Essay on Families: Marriage and Nuclear family

Submitted By mehtahir
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SOC101Y
Introduction to Sociology
Professor Robert Brym
Lecture #14
Families
27 Jan 2010

The Nuclear Family
ƒ The nuclear family is composed of a cohabiting man and woman who maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and have at least one child.
ƒ In the traditional nuclear family, the wife also works in the home without pay while the husband works outside the home for money.

The Traditional Nuclear Family and New Alternatives legally married
Æ
singlehood, with children
Æ
two-parent
Æ
permanent
Æ
male primary provider,Æ ultimate authority sexually exclusive
Æ
heterosexual
Æ

never married nonmarital cohabitation voluntary childlessness single-parent divorce, remarriage egalitarian (dual-career) extramarital relationships same-sex relationships, households The Growing Diversity of
Canadian Families, 1931-2001

http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/analytic/companion/fam/family.cfm

The Growing Diversity of Canadian
Families, 1981-2006 (in percent)
1981

Lone-parent families, 11.3
Common-law
couples without children, 3.7
Common-law
couples with children at home, 1.9

Married couples without children, 28.1

Married couples with children at home, 55

2006

Married couples without children,
29.9

Lone-parent families, 15.9

Married couples with children at home, 38.7

Common-law couples without children, 8.5

Common-law couples with children at home,
6.9

Marriage
ƒ Marriage is a socially approved, presumably long-term, sexual and economic union between a man and a woman. It involves rights and obligations between spouses and between spouses and their children.

The Five Functions of Families
ƒ Sexual regulation

ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ

Economic cooperation
Reproduction
Socialization
Emotional support

“If a man (woman) had all the other qualities you desired, would you marry this person if you were not in love with him (her)?”
India
Thailand
Pakistan
Japan
Phillipines

Yes
No
Undecided

Hong Kong
Australia
Mexico
England

Willingness to marry without love is more common in traditional than in modern societies. Brazil
USA

0

20

40

60

Percent

80

100

Crude Divorce Rate, Canada, 1921-2005,

and Selected Countries, 2005

The crude divorce rate is the number of divorces that occur in a year for every 100,000 people in the population.
500

1985: “No fault” divorce law

400

450
362.3

360

298.8

300

280

271.8

1968: Divorce law reform

228.4 220.7

230

200
124.2

100
6.4

21.4

36

2
R
us 00
5
si a 20
05
U
S
A
20
05
U
K
2
Fr an 005 ce 20
Ja
05 pa n
20
05

20
00

19
87

19
86

19
81

19
69

19
61

19
41

0

19
21

Divorces per 100,000 population 1987: Peak year

210

Crude Marriage Rate,
Canada, 1921-2003

1200

1060

1000
800
600

470

400
200
2003

2002

1996

1990

1981

1971

1961

1951

1941

1931

0
1921

Marriages per
100,000 population

The crude marriage rate is the number of marriages that occur in a year for every 100,000 people in the population.

Total Fertility Rate,
Canada, 1968-2007
The total fertility rate is the average number of children born to women of the same age over their lifetime. (The replacement rate is the number of children each woman must have on average for population size [excluding immigration and emigration] to remain constant [= 2.1]).

Total fertility rate

4

3.8

3

Historic low
2.1
2
1.5

1.59

2005

2007

1

0
1955

1975

Year

ƒ Marxists assert the primacy of class inequality, especially under…