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Sociology of the Family
SOCI 169 Midterm Study Guide
Terms in this set (17)
What are the two biggest overall trends in family life and behavior observed by Cherlin (2010) in, "Demographic Trends in the United States: A Review of Research in the 2000s"? Be sure to include examples of each. How do these overlap or not with the features of the second demographic transition discussed by Lesthaeghe (2014)?
-Separation of Families
(Ex:Increasing divorce, marriage and remarriage decline)
-Diverging Marriage Trends based on Education
(Ex: People with higher education tend to stay in the marriage while lower education has a higher rate of divorce)
Some overlapping features of the 2nd DT include: Decrease in marriage, increase in cohabitation, increase in divorce, decline in remarriage
Some Concepts not discussed:
(Ex: Ineffective contraceptive methods)
(Ex: Intermingling of church and state, Nuclear family model, prioritizing basic needs over anything else)
England and Ronen ("Hooking Up and Casual Sex") and Stacey ("Cruising to Familyland") discuss potential paths to relationship formation for heterosexuals and gay men, respectively. Compare and contrast the ways that heterosexuals and gay men hook up. For each group, how does hooking up have the potential to lead to deeper couple and family relationships, or not?
-Begin at social events such as parties, bars, clubs
-May lead to further hook-ups with same person
-are at risk of having a child
"Slut" Double Standard
Men more often than women reach orgasm
-Higher rate of interracial bonds
-Both parties expected to orgasm
Heterosexual Hook-Ups Leading to -Relationships/Familial Ties?:
-Casual hook-ups rarely lead to committed relationships
-Can lead to unplanned births which are often raised by single mother
Gay Couples Hook-Ups Leading to Relationships/Familial Ties?:
-"Sex can be a great ice-breaker" - casual hook-ups more often lead to committed relationships/family-like ties, a great way to get to know another gay man
-Potential to build personal circle/community of like-minded individuals through hook-ups
What is the "Good Dads/Bad Dads" syndrome that Furstenberg (1988) describes regarding trends in the behavior of fathers in families? How has fatherhood changed over time? What social and historical forces have led to this contemporary polarized structure of fatherhood? What kinds of social policies could increase father participation in child-rearing?
Good Dad/Bad Dad Syndrome:
-Good dad: "men enter fatherhood consciously and perform their fatherly duties self-consciously"
-Bad dad: more fathers than ever before are absent from the home. A growing proportion of men fathering children deny paternity or shirk their paternal obligations"
Changes in Fatherhood:
-(Colonial period) - fathers played dominant role, responsible for supervising children's development (women deferred to husbands on matters of child rearing"
•Traced to economic role as landowners
-(Early 19th century to WW2) - Father become less of a moral overseer and companion.------>Father become more as psychologist, example, instrumental leader
Shift from agrarian to industrial mode of production -> men's economic roles increasingly drew them outside the home and into the marketplace -> women extended their sphere of domestic influence
-(Post WW2) - Father's role as good provider started to shake
Women enter the labor force due to increase in service job, increase in women wages, declining fertility, high rates of divorce and rising educational level
For many men... fatherhood is now a transient state:
"Child swapping" - many men relinquish support of biological children from a first marriage in favor of biological or stepchildren in a successive union
"Role rejectors" - men who retreat from family obligations
Not new (common during Depression), especially common in economically disadvantaged
What IS new = increase in middle-class men as role rejectors... aka men who presumably have the resources but not the commitment to perform their fatherly responsibilities
Later marriage, decline in fertility, increasing rates of divorce -> sharp decline of number of years men ages 20-49 spend in families with young children
Decline more evident for educated males, sharper decline for blacks than white
-Historically: As men were freed from the burden of good provider, they were both freed to participate more fully in family and freed from family responsibility all together
-Socially: Social pressure for father to assume his parental responsibility declines.
Social Policies to Increase Participating Fathers:
Stricter provisions to collect child support
Parent education to prepare men for future paternal roles, paternity leave to allow them to accept a fuller measure of care for infants, flex time to enable them to invest more time in child-rearing and domestic duties
In "Searching for a Mate: The Rise of the Internet as a Social Intermediary," Rosenfeld and Thomas (2012) explore how the Internet is changing the way Americans find romantic partners.
a. They argue that the internet is especially important for people who face a thin dating market. What do they mean by this and what findings from their study support it?
b. Some social scientists argue that the Internet is replacing neighborhood, family, and the workplace as one of the most common venues for couples to meet. Do Rosenfeld & Thomas' findings support this assertion? Explain.
c. In Hypothesis 4, Rosenfeld and Thomas predicted that people who met their partners online would be more likely to have partners of different race, religion, or social class origins. Do the study findings support this? Explain.
a)Hypothesis 5: efficiencies of internet search for romantic partners should be especially important to individuals who are in a thin market for romantic partners
-Example:same-sex couples make up less than 2 percent of all couples in the united states: gays and lesbians are nearly always in thin dating markets. from the table of same-sex couples, we can know same-sex people met in in the bars and restaurants seemed to be the leading way in the early 1970s and before. the most striking difference between the way same-sex versus heterosexual couples meet is the dominance of the internet among same-sex couples who met after 2000, with over 60 percent of same-sex couples meeting online in 2008 and 2009. The internet seems to be displacing all other ways of meeting for same-sex couples
Age being a determinant for a thinning market:
Single heterosexuals in their 30s and 40s face a thin dating market, because most people in their 30s and 40s are already partnered
The rate of internet use for meeting
b) As family and grade school have become less influential in the mate selection process of US heterosexuals, so too have neighborhoods and the church declined in their influence. Figure 1 shows that neighborhood and church had a roughly steady influence over how heterosexual couples met, with 10% heterosexual couples meeting as neighbors and 7% through houses of worship. After 2000, both went into steep decline, along with most of the other traditional ways of meeting romantic partners. Post 1995 declines seen in figure 1 for heterosexual couples in meeting through friends co-workers, family, school, he neighborhood, and church are all statistically significant declines.
c)NO, studies show that due to dating sites with race related searches and photos people still choose to date within the race most of the time.
-According to Table 5, interracial couples were slightly less likely than same-race couples to have met online (16 versus 19 percent), but the difference is not statistically significant. The fact that online meeting was not more common for interracial couples is somewhat surprising and is contrary to Hypothesis 4. In text-only interactions, interlocutors' race, gender, and background characteristics are difficult to discern, but in a web dating environment, users are expected to post photographs of themselves, so race and gender (although not necessarily religion) are highly visible.
a) Summarize the main argument of Sara McLanahan's article, "Diverging Destinies: How Children are Faring under the Second Demographic Transition."
b) What examples does McLanahan provide to support her argument?
c) Discuss the main points of similarity and difference between her argument and the argument put forth by Cherlin (2010).
Central concern = how have trends associated with the 2nd demographic transition impacted child resources
-Education - older mother is more likely to have higher education
-Maturation - older = psychologically developed
-Stable marriage - older = higher rates in stable union
*Positive association with parenting quality: beneficial for cognitive and social development
Metric desirability: ability to invest in beneficial goods and services for children (e.g. education, health care, etc.)
Less family stress
Correlation between income and early academic achievement
No statistically significant difference between time of engagement with children and maternal employment (usual assumption is that mothers that work have less time with children... but not true)
All levels of education have increased; higher education level of mother = higher rate of employment... sharper increase from low to middle, high education is a little higher than middle education
Financial and emotional support - stress and stability
Long-term consequences for children: mental health
- children born have 2 trajectories
Educated parents -> more time and resources
Feminism, changes in labor market
Less educated parents -> Less time and resources
Government should do something about the growing disparity
Example: Among mothers in the top education quartile, the median age declined slightly
between 1960 and 1970 because of declines in higher-order births. After 1970, however, it grew steadily, from a low of 26 years in 1970 to a high of 32 years in 2000. For mothers in the bottom educational quartile, the story is different. After dropping from 24 to 22 in the 1 960s, the median age remained relatively flat, rising only one year between 1970 and 2000. The result has been a widening of the age gap between mothers in the top and bottom quartiles.
Similarities to Cherlin:
-Separation of family
(Examples: Childbearing among single parents, divorce rates increase, remarriage decline, marriage decline)
-Trends diverging according to education
(Examples: People with higher education tend to stay in the marriage while lower education has a higher rate of divorce)
Differences from Cherlin:
Cherlin doesn't discuss the rise of women in the workforce, or the correlation of income and child development
In "Few Good Men," Kathryn Edin (2000) discusses her work interviewing single mothers, and how it speaks to contemporary debates over marriage.
a. Discuss the quantitative/statistical or trend evidence presented in lecture that would support the claim that marriage has been declining.
b. Discuss two of the main reasons identified by Edin why single mothers are hesitant to marry or remarry.
c. How do these reasons fit or not with two of the four prevailing theories of non-marriage that Edin discusses?
d. How do these reasons confirm and/or contest cultural stereotypes about low- income single mothers?
e. How do these reasons confirm and/or contest cultural stereotypes about low- income men?
a) From 1960 to 1994 25%, 19%, and 14% of women without a high school degree, w/ high school degree and some college, and with a college degree respectively changed to 46%, 37%, and 16% in 1990. Also the out of marriage percentage children increases starkly from 1940 onwards.
b) 4 Reasons:
-Affordability: Affordability is one of the prevailing reasons why single mothers, especially low-income ones, are hesitant to marry or remarry. In context of the community of their dating pool, the type of person available is one with low education, and low earning potential. Mother's see economic stability on the part of a prospective partner as a prerequisite for marriage. The predominance of jobs available are wage and labor based jobs with minimal benefits. From the context of a low income single mother, it is most efficient to use the minimal resources for oneself and the child especially if the partner is not capable of providing for the familial unit.
-Respectability: Women often said they avoid marriage because they think too much of it. As a woman, especially a mother of low socioeconomic status, marriage is a marker for respectability. Furthermore, marrying a low class man, would entail diminished level of class respectability. Looking for men through whom they can gain enhanced class standing.
-Trust: When Edin analyzes all of the stories of the low income single mothers, one common theme arose and that was the inability for those women to trust their partners whether that be in the capacity to be loyal, take care of the child, or be fiscally trustworthy.
-Control: Control is another major factor that impacts single mothers to be hesitant of marriage. Some of the previously married women interviewed have at one time been almost completely dependent on a man. On the other hand, some women who have never been married, many have been taught life's hard lessons (rape, domestic abuse, physical violence).
c)4 trends :
-Increasing independence of women
(They don't need marriage for financial support)
-Change in men's economic position
(Fewer unskilled labor opportunities for men and also making less money)
(Woman are less dependent on men and more dependent on welfare)
(Change in gender roles)
d) Reasons such as respectability contest the conventional stereotypes about low-income mothers. Societally, low-income mothers are perceived to not care about marriage however, this could not be further from the truth as marriage is seen as one of the highest markers for success. Affordability however, absolutely coroborates what is perceived regarding low-income single mothers seeing as they must prioritize themselves and the child above the significant other.
e)Reasons such as responsibility seem to corroborate many of the cultural stereotypes regarding low socioeconomic men namely their affinity to lose attention of what is most important whether it be their child, money or simply the relationship itself. The difficulty for low socioeconomic men to earn more wages for the unskilled labor they are doing.
Two overall trends:
Separation of family- childbearing among single parents, divorce rates increased, remarriage decline, marriage decline
Trends diverging b/c of education - women with higher education tend to stay in the marriage while lower education has higher rates of divorce.
Few Good Men
Why not remarried or married:
1. Becker: Women who can earn a living on their own will find marriage less attractive than those financially dependent on men.
2. Wilson: A man must be stably employed for a woman to consider him marriage material
3. Murray: as welfare becomes more generous, women increasingly traded dependence on a man for dependence on the government
4. Cultural Factors: women's movement
Ronen and England
Good Dads - Bad Dads: Two Faces of Fatherhood
SHIFT: Good Dads & Bad Dads
1. Urbanization & Industrialization
a) Limited quality time with children
b) focus on economic responsibilities
2. Unhappiness in both sexes
feminist movements; men felt imprisoned
3. Cultural and Structural
gender roles/dependence on another
1. free to participate more in family
2. freed from family responsibilities
3. flight from commitment
Public Policy takes paternal responsibility
Diverging Destinies: How Children are Faring Under the Second Demographic Transition.... "Class Matters in the Second Demographic Transition" **
Two drastically different trajectories for women w/ different educational backgrounds
** Consequently increased disparities in children's resources since the 1960s with the rise of the 2nd DT. Other causes of increased disparities since 19060 are Welfare policies, change in labor market opportunities, new birth control technologies and the feminist movement. Social mobility is dictated by class and education. ARGUMENT: Women's high education and employment not only does not cause high divorce rate, on contrary, helps maintain marriages."
Rosenfeld and Thomas
Cruising to Familyland: Gay Hypergamy and Rainbow Kinship
a. gay men who formed domestic partnerships across major structural inequalities were unable to sustain them.
b. sexual cruising typically generated exploitative relationships in which sex appeal was cynically traded for material benefits.
c. enduring bonds of chosen family and kinship seldom form as a result of gay cruising.
d. a byproduct of sexual cruising is the greater access to social mobility it offers gay men from subordinate groups.
Percent married at age 18-32 by generation
Millenial (2013) 26%
Gen X (1997) 36%
Boomer (1980) 48%
Silent (1960) 65%
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