Sociology of Family Study Guide

Topics: Sociology, Family, Marriage Pages: 4 (578 words) Published: March 19, 2014
 What is family and why can defining it be problematic?
Family is 2 or more persons who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption who live together as ONE (no matter the how the relation) Family is a SOCIAL INSTITUTION
Family can serve as an agent of social placement, helps build relationships outside your family (social networks) Can have an economic effect (gov’t benefits)
The problem can be that it varies between cultures and even different families, varies from being so diverse to so specific Problematic social institution of family serves different roles Looking at family can differ between its public family and private family

Western Family


Public Family :
Married couple, cohabitating couple, or single parent with children Single person caring for ailing parent
Gay person caring for sick partner
Raising the next generation
Caring for elderly
Caring for the ill or disabled
Primary Challenge:
Free-rider Dilemma
Private Family:
Married or cohabitating couples with or without children
Gay or lesbian couples with or without children
Providing love and intimacy
Providing emotional support
Primary Challenge:
Boundary Ambiguity
Cost/benefits to others when a business/individual processes something Positive Externalities (Public Family)
Benefits received by others when business/individuals produce something, but the producer is not fully compensated Negative Externalities (Public Family)
The cost imposed on others when business/individuals produce something of value to itself Public Goods
Positive externalities that benefit people who don’t produce them. Almost impossible to stop people who don’t produce them from enjoying them (Ex. Cedar River) Public goods produced by family =Children (which can have an impact on society) Abuse children to get benefits

People related to you through descent or marriage
Assigned Kinship – ties people “automatically” through birth or...
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