Marriage and Family

What factors bind marriages and families together? How have these factors changed, and how has the divorce rate been affected?

Factors that bind marriages together are legal, economic independence, social and moral. These factors are lessening and intimacy is being more sought after. Marriage mates can maintain stability by taking out time for each other; they need to find a proper way to balance family time over work time. The divorce rate is increasing due to very little emphasis on emotions over work and education. Trying to be independent of the partner makes the marriage become selfish, if couples continue to put marriage first and invest their time with the family, love grows as well as stability.

How is “his” divorce different from “her” divorce? How are these differences related to society’s gender expectations? In your observation, are the descriptions given in this chapter accurate assessments of divorce outcomes for men and women today?

His and Her divorces are both mentally stressful results. In “His” divorce, the man feels worried about the relationship change between him and his children. The father feels that he might not have enough contact with them throughout their youth. Considering the male gender role, divorced men might also feel they have no one to find comfort in because they would tend not to share their emotional problems with male friends. In “Her Divorce” women lose the husbandly figure and now have the burden of carrying the financial and child-rearing weight by themselves.

Even though she might have emotional and financial worries she tries hard to become the complete parent for her kids regardless of the lack of a consistent father figure. I believe the descriptions in this chapter are fairly accurate, this is what The remarried family has been called an incomplete institution. What does this mean? How does this affect the people involved in a remarriage? Include a discussion of kin networks and family law. Do you think this situation is changing?

The researchers that refer to a remarried family as an incomplete institution mark specific points like the language that stepfamily members use to communicate with each other. That fact that under normal circumstances a member of a remarried family views the members as stepdad, stepmom, or stepsister alludes to the fact that they have a “real” version of these in their “real family. Researchers believe that this makes them function less than a normal family would. The book goes to explain extended Kin Networks in stepfamilies that are not charted or properly identified.

The new members of the family do not replace the existing ones but add onto it. The names stepparents, step-grandparents and stepsiblings can be pinned to these additions. I believe that the situation of remarriages is going to ultimately change for the better due to the increasing popularity in them. This is definitely a negative thing, because an increase in remarriage usually means a steady increase in divorce rates. However, for the members involved in a remarried family then this would lessen the social pressure as this will eventually be seen as something of a norm.

What evidence can you gather from observation or your own personal experience or both to show that stepfamilies (a) may be more culturally acceptable today than in the past and (b) remain negatively stereotyped as not as functional or as normal as first-marriage, nuclear families?

From personal observation I can clearly see that stepfamilies are more accepted culturally now than today. There might still be some stereotypes lingering around but most people would not look at a person a different way just because they have step-parents or step-siblings. I don’t remember a time when stepfamilies were particularly shunned, but I do know they were in the past, nowadays it is not referred to much at all. Single parent divorced families seem to be the ones that are pushed forward as non-functional. Apply the exchange, interactionist, structure-functionalist, or ecological perspective to the process of providing elder care.

The ecological perspective explains that although society doesn’t determine the individual behaviors of family members, it pushes it and sets constraints or provides opportunities for them. The lives of families are daily affected by the different choices they make economically, educationally, religiously and culturally. Families will have a strong sense of responsibility when it comes to discussing the needs of elder care and providing a suitable environment. Points will arise as to whose interests and what areas of family life will need to be cut to provide good health care for an elderly loved one. With these decisions a family’s outcomes and choices are affected by the care of an elderly person, whether it be financially or physically.