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Marriage and Family

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Theoretical Perspectives on Families (also known as paradigms) are sets of concepts and assumptions about how families work and/or how they fit into society. The two different perspectives that I am going to discuss are the Feminist perspectives and the Family Development Theory. (Reference: Textbook)

Feminist perspectives: Due to the feminist movement between the 1960’s-1970, new ways of thinking have arose. There are more conversations and controversy today regarding gender roles and feminist content. Feminists normally examine the way gender roles exist in the family’s household. The concepts that were traditionally created by society are as follows: Men; provider, work all day, tough, protector, disciplinary, etc. Women; stay-at-home moms, caring, cook, clean, laundry, listener, etc. Traditionally, men are the ones who go to work and provide a living to take care of his family while his wife either works a part-time or is a stay at home mom. However, times have changed. Now a day, women are becoming more independent and are working full time corporate jobs. Although, women may still go home to cook and clean, there has been a difference. You now hear of stay-at-home dads. Some men also go home to cook and clean and help with the household duties. (Pgs 42-43, textbook)

Feminist fight for equal rights, they fight to have the same rights as men. As a woman, we are already the underdog; where we have to fight for what we want. They strive to raise society’s level of awareness regarding the oppression of woman. It is more than just a theory, this is a movement. (Pgs 42-43, textbook)

Family example: In a TV show called Orphan Black, one of the most feminist shows on television, Cosima Niehaus is definitely known by viewers as a feminist. She exceeds in girl power and what she will do to make sure women are treated equally. Cosima is an intellectual who speaks passionately about what she believes in, and never lets anyone define her or put a label on the
type of “person” she is. She not only fights for herself, but for all of her sisters as well, and is willing to stop at nothing to protect them.

Family Development Theory: This theory is directed to families and emphasizes the patterns and different stages that occur in a family over time. The stages that take place are considered the family life cycle. The stages in this life cycle include but are not limited to: growth with the birth of children, change during the raising of children, and contract as children leave and spouses die. There are definitely stages that are in between these above ideas. Whatever happens within the lifespan of the family are considered the family life course. For example, “falling in love”, “experiencing divorce” and etc.

This theory helps give us a better understanding to the life cycle and its complexities of family life and the different paths that may interfere with the families.
Family example: The first example that shot right into my head would be the TV show, Modern Family. This show is definitely a perfect example of what normal families go through and its struggles. The family life cycle lives through this show. I can relate to this show in many ways. For one, it does not sugarcoat everyday controversies. Jay Pritchett, the father and main character of the show, has two grown children, Claire and Mitchell. Jay is remarried to a way-noticeable younger Spanish woman, Gloria, who already has a son of her own, Manny. Claire, Jay’s daughter is married to Phil and they have 3 children. Their oldest, a diva, Haley, their geeky-smart daughter Alex and their son Luke. Jay’s son Mitchell is gay and is married to Cameron. They have an adopted daughter named Lilly. In this show, they go through raising children, gay stereotypes, coming out of the closet, teens rebelling, discipline action by parents, sticking together as a family, adults arguing and bickering and etc. Everything that a normal family may go through in their family life cycle happens in this TV show. It is a prime example of this theory.

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