Chapter 12: Family

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Family
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a social institution found in all societies that unites people in cooperative groups to care for one another, including children
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Kinship
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a social bond based on common ancestry, marriage, or adoption
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Fictional kinship of need
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??
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The nuclear family
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a family composed of one or two parents and their children; also known as a conjugal family
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Extended family
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a family composed of parents and children as well as other kin; also known as consanguine family
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Endogamy
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marriage between people of the same social category
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Exogamy
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marriage between people of different social categories
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Polygamy
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marriage that unites a person with two or more spouses
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Polygyny
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\”many women\”; a form of marriage that unites one man and two or more women
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Polyandry
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\”many men\”; a form of marriage that unites one woman and two or more men
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Partilocality
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\”place of the father\”; happens in societies where couples live with or near the husband’s family
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Martilocality
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\”place of the mother\”; happens in societies when couples live with or near the wife’s family
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Structural-functional analysis
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the family performs many vital tasks and is sometimes called the \”backbone of society\”; socialization, regulation of sexual activity, social placement, and material/emotional security.
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critical review of structural-functional analysis
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explains why society is built on families but barely talks about the diversity of the US family life and ignores how social institutions could meet at least some of the same human needs; overlooks the negative aspects of family life, including patriarchy and family violence
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social-conflict/feminist analysis
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considers the family central to our way of life but instead of focusing on ways the kinship benefits society, this approach points out how family perpetuates social inequality; property & inheritance, patriarchy, and race & ethnicity.
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critical review of social-conflict/feminist analysis
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this analysis shows the role of family life in social stratification. Engles criticized the family as part and parcel of capitalism, but noncapitalist societies also have families and family problems.
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symbolic interaction/social-exchange approach
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explore how individuals shape and experience family life; Ideally, family living offers an opportunity for intimacy and as family members share many activities and they establish trust, and build emotional bonds.
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critical review of symbolic interaction/social-exchange approach
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this balances the other two visions of the family as an institutional system. But it misses the bigger picture: the experience of family life is similar for people in the same social and economic categories.
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Structural-Functional approach
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identifies major family functions: socialization of the young, regulation of sexual activity, social placement, and providing material and emotional support
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Social-conflict approach & Feminist approaches
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explore how the family perpetuates social inequality by transmitting divisions based on class, ethnicity, race, and gender.
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Symbolic-Interaction and Social-Exchange Approaches
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highlight the variety of family life as experienced by various family members

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