Relation to Family Life
Key Vocabulary and Concepts
|Opposition, power, and conflict within the family and society are needed for society to develop and change
|Emphasizes the competing interests of familial roles including the male dominating the family and providing stability to society
|Individuals are part of a group of concentric systems that impact their development and growth.
|Children are influenced by the people and environments in which they spend the most time,, as well as the greater social events, trends and values.
|Micro, Meso, Exo, Macro, and Chronosystems.
|Urie Bronfenbrenner developed this theory in the second half of the 20th century; he influenced the creation of HeadStart in the United States.
|Exchange (aka Social Exchange)
|Individuals have different strengths, resources and weaknesses and enter into relationships via the evaluation of benefits and costs.
|Emphasizes the motivation for familial relationships: that each person is giving and gaining within the family.
|The “breadwinner-homemaker family” is the classic example.
|Feminism (aka Feminist)
|Society is structured in a way that privileges men over women; the theory works to understand and to transform inequalities.
|This theory emphasizes the way that gender roles are constructed within the family including the socialization of children.
|Gender differences are mostly socially constructed. This theory draws on the Conflict, Exchange, and Symbolic Interaction perspectives.
|Different from the Feminist Activist movement! Read and listen carefully, so that you can distinguish it.
|Social institutions function together in order to meet individual and group needs.
|The family can be seen as an institution (e.g. breadwinner-homemaker family) that contributes to a harmonious society
|Formulated originally in 19th century France, it was the dominant sociological theory in mid-20th century United States
|Hierarchy of Needs
|Individuals meet one set of needs first in order to be motivated and able to achieve other needs.
|This theory influences family life in its arrangement of what needs are most important.
|There is evidence that indigenous cultures in North America developed a hierarchy of needs earlier than the more well-known model created by Abraham Maslow.
|Significant social and historical events shape the trajectories of birth cohorts and the individuals in them.
|Family life is impacted by large national and international events: wars, natural disasters, pandemics, economic depressions. In particular, children and adolescents in a given cohort will be impacted by these events over time.
|Emerging Early Adulthood: the period of life when people shift into adulthood as they end their education, start a career and begin families. This period of life has become more varied and complex because of societal change.
|Do not confuse this with the Lifespan theory which has a different emphasis! Read and listen carefully, so that you can distinguish it.
|Postmodern (aka Modernity)
|Choice and individuality are emphasized in the postmodern era. Humans are able to act in the way they choose with society and within institutions.
|Individuals have a much greater choice than they did in the past about how they form their families, the roles they play and who is in their family. History, family, and tradition have decreasing roles in family life.
|Reflexivity: the way in which people take in new information, reflect upon it, and adjust and act with new knowledge
|This theory is a very broad one and applies to many aspects of work, societal, and family life. Social Theorist Anthony Giddens has written about this theory.
|This theory focuses on the changing nature of symbols and the ways we interact with one another based on those symbols. Humans see themselves through the eyes of others and this affects the roles they play.
|Changing roles and symbols affect the ways family members interact with each other and with society. Societal expectations and social constructions of fathering and mothering roles have changed over time and this interacts with the way fathers and mothers actually behave.
|Interpretation of shared understandings influences how humans respond and interact.
|Has a basis in philosophy (George Herbert Mead) and in Sociology (Herbert Blumer.)