1. What is meant by the idea that race, class, and gender are interactive systems rather thanindividual variables? Think about your own family of orientation, and take one particular aspect ofyour family life as an example. Discuss briefly how race, class, and gender act simultaneously to shapethat aspect of your family life.Class race and gender are present in a society and are very closely dependent upon each other.They represent the diversity of the society. One cannot be thought of in isolation. These threeaspects make up an integrated family. My family though a patriarchal one has empowered thewomen folk to work .W this becomes an extended part of our family. We have married into theother races especially into the African American race and we live together and happily. The menand the women contribute to the running of the family and take equal responsibility of thefamily. We do not believe in classism and hence this is totally absent in the family though thereare a few very poor cousins whom we have brought home to uplift their status .So our family hascut across all societal norms and hence we are able to live together even in these days of familyisolation. All the three have united our family in a very cohesive way.2. Most people agree that marriages and families underwent major changes during the last half of thetwentieth century; however, few people link these changes to larger societal changes that have takenplace. Identify some of the major changes that have taken place during the past 50 years (forexample, in transportation, technology, and social welfare policies), and discuss their impact oncontemporary marriages and families. Reflect on your own family and consider how one such changehas affected your family and/or families like yoursMarriages and family structures underwent radical changes due to shift in habits. Theurbanization of the society led to many families being broken down into smaller units. Thenucelarization of families started. Transportation has enabled people to commute to work andhence the growth of the suburban style of families was born. Technology especially the internetand mobile phones as enabled families to be connected and hence the families slowly startedmoving out. When my family members got educated and were looking for jobs, they had toleave the family home and settle in cities. The only consolation was that we used to remainconnected over the internet and phones. There is hardly anyone left in the family home everyonelives in distant places and make it a compulsory habit to be at home for Christmas and Easter.3. Virtually every practical decision you make and every practical opinion you hold has some theorybehind it. Consider any marriage and family behavior or event of interest to you. Develop a “minitheory” to explain the behavior or event. What are some of the major assumptions you make abouthuman beings, society, marriages, families, women, and men? Is your theory a micro or macro levelexplanation? Which one of the theoretical perspectives or theory models does your theory mostresemble? After you have developed your mini theory, consider that you or some researcher wants totest it. What kinds of questions might you ask? Which research methodology would be mostappropriate to test your theory? Why? There have been conflicts of some kind in family structures .The conflict theory states preciselywhy there are so many upheavals in societies and in family structures. The conflict theory statesthat conflict is due to many social and economic inequalities which are inherent in the society.Economic inequalities are present in the form of the rich and the poor, the employers and theemployed. Power is a very important source of conflict as it is seen that the rich exert their powerto those families which are poor leading to rebellions, power struggles and the rise of the classinequalities. Social changes have also led to conflicts among different groups that make a societyand have led to new emerging order of community based on some adaptations. In order to testthe conflict theory I would develop a questionnaire were I would list out the most importantcauses of conflict in families. The primary method data collection would be used for thisresearch and it would be an experimental research trying to find questions to conflicts infamilies.4. Why do sociologists need different theoretical perspectives to explain marriage andfamily behavior? Why isn’t one perspective sufficient?Just as all humans are not perfect, neither are the theories that they thought up. There might beone theory that is better for explaining a phenomemon then another. Also, there may be newtheories put in place to recognize race, class, and gender diversity in marriage and families. Eachof the theories has its advantages and limitations. There is no single theory to explain marriageand the family.There are many different ways to study marriage and the family. I think that some ways ofresearch are better or worse than others. For example, surveys can be biased because those whotake the surveys are a select group who are willing to spend the time.Even out of those people who take the survey could rush through and not know how to answerthe questions, which also must be prepared properly. Observation is a good research methodbecause you get a first look into the individuals but it is time consuming.Sociologists go beyond individual experiences to study marriages and families in social,historical, political, and cross-cultural contexts.From their research, sociologists have generated a number of theories that help to explain issueslike why and how marriages and families emerged, how they are sustained over time, howpeople involved in these relationships interact with and related to each other, what significancemarriages and families have for United States society, and how and why marriages and familieschange over time.5. As discussed in this chapter, marriages and families today are faced with a myriad ofchallenges such as home foreclosures, unemployment, violence, poverty, and racism. If youwere a member of a team charged with developing social policy pertaining to Americanfamilies, what aspect of family life would you focus on, how might you research the topic,and what kind of policy (ies) might you suggest to policy makers?I would focus on UNEMPLOYMENTUnemployment doesn’t just affect individuals; it can devastate entire families, too. ThroughoutAmerica, an estimated 9 million people languish on the unemployment rolls. Their familiessuffer the financial and emotional consequences as the job search drags on for months — evenyears. …The stress and depressive symptoms associated with job loss can negatively affect parentingpractices such as increasing punitive and arbitrary punishment.As a result, children report more distress and depressive symptoms. Depression in children andadolescents is linked to multiple negative outcomes, including academic problems, substanceabuse, high-risk sexual behavior, physical health problems, impaired social relationships andincreased risk of suicideMany studies have similarly argued that marriage and family life are negatively affected by theunemployment experienceMethods of researchTHE SURVEYS, use of reports by government on unemployed people( secondary datacollection). The measures in the survey can include items about workers’ financial status, mentaland physical health, family conflict, self-blame and coping, social support, life events,employment history, and future plans.The instrument can be a one-hour personal interviews Surveys. Are one of the quickest ways tofind out what we want to know about people, and are the most widely used method of studyingmarriages and families. Surveys are relatively cheap, but sometimes distortedInterview: Usually involves one person asking another person questions and recording theanswersQuestionnaire: Typically a set of printed questions that people read on their own and then recordtheir answers.Observation Hawthorne Effect: When people know they are being studied they often modifytheir behavior.Participant Observation: The researcher becomes a part of the interaction being studiedUseful when researchers have only a vague idea of the behavior they want to study, whensubjects are not readily accessible, or when there is no other way to get the information. Thesestudies usually take a long time, can be expensive, generally involve few subjects, and offer littlecontrol over situations. However, they lead to in-depth understanding.Case Studies.Use newly collected and preexisting data such as those from interviews, participant observation,or existing records for in-depth examination of a particular individual, group, or organization.Overall, case studies have provided some significant insights into marriage and family processes(especially how families create roles, patterns, and rules).Ethnography.In general, the ethnography is a research technique for describing a social group from the group’spoint of view. An advantage of ethnographic studies is that they provide firsthand accounts ofthose whose lives we are studying by some research it can be seen that usually unemplomentimpacts family asReduced Disposable Income- As unemployment sets in, the disposable income of the family isdrastically reduced.Loss of Financial SecurityStrained Relationships————————Money is very important to keep things going onsmoothly. With less or no money in hand, the head of the family is under continuous stress,which disturbs the emotional and physical health of everyone.Housing Issues——————————————————————————Issues relatedto housing also come up with job loss. The family may need to shift to another house with lowrent because the one in which the family used to live before, may not suit their pockets now.Illegal Activities————————————————————————————-Quiteoften, people tend to lean towards resorting to something that is illegal in order to make somemoney, when all other options run drySocial Nonacceptance——————————————————————Unemploymentalso affects social acceptance of families. Children of unemployed parents are generally notconsidered at par with children of employed parents. Wives of jobless men find it difficult to findjobs for themselves.Loss of Retirement Security- ———————————————————–With job loss,the amount of money that is regularly set aside for use after retirement comes to a stop.PolicyMinimum wages need to be realistic. A minimum wage based on actual minimum livingexpenses would go a long way towards solving this problem.Many people are kept at part time because their employers can’t afford to provide theinsurance benefits that they are required to provide for full time employees. So my partialsolution to this cause of homelessness is once again, healthcare reform, preferably a single payersystem. This would reduce employer costs greatly and they’d then only need to worry aboutwages – even workman’s comp would be reduced as they would no longer have to pay forworkplace injuries.As far as unemployment goes, I think that the economy would slowly but surely benefit fromgreater health care availability which will lead to new employment opportunities.A relatively recent problem associated with unemployment is the practice of credit checks forhiring purposes unrelated to cash handling or finance positions. These practices make it almostimpossible for someone who has gotten behind on their bills to get hired – the bills they arebehind on because they are unemployed! So making these practices illegal other than whenhiring for cash handling or finance positions would help unemployed people have fewer barriersto employment.
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