet the age req. to get married and cannot be married to a  second person while the first marriage is still legal, bigamy Endogamy + Exogamy:  All societies have rules about the 'right' marriage partner  Endogamy (Homogamy): a cultural practice that req. one marrying within one's group  Ex) Religion groups, ethnicity groups, social class, or age.    How Do Families Differ Worldwide? Family Structure:  Biological families: family of origin  Adoptive families: family of orientation  Leaving the family to create your own: family of procreation  Each type of family is part of a larger kinship system; a network of people related by blood,  marriage, or adoption  The family structure was stable for almost a century! Nuclear + Extended Families:  Nuclear Family: family structure that is made up of two married parents and their bio/adopted  children.  Extended Family: family structure that combines the nuclear structure with other kin such as  uncles, aunts, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc.  Extended families are becoming more common  Nuclear family structures have declined greatly Residence Patterns:  Patrilocal Res. Pattern: Married couples living with the husband's family  Matrilocal Res Pattern: Married couples living with the wife's family  Neolocal Res Pattern: Married couples obtaining their own residence  Partilocal patterns are most common worldwide.  In the U.S neolocal patterns are most common  Authority + Power:  Residence patterns often reflect who's in charge/ holds authority in the family  Matriarchal Family System: The oldest females control cultural, political, and economic  resources; results in power over the males  Partriarchal Family System: The oldest males control cultural, politcal and economic  resourcces; results in power over the females  In some patriarchal systems, the women sometimes held decision making in the home but  cannot have access to legal rights; divorce, running for office, etc  Egalitarian Family System: Both partners share power and authority about equally Monogamy + Polygamy:  Monogamy: One person is exclusively married to another person  Serial Monogamy: Married to several people; one at a time  Polygamy: A man/women that has 2 or more spouses ­ Subdivided into polygyny: one man married to 2+ women and polyandry: one woman with 2 or  more husbands Some Myths about the Family: Myths about the Past:  Most of us today romanticize the 50's; saying it were better times, less problems, people were  happier, families were stronger  Many historians say these 'golden days' never existed  The only reason we romanticize those times is because we know so little about the past  Life in the 'good old days' actually consisted of deprivation, loneliness, and danger  The chances of not growing up in a nuclear family were bigger then than they are now  Teenage pregnancy rates were bigger back then than they are now  Parents spend more time with their children now than they did back then Myths about What is Natural:  Many people have different opinions about what is consisdered and what is n ot considered  'natural'  “It's only natural to want to get married and have children”  “Women are natural mothers”  If motherhood was natural, then why do so many women choose not to have children Myths about the Self Sufficient Family:  Some of our most cherished values are individual achievement, self­reliance, and self  sufficiency  Few families have been entirely self sufficient  Most of us need help at least some of the times due to enviornmental factors; unemployment,  recessions, etc  The middle class isnt self sufficient; they depend on government funding Myth of the Family as a Loving Refuge:  Some people describe the home as a safehaven in a heartless world  An alarming number of children experience otherwise; physical/mental trauma from their  homes   The home can also be one of the most physically/psychologically brutal settings  Many parents experience stress trying to balance work and family responsibilities; it is bound to negatively affect family dynamics Myths about the Perfect Marriage/Family:  People experience clashes between what they expected of marriage, and the reality of marriage  People expect marriage to make their partner change into this perfect spouse; good provider,  fantastic sexual partner, spiritual soulmates  This can lead to the dissolution of marriages because expectations were not met  Myths about the perfect family are just as pervasive as the marriage myths  Families we are born into seldom satsify our sense for community; we're always looking to  be  a better family  These myths can cause dissatsifaction/conflict DYSFUNCTIONAL MYTHS:  Myths are dysfunctional when they have a negative (unintentional) consequences that disrupt a  family  Ex) The perfect family myth; we feel that there is something wrong with us if we dont live up to some idealized image  Myths can divert our attention from widespread social problems and lead to family crisises FUNCTIONAL MYTHS:  Some myths are functional because they bring people together and support social solidarity.  Myths can help us maintain emotional balance during a crisis  Myths can also free people of guilt or shame  The same myth can be functional AND dysfunctional Three Perspectives on the Changing Family: The Family is Declining:  People believed the family was dissolving because most people put their own needs above their  family duties  Believe that marriage should exist for the sake of children, not just adults  We should be investing in children by maintaining a stable marriage. The Family is Changing, Not Declining:  Argues that changes we are experiencing are due to long­term trends  Family problems have ALWAYS existed; divorce, desertion, and family crisises  There is little empirical evidence that family change matches up with family decline  Data supports both perspectives The Family is More Resilient Than Ever:  Families are more resilient, loving, and stronger than in the past  Treatment of women in colonial families vs. Treatment of women in the modern day family  The changes in family dynamics has strengthened family relationships, including marriage; in  the past, theyd stay in unhappy marriages bc of social standards vs. now people can easily  obtain a divorce and live a happier life  The happiest families are adults (married/unmarried, with children/without children) share  domestic/work responsibilities  Families are happier today rather than in the past due to multigenerational relationships  Each of the three perspectives has proof, so which one is right? How are US Familes Changing? Demographic Changes:  US birth rates are declining; due to people postponing having children  Average age of the population rose from 17 to 37  Resulting in a large proportion of Americans are suffering from 'empty nest syndrome', earlier  grandparenthood, and prolonged widowhood  Also results in: non­marital births, more people living alone, more working mothers, and more  elderly people.  Changes in Family and Nonfamily Households:


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