Chapter 3, Exploring the Family

skillfulbuyerUrban and Civil

Nov 16, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Chapter 3


Exploring the Family

Chapter Outline


Theoretical Perspectives on the Family


Studying Families

Theoretical Perspectives on
the Family


Family ecology


Family development


Structure
-
functionalism


Interactionist perspective

Theoretical Perspectives on
the Family


Exchange theory


Family systems theory


Feminist perspectives


Biosocial perspectives

Theoretical Perspectives on
the Family

Family Ecology Perspective

Theme

The ecological context of the family
affects family life and children’s
outcomes.

Key
Concepts

Natural physical
-
biological
environment; Human
-
built
environment; Social
-
cultural
environment

Current
Research

Family policy; Neighborhood effects

Theoretical Perspectives on
the Family

Family Development Perspective

Theme

Families experience predictable
changes over time.

Key
Concepts

Family life cycle; Developmental
tasks

Current
Research

Transition to adulthood

Theoretical Perspectives on
the Family

Structure
-
Functional Perspective

Theme

The family performs essential
functions for society.

Key
Concepts

Social institution; Family structure;
Family functions

Current

Research

Cross
-
cultural and historical
comparisons

Theoretical Perspectives on
the Family

Interactionist Perspective

Theme

The internal dynamics of the family as
a group of inter
-

acting individuals
shape the family.

Key
Concepts

Interaction; Self
-
concept; Identity;
Meaning

Current
Research

Family rituals; Meanings assigned to
domestic work

Theoretical Perspectives on
the Family

Exchange Theory

Perspective

Theme

The resources that individuals bring to
a relationship or family affect
formation, continuation, and nature of
a relationship.

Key
Concepts

Resources; Costs and rewards;
Exchange balance; Power and
decision
-
making

Current
Research

Family power; Entry and exit from
marriage; Family violence

Theoretical Perspectives on
the Family

Systems Theory Perspective

Theme

The family as a whole is more than
the sum of its parts.

Key
Concepts

System; Equilibrium; Boundaries;
Family therapy

Current
Research

Family efficacy and crisis
management; Family boundaries

Theoretical Perspectives on
the Family

Feminist Perspectives

Theme

Gender is central to the analysis of
family; male dominance in family and
society is oppressive of women.

Key
Concepts

Male dominance; Power and

inequality; Sex/gender systems

Current
Research

Work and family; Domestic violence;
Family power; Advocacy of women’s
issues

Theoretical Perspectives on
the Family

Biosocial Perspective

Theme


Evolution has put in place certain
biological endowments that shape and
limit family choices.

Key
Concepts

Evolutionary heritage; Genes;
Inclusive fitness

Current
Research

Correlations between biological
markers and family behavior;
Evolutionary explanations for gender
differences and sexuality.

Family Ecology Perspective

Family Policy


Procedures, regulations, attitudes, and goals of
government that affect families.


Family policy concerns itself with circumstances
in the broader society that affect the family.


American families worry about making ends
meet: how we will support ourselves, find
comfortable housing, educate our children, get
affordable health care, finance our old age.

Family Life Cycle: Stages


Newly established couple


Families of preschoolers


Families of primary school children


Families with adolescents


Families in the middle years.


Aging families


Family Functions


According to the structural functionalist
perspective, the family is a social
institution that performs three essential
functions:

1.
Raise children.

2.
Provide economic support.

3.
Give emotional security.

Frameworks for Theory/Research
on Minority Families


Cultural equivalent
-

Emphasizes features that
racial/ethnic minority families have in common
with mainstream white families.


Cultural deviant
-

Views the qualities that
distinguish minority families from mainstream
families as negative or pathological.


Cultural variant
-

Calls for making culturally and
contextually relevant interpretations of minority
family lives.

Scientific Investigation:
Techniques


Surveys


Laboratory observation and experiments


Naturalistic observation


Clinician’s case studies


Longitudinal studies


Historical and cross
-
cultural data

Quick Quiz

1. Which of the following is consistent with
the main concerns of the family ecology
theoretical perspective?

a)
the family as a child
-
rearing
institution

b)
the conflict feminist perspective

c)
laboratory observations and
longitudinal designs

d)
development of family policy

Answer: d


The
development of family policy

is
consistent with the main concerns of the
family ecology theoretical perspective.

2. Which of the following is an important
part of the family development
theoretical perspective?

a)
family life cycle

b)
removing blinders by means of
scientific research

c)
the family as an economic unit

d)
kin
-
work and kin
-
time


Answer: a


The
family life cycle

is an important
part of the family development
theoretical perspective.



3. Which perspective presumes that certain
human behaviors are both “natural” and
difficult to change?

a)
feminist

b)
exchange

c)
biosocial

d)
Interactionist


Answer: c


The
biosocial
perspective presumes
that certain human behaviors are both
“natural” and difficult to change.