Development, Youth and Sports): The family is an important institution. It brings fulfillment to our lives and is our anchor in this fast-paced, ever-changing environment. Families serve as an important pillar of support for the nation. At the individual level, families are the primary source of emotional, social and financial support.
At the national level, they contribute to social stability and national cohesiveness as they help develop socially responsible individuals and deepen the bond Singapore have with our country. National Family Council National Family Week (May) Recognizes role of family & contributions to society Encourages and supports healthy family life and values ‘Eat with your family day ‘Jetty Jump’ I. What Is A Family? Marriage? A universal social cultural construct Children?
Kinship – blood, marriage, adoption, fictive (group formation) Emotions – love, happiness, sadness (regulating emotions) Rituals – marriage (Joining together), divorce (breaking apart), funeral (separation) Problems with defining the “family’ No such thing as the family (single, timeless, homogeneous entity) Family as a heterocyclic term – does not refer to a concrete phenomenon Families have been structured In many ways, and diversity of familial forms have been Increasing II. Diverse Family Forms Besides nuclear family, gender revolution has also created diversity of family forms (Bryn & Ale p. 56) Step barnacles Grandparents caring for grandchildren (extended family) Multivalent Transnational females (Howard 2011) Tatterdemalion families; astronaut females and parachute children (Eng 1999 Flexible Citizenship) Cohabitation Couples living together without being married and who may have children together Increases over the decades Lasting and enduring Cohabitation – Reasons? Cultural reason – norms and sexual relationships Adaptation – high divorce rates; challenges facing married couples Long-term alternative to marriage Cohabitation – Structural consequences?
New definitions of kin networks; inheritance New legislation (welfare; entitlements) Same-sex unions and partnerships Hetero-normative Civil union in 12 countries Questions definition of family as based heterosexual union Homosexuals want long-term relationship Denmark – homosexual divorce lower than heterosexual divorce Children from revises heterosexual marriages, adoption, artificial insemination Single-parent families Murphy Brown single parent controversy Separation, divorce, death Class and ethnic differences Marriage as an upper-middle-class pursuit?
Highest incidence among African-Americans Racism and unemployment Racism and imprisonment Economic independence of African-American women – manumission?