DEFINITIONS/ KEY CONCEPTS

23 key concepts with definitions for sociology AS exam on Families and households

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  • Created by: Lily
  • Created on: 30-12-11 13:22

HOUSEHOLD

  • Group of people who live together at the same adress, share things e.g. meals, bills, facilities, housework.

OR

  • One person living alone

 

A FAMILY MAY LIVE AS A HOUSEHOLD BUT A HOUSEHOLD IS NOT NECESSARILY A FAMILY!

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FAMILY

Everyone we are related to by blood or marriage

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FAMILY STRUCTURE

Composition or make up of a group of people who live together as a family unit

These structures include-

  • NUCLEAR FAMILY
  • EXTENDED FAMILY
  • RECONSTITUTED FAMILY
  • LONE-PARENT FAMILY
  • SAME-SEX FAMILIES
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NUCLEAR FAMILY

Two generation family unit of a man and woman and their dependent children (own/adopted) living together

Regarded by some sociologists such as FUNCTIONALISTS that a NUCLEAR FAMILY is the basic universal form of family structure.

NUCLEAR FAMILY is advertised as the norm

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EXTENDED FAMILY

Where the basic NUCLEAR FAMILY structure has been added/ extended to

EITHER

  • vertically e.g. grandparents, parents, children
  • horizontally e.g. aunts, uncles cousins

OR BOTH

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RECONSTITUTED FAMILY

Stepfamily where one or both partners have children from a previous relationship

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BEANPOLE FAMILY

Family structure which is drawn as a diagram.

Resembles a long thing beanpole rather than the traditional family tree with branches.

Emerges from couples only have one child or people that remain childless

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EMPTY-NEST FAMILY

Families where the child has grown up and moved out of the parents home therefore leaving the adult partners as a couple

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LONE-PARENT FAMILY

Family that includes a dependent child or children that are living with one parent (usually the mother)

More likely to be created by divorce or seperation of the parents or a death of a spouse.

Many lone-parent families are living in or on the margins of poverty

THE CHILD SUPPORT AGENCY- set up to ensure that absent fathers made a financial contributuon, but experienced difficulties making collections from some men and has now been abolished

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STEREOTYPE

Simplified, one sided and often negatice image of a group or individual which assumes that all members of that group share the same charecteristics.

LABELLING- the ways in which labels or stereotypes are attached to particular groups or individuals

SELF- FULFILLING PROPHECY- where a prediction made about a person or group come true simply because it has been made

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INSTRUMENTAL ROLE

Breadwinner or provider role in the family.

FUNCTIONALISTS e.g. TALCOTT PARSONS argue that this role is performed by men.

This implies that men are less involved in looking after children and are more likely to be involved in the public sphere of work

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EXPRESSIVE ROLE

Caring, nurturing, 'homemaker' role in family.

FUNCTIONALISTS argue that women are biologically suited for this role

FEMINISTS reject the FUNCTIONALISTS arguement

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EMOTION WORK

Work involved in meeting the emotional needs of other people.

Some sociologists argue that women respond to the emotional demands of other family members rather than men

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DOMESTIC LABOUR

Work performed in the home e.g. childcare, cooking and cleaning

FUNCTIONALISTS see this as part of the expressive role of women

FEMINISTS argue that it is a major source of women's oppression

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DUAL BURDEN

When a person is responsible for two jobs. Usually applied to women who are in paid work and also responsible for domestic labour.

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TRIPLE BURDEN/ TRIPLE SHIFT

Some sociologists argue women carry a triple burden (three jobs)

  • Housework
  • Paid work
  • Emotion work
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EMPTY SHELL MARRIAGE

Couple contintue to live together but are only going through the motions of married life for the sake of their children

Marriage has broken down

May occur because divorce is difficult for legal, financial or religious reasons.

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GENDER

Social and cultural charecteristics of men and women.

Distinct from a person's sex and sex differences.

Sex differences are biological and inborn 

WHEREAS

Gender differences are cultural in origin and learned through gender role socialisation

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CONJUGAL ROLES

The roles played by husband and wife within the marriage

SEGREGATED CONJUGAL ROLES- where the husband is the breadwinner and the wife is the homemaker with leisure spent seperately

JOINT CONJUGAL ROLES-  where a husband and wife perfom both roles and spend more leisure time together

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PRIVATISED FAMILY

NUCLEAR FAMILY whose lifesyle and leisure patterns centre on the home rather that the extended family, workmates or wider community

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PATRIARCHY

Where males in a society are the rulers and leaders and exercise power both at society level and within the individuals homes

PATRILINEAL- family system where descent is traced through males

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MATRIARCHY

Society where females are rulers and leaders.

Often referred to situations when the mother is head of the household and has authority over other family members.

MATRILINEAL- family system where descent is traced only through females

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FUNCTION

Contribution that a part of scociety makes to the stability of well-being of society as a whole.

FUNCTIONALISTS compare society to the human body and whereas the heart or lungs are vital to well-being of the body so are the family and education system are vital to the stability and well-being of society

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Comments

Joseph Tuplin

Really useful for the exam! Thanks a bunch :)

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