Sociology of Marriage and Family

Sociology of Marriage and Family

Sociology of Marriage and Family

Lesson 1 Assignment

Explore a sociology association found on the link provided.  Write a 1-2-page written paper on the association you explored, how it relates to marriage and family, your interest level in the group and your thoughts regarding joining the organization.

Text Book:

LESSON 1- Readings and Videos

CrashCourse. (2017, December 11). Theories About Family & Marriage: Crash Course Sociology #37 [Video]. YouTube.

SOCIOLOGY of the Family Ron Hammond, Paul Cheney, Raewyn Pearsey

Chapter 01 – Changes and De�nitions Welcome to this Sociology of the Family Free Online textbook. I am the author and have worked with my own university students

over these recent years to provide open courseware free textbooks for anyone, anywhere who would like to read them. As of the

writing of this edition, over 500,000 students have used our free books and many of them live in many diverse countries around the


I have a Ph.D. in Sociology of Family Studies from Brigham Young University (Class of 1991) and have taught Sociology of the Family

for over 30 years. I have taught thousands of students how to understand the family using sociology as a framework for gaining

insight and expertise. Most of my students did not continue on in the �eld of family studies, but a few are now professors in their

own right and others are therapists practicing in their communities.

My �rst full-time gig as a professor of sociology was in a community college where administrators demanded that we provide a service to our students that was worth the money they paid us for teaching.

I have honored that professional commitment ever since. So we hope you will enjoy the chapter.

My purpose in teaching about the family is to provide you with information that is scienti�cally sound and practically useful. It is not

enough for me to simply spread facts. I want to tell students what works, what doesn’t work, and how to tell the difference in �nding

real solutions to their own life troubles. Call it bias or just common sense, if you read this book you’ll �nd more answers than


In all societies, the family is the premier institution for all of the following: socialization of children, adult intimate relationships,

lifelong economic support and cooperation, and continuity of relationships along the life course. Sociologists are leaders among

scientists who study the family. They function in a core assessment role for describing, explaining, and predicting family-based social

patterns for the United States and other countries of the world. Sociologists allow us to understand the larger social and personal-

level trends in families.

Family Structures The family structures that were very common a century ago are not nearly as common today.

In the U.S. around the year 1900 most

families had three generations living in one home (i.e., children, parents, and grandparents). In 2012, only 4.6 percent of all US

households had multi-generational family members living in them (retrieved 6 June 2014 from SOURCE America’s Families and

Living Arrangements: 2012, P20-570). Most modern families take one of two forms: nuclear or blended. The Nuclear Family is a

family group consisting of a mother and a father and their children. This is the family type that is mostly preferred. One variation of

this type is the single-parent family, which can be created by unwed motherhood, divorce, or death of a spouse. The second most

common type of family is the Blended Family, which is a family group created by remarriage that includes step-parents or step-

siblings or both. All of the family relationships beyond the basic two-generation nuclear or blended family we call Extended Family,

which includes relatives beyond nuclear and blended family levels (i.e., cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents and great

grandparents) .

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts annual surveys of the U.S. population and publishes them as the Current Population Surveys.

Table 1 represents the numbers and percentages of 2019 and 2011 U.S. Family Types. You will notice that marrieds comprised the

largest proportion of family types in 2019 and in 2011. Marriage is still the marital status preferred the most and it might include

�rst marriages, second or later marriages (remarriages, heterosexual or same-sex marriages inter-racial or inter-ethnic marriages,

traditional or conservative marriages. Both the number and the percentage of marriages increased from 2011 to 2019. The

widowed were fairly constant with few changes. The divorced and separated increased in numbers but not in percentages. The

never married singles also increased in numbers and percentages from 2011 to 2019.

Table 1. US Family Types, 2019 and (2011)

Types 2019 & (2011) Numbers in Millions 2019 & (2011) Percentages

Married 137 & (123.9) 53% & (52%)

Widowed 14.2 & (14.2) 6% & (6%)

Divorced & Seperated 40.3 & (30.0) 11% & (12.6%)

Never Married-Single 85.2 & (75.8) 32 % & (30%)

Retrieved 1 July 2020 from MS-1. Marital Status of the Population 15 Years Old and Over by Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin: 1950 to Present SOURCE and

from Taken from Internet on 30 May 2014 from Table A1. Marital Status of People 15 Years and Over, by Age, Sex, Personal Earnings, Race, and Hispanic