The film, “The Sociology of Families and Households”, examines families from a sociological perspective, as it discusses the ways in which the meaning of family has changed throughout history. To better understand how families have changed throughout several decades, the film discusses how structural functionalism, Marxist theory and feminist theory have played a role in defining what a family is, or was at that time in history. The film also examines a few key challenges facing families, such as divorce, single parent households, finding a balance between work and the family and the formation of stepfamilies. Conclusively, the film discusses how the changes in society affect how families function and how families determine their needs and goals.
“The Sociology of Families and Households” film touches directly on many concepts from this course. One of the main concepts of the film is that the idea that marriage is changing. Until the 1970’s, divorce was rare and difficult to be obtained until many states established the “no-fault divorce” legislation (Cherlin, 2013). Shortly after, families saw a sharp incline in divorce rates, perhaps because couples no longer felt the need to stay in an unhappy relationship, and more woman were out in the workforce than ever before. Another change in marriage is the idea that couples are choosing to delay marriage until later in life. According to Cherlin (2013), more and more couples are marrying at an older age. Those with a four year college degree are especially more likely to put off marriage until after they have graduated college, while those who have no college degree or even a high diploma are choosing not to marry all together.
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...rounds experience a lot of the same issues, such as divorce and balancing work and family, families from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds will face the challenges of family life in different ways, as well as, the meaning of family will have a different definition. For instance, in an African American family grandparents play a large role in the functioning of the family unit (Cherlin, 2013). Grandparents act as second mothers and fathers in single parent households. Yet, in the film, there is no discussion of how grandparents play a role within the families. Also, families of same-sex parents will define family roles differently, as well. The running of the household in a same-sex family will be divided more equally among the parents, as oppose to a defined gender role heterosexual household, where mothers pay do more cooking and cleaning then the fathers do.
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