Theoretical Frameworks

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Although there are many frameworks for viewing marriage and family, three stand out in their importance. The first is conflict framework. This is important because it explains how although family a unit is; the individual people can have different goals and values. Where there is struggle for power, there is also resolution to conflict. The next framework discussed is social exchange. This is important because it can help individuals as well as families seek the cost or rewards in any situation. Conflict framework also helps individuals generalize indirect reciprocity. The last framework mentioned is the human ecological framework. This is important because it explains the systems in human development, and how the systems affect individual choices, which essentially affects a group or family.

The conflict framework refers to the reorganization that people in a family unit have different views and goals, which sometimes can result in conflict. Conflict framework is based off of the way people within a group or unit struggle for power. Wealth and status often take a role in the base of conflict, and because of this the question we ask when the conflict framework is applied to family is, how does a family deal with changes and differences? Conflict can be resolved or it can be managed. Family can be held together by constraint, conflict can strengthen relationships.

For example, a stay at home mother and wife who has a husband that works long hours to support the family, may feel lonely and depressed. She approaches her husband about the issue and he does not know what to do about the situation, because he needs to support the family. They both know the marriage is in trouble the fact that intimacy and romance is no more, and the wife expresses that she often feels more like a roommate to her husband than a wife. They decide to talk and try to come up with solutions for the problem. The wife decides she should get a part time job to help out with...
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