Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

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Theoretical Perspectives on the Family
Way of viewing reality
Identify why family patterns and practices are the way they are

1)Family Ecology
How family is influenced by the society around it
Family choices/lives affected by economy, education, religion and other cultural institutions •Ex: Great Depression – economically, people can’t afford children even if they wanted more kids

2)Family Development
How family changes over time
Family Life Cycle:
oAddition/subtraction of members (death in a family, moving out) oVarious stages children go through (children start school, go to high school, then college, then marriage) oChanges in family connections with other social institutions (retirement, or getting fired) •Developmental Tasks must be mastered in order to transition to the next •Role Sequencing – major transitions to adulthood

Normative Order Hypothesis – work-marriage-parenthood sequence is vest for mental health and happiness

3)Structure Functional Theory
Functions performed by the family as a social institution 1)Raise child responsibly
2)Economical support
3)Emotional support
Roles patterned by beliefs, values, attitudes, norms – serve as essential social functions that enables society to survive

4) Interactionist Perspective
Interactions within family members
Do they communicate effectively?
If they don’t = doesn’t allow for unique qualities to develop •MAJOR CONCEPTS:
oSelf-concept – feelings people have about themselves
oConcepts of identity – sense of uniqueness , “the self is developed initially in a family setting” oRole taking – expected behavior for each family member (associated with a social position) - Children learn appropriate behavior roles that they may play in adulthood through watching their parents, siblings assume that role – INTERNALIZED AND INCORPORATED TO SELF 5) Exchange Theory

Exchange of resources that affect...
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