HDF 211: Reading and Lecture Notes for Week 1
HDF 211: Reading and Lecture Notes for Week 1 HDF 211
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Megan Notetaker on Thursday March 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HDF 211 at Central Michigan University taught by Latty, Christopher in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see Marriage & Close Relationships in Human Development at Central Michigan University.
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September 9, 2015 Reading/Lecture Notes WHAT IS A THEORY? Chapter 2 Researching the Family Objectivity: to suspend the beliefs, biases, or prejudices we have about a subject until we understand what is said Need to be able to detect if we are making objective statements or value judgments. o Value judgment: includes words that imply that our way is the correct way o Objective statement: factual statement presenting information based on scientifically measuring findings, not on opinion or personal beliefs Opinions, biases, stereotypes are ways of thinking that lack objectivity and create fallacies. o Fallacies: errors in reasoning. These mistakes come as the result of errors in our basic presuppositions. Egocentric fallacy: mistaken belief that everyone has the same experiences and values therefore should think as we do. Ethnocentric fallacy: is the belief that our ethnic group, nation is superior to others. Family Research is influenced or guided by concepts and theories. o Concepts: abstract ideas that we use to represent the concrete reality in which we are interested. Used to focus our research and organize our data. o Theory – set of general principles or concepts to explain something; to provide a point of view o Research concepts are turned into variables. These include: Independent variable: something in research that cannot be changed; something already set; example: race, sex, etc. Dependent variable: something that is believed to be influenced from independent variable; example: marital status Why might a couple divorce? Why do people select their mates? There is not “one” correct theory Often use multiple theories to explain Family Ecology Theory Emphasis on how families are influenced by and in turn influence the wider environment. The core concepts in ecology theory include environment and adaption. o Environment: referring to the physical, social, and cultural situations that a family lives within o Adaption: the processes of responding to the circumstances imposed by the physical, social, and cultural influences o Consists of four levels of environmental adaption (microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem) Microsystem: most immediate influences with which individuals have frequent contact Example: family, peers, home experiences Mesosystem: consists of the interconnections between microsystems Example: school experiences Exosystem: consists of settings in which the individual does not actively participate but that nonetheless affect his or her development Example: parent’s work experience Macrosystem: operates at the broader scale Example: laws, policies Structural Functionalism Theory Explains how society works, how families work, and how families relate to the larger society and to their own members Treats society as if were living organism, like a person, animal, or tree. o Society is viewed as a tree; have different structures that perform certain tasks, or subsystems. Subsystems of society are the major social institutions (family, religion, government, education, etc). Three aspects: o What functions the family as an institution serves for society o What functional requirements family members perform for the family o What needs the family meet for its individual members Family molds the kind of personalities it requires to carry out its functions and meets its needs. o Men develop instrumental traits and women develop expressive traits Instrumental traits: encourage competitiveness, coolness, self-confidence, and rationality—qualities that will help a person succeed in the world of work Expressive traits: warmth, emotionality, nurturing, and sensitivity—appropriate for someone responsible for taking care of a family and managing a household Conflict Theory Assumptions o The nature of humans is that they are self-oriented. o Desire not to be dominated by others (eg. Myself) In families looking at conflict over: o Examples: food, money, religion, choirs, space, etc. Conflict is/has: natural and normative (still can be dysfunctional— abuse). Learn from the experience; gets the feelings out of the open; brings change about; some kind of unity Conflict is a confrontation over control of scarce resources. Internal to the social system: couple fighting over sex External to the social system Example: Kids act out to bring family together; they have a common enemy Feminist Perspective? Power = ability to control Sources of Power o Legitimacy – “because I’m your mother;” given the role so you “have” to do it o Monetary – “As long as you live in this house;” can tied to money. The person that makes the most money have the most control o Physical coercion – “if you don’t do as I tell you, you’ll get a spanking” o Love – “if you really loved me, you’d do what I ask;” manipulation Principle of Least Interest Less interest=more power (e.g. sex) MICRO-LEVEL THEORIES Symbolic Interaction Interaction: is a reciprocal act, the everyday words and actions that take place between people o Interaction can only occur if there is two or more people. o People will define and interpret objects and events in their environment No notions as to how they do this or how people make their definitions Looks at the interactions words and actions that make up a relationship Meanings is an important part of behavior o Confederate Flag o People react to something according to the meaning that the thing has for them. “That person is a racists—they have a Confederate Flag.” o Once individuals develop a sense of self, this will provide motivation for future behavior Achieving a good grade; “I’m a good student” People learn the rules and values of society through everyday interactions within that culture. Family as the unity of interacting personalities: o Interactions are structured by social roles: Social roles: established patterns of behaviors that exist independently of a person Example: wife, husband, etc. Roles give us cues as how we are supposed to act Symbolic integrationists study how one’s sense of self is maintained in the process of acquiring these roles. Families are created by their members o Parenting Skills based on symbolic interaction: Structured planning parents: shortage of time with their children and specifically set aside time for their kids; “family time” Child-centered parents: felt deficit in the amount of time spent with their children but defined quality time in terms of having intimate conversations whenever conversation occurs Time-available parents: all time spent at home with their families Symbols Products of interactions; meaning is given by the way we see others see them Age, appearance, values,etc. Certain sex of a baby Context driven Baseball “good game” vs classroom “good game” o Slapping someone on the butt in baseball versus in classroom Gestures Acts that represent something else; nonverbal communication Definition of the situation* Subjective perspective; if define the situation as real then there will be real consequences Interruption that someone is acting a certain way and treat them a certain way based of that interruption. o Thinking someone is mad, but they aren’t actually. Generalized other Understanding social norms and expectations so that one can guess how other people will react to a specific gesture or interaction Roles Set of social norms for a specific situation or “part” Expectations differ across and within o Acting different with a teacher versus with a friend Expectations differ across & within For example, the roles you play (roommate, student, son/daughter, sibling, significant other, employee, etc.) Social norms Behavioral expectations in a particular situation o Example: raising hand in class versus with friends Behavior must be understood by the meanings of the actors In families how parents perceive and define children influence how they will punish them. o Viewing a child is more mature versus less mature Social Exchange Focus is on relationship dynamics and how they begin, are maintained/dissolved. People are motivated by self-interest. o Seek rewards and avoid punishments/cost Assumes humans are rational beings in their choices o Analyze the rewards and costs Rewards - anything that is pleasurable to us is a reward. o Intrinsic characteristics of the other person o Other person making it possible for us to gain access to desire external resources (prestige, money). o Someone in a relationship with some for “no reason.” o Equity: o Exchanges that occur between people have to be fair, to be balanced. o When partners recognize that they are in an inequitable relationship they: 1. Attempt to restore actual equity in the relationship 2. Attempt to restore psychological equity by trying to convince themselves and others that an obviously inequitable relationship is actually equitable 3. They decide to end the relationship o Costs- Any status, relationship, or feeling that the individual does not like; what one give’s up. Profit o Ratio of rewards - costs o People strive to gain the most profits Egocentric Bias o Overestimating either the costs one incurs or the rewards the partner receives “I’m such a great person. They are so lucky.” Comparison Levels: o Comparing rewards to others in comparable situations or to our own expectations. Reciprocity- To gain rewards we must give rewards to others (interdependence). Satisfaction= Outcome – Comparison Level *Key component is exchange is equity Ingredients to exchanges between people Cooperative exchanges =joint profit o Everyone gets a share; still follows group dynamics Competitive relationship= individuals trying to maximize individual profit o Not everyone gets fair profit Family Development Theory Only theory directly related to families; emphasizes the patterned changes that occur in families through stages and across time. Across time through the family life course: o Consists of all events and periods of time between events traversed by a family; following: beginning, child-bearing, preschool children, schoolchildren, adolescences, launching center, middle years, aging. All related to normative age-graded influences: biological or social influences that are correlated with age Family Systems Theory Combines two sociologists theories: structural functionalism and symbolic interaction Views the family as a structure of related parts of subsystems o Example: parent-child subsystem, siblings subsystem, etc. o Each carries out a certain function A family system consists of more than simply its members o The communication, rules, beliefs, and roles Changes to the family can manifest itself emotionally and will attempt to restore to the way it used to be. Applying Theories to Family Experience: Conducting research on families: o Quantitative research: deals with large quantities of information that is analyzed and presented statistically Other Terms: 1. Ambiguous loss: situation of uncertainty and unclear loss, resulting from confusion about a family’s boundaries and from not knowing who is in or our of a particular family 2. Anonymity: state or condition requiring that no one, including the researcher, can connect particular responses to the individuals who provided them 3. Case-study method: in-depth examination of an individual or small group in some form of psychological treatment in order to gather data and formulate hypotheses 4. Clinical research: in-depth examination of an individual or small group in clinical treatment in order to gather data 5. Confidentiality: Ethnical rule which the researcher knows the participants and the results, but promises not to reveal information publicly 6. Deductive research: Research designed to test hypotheses and examine causal relationships between variables 7. Grounded theory: theory that emerges from inductive research and is rooted in repeating information 8. Operationalization: the identification and development of research strategies to observe or measure concepts 9. Qualitative research: Small groups or individuals are studied in an in- depth fashions 10. Quantitative research: Samples taken from a large number of subjects 11.Time-use diary/Time use surveys: self-administrated survey in which people record their activities at designated points in time