FAD4265: Ch 6 – Class, Race, & Gender

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what are examples of macrostructural systems that affect micro structural inequalities & opportunities?
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class, race, gender, age, family characteristics, place of residence, age, fam characteristics
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what are the five points that the structural perspective emphasizes about class, race & gender?
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1. are forms stratification that foster group-based inequalities 2. influence fam life through their distribution of social resources & opportunities 3. are relational systems of power & subordination 4. don’t stand alone; work together to place fams & individuals in dif social locations, which produce diverse fam patterns 5. are systems of subordination that shape family life, yet the fam can also be a place to resist inequality
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social stratification
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structured inequality (socially patterned) -inequalities aren’t caused by biological, cultural or lifestyle differences -crucial feature of social stratification is that groups are socially defined & then treated unequally -when groups are differentiated as inferior & superior = stratification
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life chances
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chances an individual has throughout his or her life cycle to live & experience the good things in life -based on class,status,social location -starts with good education -may accumulate
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stratification systems place individuals & fams in dif social locations, which produce:
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different family dynamics & diverse family arrangements
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______ & _____ often experience separate and unequal education & receive less income for their work, resulting in different life chances, forming a :
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-people of color & women -forming a: matrix of domination
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matrix of domination
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people experience race, class, gender & sexuality differently depending on their social locations in these structures of inequality
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these systems of inequality (matrix of domination) create an imbalance of power _____ and _____ families.
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within & between
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social class
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when a number of ppl occupy the same economic rank in the stratification system -combo of income/education/wealth/occupation -partially influences destiny -widening gap btwn kids of rich & kids of poor
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culture of poverty
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contends that the poor have certain characteristics that set them apart from the rest of society & that these cultural differences explain continued poverty
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case studies of Oscar Lewis
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-poor fams throughout world adapted to their deprived conditions in similar ways -more permissive in raising their kids, less verbal, more fatalistic, less likely to defer gratification -members seen as apathetic & fatalistic with an \”odds against them\” mentality -poverty is more the result of a defective subculture rather than physical environment -if poverty were to be eliminated, the former poor would behave in these same ways (prefer instant gratification, be immoral by middle class standards, etc.) -the reasoning blames the victim
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poverty patterns identified by researchers at university of Michigan (PSID)
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-people fall in & out of poverty; not a permanent condition (poor fams experience short term poverty spells as they slip in/out poverty) -people often fall into poverty due to a dramatic change (ex: losing job/family breakup) -people in poverty often work but in low paid, low stability jobs -female headed, African American, Latino, & elderly have longer than average poverty spells once they become poor bc they have fewer routes out of poverty
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______ ______ have structured connections with society’s opportunity structure to produce advantages for some fams & disadvantages for others
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social classes
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privilege
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distribution of goods & services, situations & experiences that are highly valued & beneficial
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class privileges
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advantages, prerogatives, & options that are available to those in the middle class -shape fam relationships -confer dominance, power, & entitlement -involve help from \”the system\” (banks, medical facilities, etc.)
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families in poverty
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-poverty REDUCES likelihood of marriage -ppl in poverty value marriage but don’t see chances of marrying someone within standards for financial stability -poor women value kids as part of their identity -family of 4 poverty rate: $25,000
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what is the largest single group of families in the country?
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working-class families -the men & women who work @ lower levels of manufacturing & service sectors of economy; workers whose edu is limited, mobility options restricted, & usually work for hourly wage vs. weekly wage
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2 key aspects of working-class families:
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1. extended family essential 2. wives work to keep themselves above poverty line
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what is the class that is idealized in our society?
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middle class
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what are the 5 key aspects of middle class?
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1. can control their working conditions to extent 2. give orders rather than take 3. know how to deal w institutions outside family (school, health, etc.) 4. many have 2 breadwinners & thus changing from traditional SNAF 5. views occupations as orienting them to success & self-direction
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what are characteristics of professional class? (5)
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1. young ppl tend to put off marriage & parenthood til achieve job security 2. advanced degrees (husband/father’s occupation drives fam life; women might also have careers) 3. likely to merge the spheres of work & fams; leisure activities often revolve around occupational concerns & occupational associates 4. fam can take a \”backseat\” to male involvement in work, success, & striving 5. often relocated
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wealthy families (4)
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1. often tied to major businesses 2. given control over social resources as well as opportunities & choices not available to other fams in society 3. marriage is important for legal-emotional commitment & for concentrating wealth 4. very ancestor oriented, want to maintain \”good\” breeding by using a social register with names of upper class families to maintain wealth
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race as socially defined
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racial categories operate as if they are real -racial categories are a mechanism for sorting ppl in society; they structure & segregate neighborhoods, schools, churches & families
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race as socially defined & changes over time
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family experiences differ by racial groups based on the IDEA that races are biological categories, but actually race is defined socially -social cagetories that differ by time & by country races thought to be physically distinguishable populations that share a common ancestry
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racial formation
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society is continually creating & transforming racial categories -ex: groups that were once self-defined by their ethnic backgrounds (mexican americans & japanese americans) are now radicalized as \”hispanics\” and \”asian americans\” -ex: middle easterners coming from countries like syria, lebanon egypt & iran are commonly grouped together & called \”arabs\”
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ethnicity
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social category that includes a broad range of affiliations. based on national origin, language, religion & culture -racial-ethnic groups remain culturally distinct within US society (haitian american, mexican american, chinese american, irish american, etc.)
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cultural approach
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each class has values, attitudes & motives that distinguish its members from other classes -view that assumes that fams in a society are products of culture in which they are embedded -ex: latinos: extended fam networks play strong part in integrating family & community-too \”familistic\” -african americans: \”matriarchal\” bc of the strong role women play in extended families
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four shortcomings of the cultural approach:
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1. reduces fam life to a group’s culture 2. views fam as the bedrock of society rather than being shaped by social forces 3. blames the victim & ignores the impact of racism & economic structure on fam formation 4. treats all african american & latino fams as monolithic entities rather than acknowledging a wide range of fam forms among people of color
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what is essential for poor african american families?
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kin networks, extended family networks, & social support networks *important for middle class married african american fams as well
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familism
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obligation & orientation to the family -depicted as a defining feature of the mexican-heritage population
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what are the 4 key components of familism?
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1. demographic familism: involves characteristics of Chicano fams, such as fam size 2. structural familism: measures the incidence of multigenerational or extended households 3. normative familism: taps the value mexican-heritage people place on family unity & solidarity 4. behavioral familism: has to do with the level of interaction btwn fam & kin networks
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compadrazgo
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encompasses two sets of relationships with \”fictive kin:\” 1. padrinos y ahijados (godparents & children) 2. parents & godparents who become compadres, or co-parents -compadrazgo system of godparents enlarges fam ties by creating connections btwn fams
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research on african american fams:
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-lower rates of marriage than whites -increases in non-marital childbearing, female headed hoses, children entering poverty, divorce rate
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research on asian fams:
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-asian americans seen as \”model minority\” – strong, well educated & upwardly mobile group -kinship networks are important
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research on latino fams:
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-have lower rates of marriage than whites -poverty rates remain high
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research on middle eastern families:
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-their ethnic/religious diversity, dif levels of edu, & places of settlement in US make it impossible to generalize about their fam arrangements (even muslim fams aren’t all the same) -face similar globalizing challenges, constraints, & opportunities as other fams w respect to matters of gender, marriage & parenting
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research on native american fams:
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-have very diverse fam arrangements; many extended fam networks and traditions of respect for elders
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what are family strategies?
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help us to think about ways in which people use their families to cope w problems in their lives -instead of being passive; take actions & engage in certain behaviors (labor force participation, migration, marriage, childbearing, edu, etc.) to adapt to changes in society -strategies differ for men & women -strategies changes as ppl use their locations to shape their fam lives
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household augmentation
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common family strategy strategy among poor to double up in households to share expenses -however, af.americans, hispanics, or asian americans are forced to double up in households, there may be fewer resources to go around, even though the intent is to add earnings
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gender
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social & cultural meanings attached to women & men; basic organizing principle of society
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2 main ways to think about gender & family
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1. gender roles approach 2. gendered institutions approach
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gender roles approach
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treats gender & differences as roles learned by individuals
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gendered institutions approach
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emphasizes factors that are external to individuals, such as the social structure & social institutions that treat women & men differently
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weaknesses with the gender roles approach
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1. real-world changes in gender & family challenge the old framework of the gender roles approach, since this model fits more appropriately for families of the 50s & 60s 2. many scholars argued that this approach ignored widespread class & race differences in fams 3. this approach made it seem like role division btwn the sexes was needed for fams to operate efficiently-but critics argued that role division was not functional at all, and was based on stereotypes of men & women 4. ignores what is more important about roles-that they are unequal in power, resources, & opportunities 5. it assumes that the family is separate & distinct from other social arrangements
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sex
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biological differences btwn males & females
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gender roles
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males & females differ bc of socialization -men fill breadwinning roles outside the fam; women fill domestic roles inside the fam -this perspective ignores that roles are unequal in power, resources, & prestige
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gendered institutions
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means that gender is the basis for structuring the relationships btwn women & men & giving them dif positions of advantage & disadvantage -gender is present in the processes, practices, images, ideologies & distributions of power in the various sectors of social life -how women & men interact & what they do every day is essential in reproducing gender
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patriarchy
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term used for forms of social organization in which men are dominant over women
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private patriarchy
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refers to male dominance in the interpersonal relations btwn women & men
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public patriarchy
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encompasses dominance in the institutions of the larger society
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the US can be defined as a capitalist patriarchy
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-capitalism & patriarchy are interrelated & should be analyzed together to understand the position of women -women & men do dif work, both in the fam & in the labor force, & they have dif resources in both of these settings -men have greater control in both public & private arenas, & therefore have more male privileges

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