Chapter 1 The Meaning of Marriage and the Family Chapter Outline Personal Experience, Social Controversy and Wishful Thinking What Is Family? What Is Marriage? Functions of Marriages and Families Extended Families and Kinship The Major Themes of this Text True or False? No U.S. state prohibits interracial marriage. True Laws once prohibited enslaved African Americans from marrying because they were regarded as property. Marriages between members of different races were illegal in more than half the states until 1966, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared such prohibitions unconstitutional. True or False? All cultures traditionally divide at least some work into male and female tasks. True The family is a unit of economic cooperation that traditionally divides its labor along gender lines. Although a division of labor by gender is characteristic of virtually all cultures, the work that males and females perform varies from culture to culture. True or False? Most cultures throughout the world prefer monogamy?the practice of having only one husband or wife. False While monogamy is the only form of marriage recognized in all cultures, it is not the preferred form of marriage in most other cultures. Only 24% of known cultures perceive monogamy as the ideal form of marriage. The preferred marital arrangement worldwide is polygamy, the practice of having more than one wife or husband. Marriage A legal union between a man and a woman in which: They are united sexually. Cooperate economically. May give birth to, adopt, or rear children. Assumed to be permanent, although it may be dissolved by separation or divorce. Household Composition, 2003 Marital Status of U.S. Population Shared Features of Marriage Marriage typically establishes rights and obligations connected to gender, sexuality, relationships with kin and in-laws, and legitimacy of children. Marriage establishes specific roles within the wider community and society. Marriage allows the orderly transfer of wealth and property from one generation to the next. Legal marriage Provides a number of rights and protections to spouses that couples who live together lack. The current legal definitions of marriage are in the midst of change in both the United States and many other countries. The Rights and Benefits of Marriage Accidental death benefit for the surviving spouse of a government employee Appointment as guardian of a minor Award of child custody in divorce proceedings Burial of service member?s dependents Control, division, acquisition, and disposition of community property Death benefit for the surviving spouse for a government employee The Rights and Benefits of Marriage Disclosure of vital statistics records Division of property after dissolution of marriage Funeral leave for government employees Income tax deductions, credits, rates exemption, and estimates Legal status with partner?s children Partner medical decisions Nonresident tuition deferential waiver The Rights and Benefits of Marriage Payment of worker?s compensation benefits after death Permission to make arrangements for burial or cremation Proof of business partnership Public assistance from the Department of Human Services Qualification at a facility for the elderly The Rights and Benefits of Marriage Right of survivorship to custodial trust Right to change names Right to enter into a premarital agreement Right to file action for nonsupport Right to inherit property Right to support after divorce Right to support from spouse The Rights and Benefits of Marriage Spousal privilege and confidential marriage communications Spousal immigration benefits Status of children In vitro fertilization coverage Same Sex Marriage Same sex marriage is now legal in the U.S., but as of 2006, only in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Family Most definitions of family include individuals who are related by descent, marriage, remarriage, or adoption. Family may be defined as one or more adults related by blood, marriage, or affiliation who cooperate economically, who may share a common dwelling, and who may rear children. Four Functions of the Family Provision of intimacy. Formation of a cooperative economic unit. Reproduction and socialization. Assignment of social roles and status. Types of Families Family of orientation Family in which we grow up. Family of cohabitation Family which we form by marrying or living together. Advantages to Living in Families Continuity of emotional attachments. Close proximity. Familiarity with family members. Economic benefits. Family: Ethnic Differences Among Latinos,godparent are considered family members. Among some Japanese Americans, the ie is the traditional family. Among many Native- American tribes, the clan is regarded as the fundamental family unit. Extended Family Consists of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws. May be formed through marriage or birth. Kinship System The social organization of the family. In a nuclear family, kinship system consists of parents and children. May include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Kinship System Kin can be affiliated, as when a nonrelated person is considered ?as kin.? A relative may fulfill a different kin role, such as a grandmother?s taking the role of a child?s mother. American Attitudes and Opinions on Families In October 2005, PBS conducted a poll of American attitudes and opinions on family issues. 80% agreed it is better for children if their parents are married. 71% believe that ?God?s plan for marriage is one man, one woman, for life.? 49% agree that it is okay for a couple to live together without intending to marry. American Attitudes and Opinions on Families More results: 52% agree divorce is the best solution for a couple who cannot work out their marriage problems. 55% agree that ?Love makes a family . . . and it doesn?t matter if parents are gay or straight, married or single.? American Attitudes and Opinions on Families More results: When asked if the government should play a role in encouraging people to marry and stay married or stay out,more than three-fourths say stay out. 73% agree that a ?working mother? can have just as warm and secure a relationship with her children as a stay-at-home mother.
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