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Choosing by default

unconscious decisions; choices that are made when people are not aware of all the alternatives or when they pursue the proverbial path of least resistance.

choosing by knowledge

recognizing as many options or alternatives as possible; recognizing the social pressures that may influence personal choices; also people consider the consequences of each alternative choice rather than just gravitating toward the one that initially seemed most attractive.


Americans place a high value on families. 91% or Americans report that family relations are extremely important to them. Family identities and traditions emerge through interactions within the family and the creation or rituals- family dinnertime, birthday and holiday celebrations, vacations trips, etc.

"Family change" perspective

historically speaking, it's seen as normal. Some people see it as marriage age rose, the proportion of the adult population married declined, cohabitation increased, single-mother families increased, ad child poverty increased, creating concern about the care and socialization of children as well as the best interests of adults.

"Family decline" perspective

- says that this situation has reduced the child centeredness of our nation and contributed the weakening of the institution of marriage.

Primary group

a term coined by early sociologist Charles Cooley to describe any group in which there is a close, face-to-face relationship.

Secondary group

more distant, practical, and unemotional relationships, for example: a professional organization or business association


no biological connotations, but refers to cultural distinctions often based in language, religion, foodways, and history. There are two major categories, Hispanic and non-Hispanic.


more outsourcing of jobs to other countries and the replacement of manufacturing by service jobs,


- a biologically distinct group; a social construction reflecting how Americans think about different social groups. It's a real cultural, political, and economic concepts, but its not biological.

Role reversal-


Miller's Typology of Urban Native American Families
-(bicultural, marginal, traditional, transitional)

posits a continuum from traditional to bicultural to transitional, to marginal families. Dorothy Miller developed it to explore the relative influence of Indian and mainstream American culture on urban Indian families. Bicultural and marginal families have been found to be most common.
Traditional families- retain Indian ways, with minimal influence from the Urban settings they live in.

Bicultural families

develop a successful blend of native beliefs and the adaptations necessary to live in urban settings.

Transitional families

have lost Native American culture and are becoming assimilated to the white working class.

Marginal families

have become alienated from both American Indian and mainstream cultures.

Agentic (instrumental) character traits

stereotypical masculine people are said to have these characteristics- confidence, assertiveness, and ambition, that enable them to accomplish difficult tasks or goals.

Chodorow's Theory of Gender

infants develop a primary identification with the person primarily responsible for their early care. Latter, children must learn how to differentiate psychologically and emotionally between themselves and their primary caregiver.

Communal (expressive) traits

- expectations of women- warmth, sensitivity, the ability to express tender feelings, and placing concern about others' welfare above self-interest.


- cultural messages that say there's a variety of ways of being a woman. The pivotal expectation for a woman requires her to offer emotional support.


used far more broadly than sex- to describe societal attitudes and behaviors expected of and associated with the two sexes.

Gender Identity

refers to the degree to which an individual sees herself as feminine or himself as masculine.

gender role

same as gender.

Gender schema

children develop of a framework of knowledge of what boys and girls typically do. They use this framework to organize how they interpret new information and think about gender.

Male Dominance

describes a situation in which the male in a dyad or group assume authority over the females.


a recent and subtle change meant to promote our appreciation for the differences among men.

Self-identification theory

children categorize themselves as male or female, typically by age 3. They then identify behaviors in their families, the media, or elsewhere appropriate to their sex and adopt these behaviors.


- the words is used in reference to male or female anatomy and physiology


A process by which people develop their human capacities and acquire a unique personality and identity and by which culture is passed from generation to generation.

Social Learning Theory

children learn gender roles as they are taught by parents, schools, and the media

Traditional Sexism

belief that women's roles should be confined to the family and that women are not as fit as men for certain tasks or for leadership positions. These beliefs have declined since the 1970s.


an identity adopted by those who are uncomfortable In the gender of their birth.


have been raised as one sex while emotionally identifying with the other.

agreement reality

what members of a society agree is true.

Conflict perspective

it's the opposite of structural- functional theory. Not all a family's practices are good; not all family behaviors contribute to family well-being; what is good for one family member is not necessarily good for another.

Developmental task

challenges that must be mastered in one stage for a successful transition to the next.

Experiential reality

beliefs we have about the family.

Family boundaries

important issues in systems theories. System theorists are interested in how families maintain a sense of family identity through rituals and holiday celebrations.

Family development perspective

- emphasizes the family itself as the unit of analysis

Family ecology perspective

- explores how a family influences and is influenced by the surrounding environment.

Family function

the things the family remains responsible for, which include: to raise children responsibly, to provide economic support, and to give emotional security.

Family life cycle

based on the idea that the changes in predictable ways over time

Family structure

the form of the family

family systems theory

an umbrella term for a wide range of specific theories that look at the family as a whole.

Feminist perspective

the central focus is on gender issues.


what a given activity or statement conveys symbolically.

"On-time" transition

thought most likely to be successful for role performance.


positions in the social structure that have associated behavior expectations.


as they adapt typically family roles of husband and wife take to their own preferences.

Role sequencing

- the order in which major transitions to adult roles take place


playing out the expected behavior associated with a social position.

Social institution

- performs certain essential functions for society.


a combination of elements or components that are interrelated and organized into a whole.

Theoretical perspective

ways of viewing reality. As a tool of analysis they are the equivalent of lenses through which observers view, organize, and then interpret what they view.

Attachment Theory

holds that during infancy and childhood a young person develops a general style of attaching to others.

Insecure/anxious attachment style

- entails concern that the beloved will disappear

Avoidance attachment style

dodges closeness and genuine intimacy either by evading relationships altogether or demonstrating ambivalence, seeming preoccupied, or otherwise establishing distance in intimate situations.

Secure attachment style

involves trust that the relationship will provide necessary and ongoing emotional and social support.


involved in intimacy

Commitment (Sternberg's Theory

)- consists of two aspects, one short-term and one long-term. Short term is the decision that one loves someone. The long-term is the commitment to maintain that love.

Consummate love (Sternberg' Theory)-

)- composed of all three components is complete love, a kind of love toward which many of us strive, especially in romantic relationships


a strong feeling, arising without conscious mental or rational effort, which motivates an individual to behave in certain ways.

Illegitimate needs

arise from feelings of self-doubt, unworthiness, and inadequacy.

Intimacy (Sternberg's Theory)-

refers to close, connected, and bonding feelings in a loving relationship.

Legitimate needs

- arise in the present rather than out of deficits accumulated in the past.


a deep and vital emotion that satisfies certain needs, combined with a caring for and acceptance of the beloved and resulting in an intimate relationship.

Love styles

distinct characteristics or personalities that loving or love like relationships might take.


a greek word meaning "love feast" It emphasizes unselfish concern for the beloveds needs even when that requires some personal sacrifice.

- Eros

greek word meaning love. It forms the root of our word erotic. This love style is characterized by intense emotional attachment and powerful sexual feelings or desires.


focuses on love as play or fun. It emphasizes the recreational aspects of sexuality and enjoying many sexual partners rather than searching for one serious relationship.


a greek word, designates a wild or violent mental disorder, an obsession or craze. It rests on sexual attraction and emotional intensity.


the root word for pragmatic. Pragmatic love emphasizes the practical element in human relationships, particularly in marriages.


is an affectionate, companionate style of loving. This love style focuses on deepening mutual commitment, respect, friendship over time, and common goals.


- seeking to control the feelings, attitudes and behavior of your partner or partners in underhanded ways rather than by directly stating your case.


- involves maintaining relationships by consistently ignoring ones own legitimate needs while trying to satisfy virtually all of a partner's needs, even illegitimate ones.


characterized by an exaggerated sense of self-importance together with an overblown concern with one's own self image and how one appears to others- not with ones own or others' true feeling.

Passion (Sternberg's Theory)-

refers to the drives that lead to romance, physical attraction, sexual comsummation, and the like in a loving relationship.

Psychic intimacy

people engaging in self-disclosure. That is, they share their thoughts, feelings, goals, and needs.


involves gradually sharing intimate information about oneself.

Sexual Intimacy

in popular terminology, people who have a sexual relationship are "intimate" with eachother

Sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love

intimacy plus passion plus commitment

Reiss's Wheel of Love

a circular process capable of continuing indefinitely.


- feelings rest on mutual trust and respect.


involves gradually sharing intimate information about ones self.

Mutual Dependency

in this stage, the 2 people desire to spend more time together and thereby develop the kind of interdependence or mutual dependency.

Personality Need Fulfillment

describes the stage of a relationship in which a stable pattern of emotional exchange and mutual support has developed.

Nuclear family

husband, wife, and children in an independent household; common expectations of what form the American family should take.

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