Chapter 1 Summary - Essay Example

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Marriage and family, the oldest of all human institutions, are established by human beings ‘to meet certain basic individual and social needs, such as…
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Download file "Chapter 1 Summary" to see previous pages... 2), people who argue in favor of heterosexual and homosexual cohabitate relations tend to define marriage as a mere “union between people” whether it is legally recognized or not. A family is understood as a group of people ‘related by blood, marriage or adoption”; however, most of the Americans tend to accept the broader definition of family where cohabitation also is accepted (Schwartz & Scott,
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2010, p. 3). The types of families in America vary from family of orientation, family of procreation, nuclear family to extended or multigenerational family. Racially and ethnically mixed families, lesbian and gay families and foster families do exist in America. The authors argue that factors such as race, class, ethnicity and gender have caused large amount of social, political and economic inequalities among families in the nation and as a result many families feel themselves as inferior. The social functions that families serve include “regulation of sexual behaviour, reproduction, social placement, socialization, economic cooperation and the provision of care, protection and intimacy for family members” (Schwartz & Scott, 2010, p. 5). There exists contradiction between the traditional family values and those propagated by educational systems. The breakdown of families and moral decay would result in most contemporary social ills such as HIV/AIDS, divorce, drug abuse and violence and the growing number of divorces, lesbian gay relations, unmarried mothers and incest add to these contrasting views on marriage.
Studies and researches have shown that the concept of family life in America is very much clouded by myths. According to the authors, these myths, though they sound to be ‘dysfunctional or dangerous’, are ‘middle-class myths’ that are propagated by the mass media (Schwartz & Scott, 2010, p. 9). The major four debunking myths are discussed below:
The concept of universal nuclear family found wide acceptance in the 1950s and 1960s. The ...Download file "Chapter 1 Summary" to see next pagesRead More
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