cultural self assessment
Cultural self assessment needs to be completed.Needs to be done in Australian English not in American english please.I understand this is cultural self write up kindly advise what details you need me to write up so that you can then base essay on that. Also I need approximately 10 academic references for it half of which should be from attachments I will be sending through Thanks
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Author: Van Krieken, Robert Chapter Title The modern, western family Book title: Sociology Edition: 4th ed. Place published: Frenchs Forest, NSW Publisher: Pearson Australia Year: 2010 Pages: 113-115
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THE MODERN, WESTERN FAMILY = Before we examine how sociologists have approached the structure and dynamics of family life from a variety of perspectives, it will be useful to spend a little time looking at the emergence of a specifically modern, Western form of the family. Three issues in particular stand out in sociological and historical discussions of how a particular form of family life arose in Western Europe:
1. the question of the size of family formations, how many generations lived together as single households and whether the dominant form was ‘nuclear’ or ‘extended’ 2. the relationship between home and work life, particularly the impact of industrialisation and urbanisation 3. the role of the parents of young couples in family formation, especially the authority wielded by the parents over the choice of a marriage partner.
THE WESTERN NUCLEAR FAMILY
The French social scientist, social reformer and engin- eer Frederic Le Play (1806-82) was among the first to argue that pre-industrial family structure was origin- ally ‘extended’, encompassing three generations at a time, and that nuclear families were a ‘modern’ cre- ation (Zimmerman & Frampton 1966). This view of the history of the family as being centred on a trans- ition from a traditional, pre-industrial ‘extended’ form to a modern, industrialised ‘nuclear’ form also became quite popular in sociology in the 1950s, especially in the work of Talcott Parsons (Wilensky & Lebeaux 1958). However, a number of sociologists have pointed out that Le Play’s extended family was not at all typical of pre-industrial Western Europe and North America. Sidney Greenfield (1961), for example, argues that the smaller nuclear family predated the Industrial Revolution, and that the notion of the close func- tional interdependence between industrialisation arid the nuclear family was contradicted by the counter- examples of pre-industrial societies with nuclear family structures (Barbados) and industrial societies without the nuclear family (Japan). Marion Levy (1965) went on to develop the argument that, although the extended family might have been the family ideal prior to industrialisation, the demo-
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graphic constraints on pre-industrial Western Europe and North America made such a family improbable. In other words, mortality rates were such that it was highly unlikely that many people would live to see their grandchildren for any significant length of time, if at all. The work of historian Peter Laslett also lent support to the view that family life has been ‘nuclear’ for much longer than thought by Le Play and Parsons. Between 1564 and 1821, Laslett (1972) found that 90 per cent of households consisted only of the nuclear family. The same is true of America (Hareven 1987). This structure is the product of a number of factors, including late marriage and short life expectancy. Laslett concluded: ‘There is no sign of the large, extended co-residential family group of the traditional peasant world giving way to the small, nuclear conjugal household of modern industrial society’ (p. 126). Laslett (1983; 1984) came to the view that there was a typical ‘Western’ nuclear form of family life in Britain, northern France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandi- navia and parts of Italy and Germany, in contrast to a more extended family form in Eastern Europe, Russia and Japan. Laslett and his colleagues refined their approach by distinguishing four sets of areas in pre- industrial Europe:
1. West and Northwest-high proportion of simple family households, very low proportion of complex family households 2. West-Central-high simple, low complex 3. Mediterranean-low simple, high complex 4. Eastern-low simple, very high complex.
An important contrast with contemporary nuclear families, however, was that a large number of pre- industrial families contained servants, as well as boarders and lodgers. ‘Servants’ in pre-industrial Europe were something very different from what we currently understand the word to mean-they were also, often primarily, workers in the household’s system of production. It was considered an appropriate form of preparation for adult life to send children into service or apprenticeship in other people’s households, making it, as John Hajnal (1982) argued, ‘a stage for young people between leaving home and marriage, that is, a stage in the life-cycle’ (p. 471). They would appear in households either as ‘servants’, living and working within the household, or as boarders, working outside the household. There was a constant circulation of young people between households from roughly the age of seven
onwards, establishing them as independent workers and preparing them for the establishment of their own household, separate from their parents. Hajnal and Laslett argued that the nuclear family should be seen as one of the foundations of the process of industrialisa- tion, rather than one its consequences (see also Berger & Berger 1983; Macfarlane 1986).
INDUSTRIALISATION AND MODERN FAMILY LIFE
In most pre-industrial societies, kinship and family ties are the principal basis of social organisation. Societ- ies are often divided into a number of kinship groups such as lineages, which are groups descended from a common ancestor. The needs of kinship groups are to a large extent met by their own production of key goods and services. For example, a lineage may own agricul- tural land that is worked by members of the lineage, who then share its produce. Members of kinship groups are united by a network of mutual rights and obligations. In some cases, if an individual is insulted or injured by someone from outside the group, he or she has the right to call on the support of members of the group to seek reparation or revenge. Many areas of an individual’s behaviour are shaped by kinship status. For example, an uncle may have binding obligations to be involved with aspects of his nephew’s socialisation and may be responsible for the welfare of his nieces and nephews should their father die. In Western societies, the role of kinship gradually became more narrowly defined, and came to operate alongside other social institutions with competing claims to authority and loyalty. For example, a partic- ularly important change in family life was associated with industrialisation: production had been organised largely around the household, whereas with indus- trialisation production took place outside the home or farm, resulting in what is often referred to as ‘the separation of home and work’. This, in turn, is often seen as radically altering the relationships between the sexes-patriarchal power is greater in a household- based production system.
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND THE EUROPEAN FAMILY-JACK GOODY
Historical anthropologist Jack Goody (1983) has sug- gested that the most formative period in the history of
the European family was that of the Christian Church’s dominance of social and cultural life between the 4th and 16th centuries. This is not to say that the Industrial Revolution had no impact at all, but that most of the definitive features of the ‘Western’ family either were in place during the Roman Empire or were the product of the Church’s impact on family life. So significant was this impact that John Goldthorpe (1987) referred to it as the ‘Christian Revolution’ in family life.
The Church, property and kinship After Christianity turned from a sect into a Church and became the official state religion of the Roman Empire and, later, of all Europe, the Church set about chang- ing a number of common practices in European family life-marriage between close kin, remarriage with affinal kin (those of their former spouse), remarriage after divorce, concubinage (the practice of men taking a ‘child-bearing wife’, often in addition to a childless first wife), adoption and fostering. The Church also exerted a strong influence on the way property was inherited. Land had been held in ‘falkland’, normally transmitted to the kin of the deceased, but the Church brought about the intro- duction of ‘bookland’, with land tenure held under a written title deed and disposed of through the use of wills, usually written by those rare people who could read and write-the clergy. The significance of these changes, argued Goody, was that they all weakened kinship ties beyond the immedi- ate nuclear family and had the effect of vastly increasing the property that came into the Church’s hands. All the practices it prohibited were what Goody called ‘strat- egies of heirship’, ways of ensuring that accumulated property and wealth stayed within the kinship network, in the face of the usual barriers to the transmittal of inheritance from one generation to the next-child- lessness, absence of male heirs, death of one parent and separation of parents.
Marriage and parental control In addition, the insistence that marriage depend on the consent of the two partners, rather than on arrange- ments between their parents or other older kin, weakened the control of parents over familial wealth and inheritance, and possibly resulted in some children being disinherited. This further increased the Church’s acquisitions. The Church’s doctrine of consensual mar- riage was, argued David Herlihy (1985), ‘a damaging blow to paternal authority within the medieval house- hold, and by itself assured that the medieval family
could never develop into a true patriarchy’ (p. 81). This does not mean that fathers lost control over their chil- dren’s marriage patterns altogether; on the contrary, their command over familial resources meant that they continued to exert considerable effective influence. But the Church’s marriage doctrine did mean that fathers could neither force a daughter or son into a marriage nor prevent one. Most of the key features of the ‘Western’ family-the relative independence of the married couple from their parents and older kin, greater equality (relatively) between the sexes within marriage and a focus on the immediate nuclear family with no real authority exercised by the extended family-are thus seen by Goody as:
intrinsic to the whole process whereby the Church estab- lished its position as a power in the land, a spiritual power certainly, but also a worldly one, the owner of property, the largest landowner, a position it obtained by gaining control of the system of marriage, gifts and inheritance. (1983, p. 154)
The reduction in the influence of wider kinship net- works and patriarchal authority had thus taken place quite early in Western Europe’s history, during the entire course of Christianity’s influence on European society throughout the Middle Ages. As Goran Ther- born puts it, ‘the Western European family was by far the least patriarchal in a very patriarchal world’ (2004, p. 297).
AUSTRALIAN COLONIAL FAMILY LIFE
This family system was transported to Australia along- side the English and Irish convicts and settlers, but with some modifications, especially in the convict and colo- nial periods.
1. In the early years of the 19th century men greatly outnumbered women and Australian popular culture was correspondingly male-dominated. It gained an element of hostility to family life and domesticity that persisted well into the 20th century. 2. The settlers who came to Australia were removed from their normal networks of extended kin, although they would often do their best to encour- age other members of their family to join them later. As Patricia Grimshaw and Graham Willett summarise it, the usual pattern was that ‘a single individual or a small family of parents and one
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or two young children would face colonial life in isolation for a period of years, and if they found the environment a hopeful one, would encour- age other family members or groups to join them’ (1981, pp. 137-8). They concluded that if one defines the ‘modern’ family as restricted to a narrow range of kin, ‘the Australian family was “born modern” in that respect’ (p. 146). Some did develop relatively dense extended family net- works quite quickly, but those who did not turned for social support to those they might have known from home, those they shared the voyage with or neighbours. 3. Emotional and instrumental ties within the nuclear family were strong. The lack of an extended family network made members of the nuclear family more dependent on each other than they might have been in Europe, as well as more independent and self-sufficient as a unit. For most of the colonial period, state Grimshaw and Willett:
The dominant family patterns closely resembled the traditional family of pre-industrial Europe, if anal- ysed in terms of instrumental bonds … Nearly all women were involved in production for exchange, in production for domestic use, as well as in their roles in reproduction and child-socialization. (pp.146-7)
Children were also expected to work and con- tribute to the family economy, and this increased the importance of women’s reproductive role, ‘because of the vital unpaid labour the children could provide’ (p. 148). Grimshaw and Willett also argued that the shortage of women and the importance of their work for their family’s eco- nomic survival had the effect of enhancing their social status in comparison with their counter- parts in Europe. 4. This economic significance of women’s work, combined with the relative independence from extended kin, ‘had nurtured both a relatively dem- ocratic and affectionate family unit’ (p. 153). Since children did not depend on their parents and family for the provision ofland, they did not have to seek their approval for marriage and were generally more independent. The shortage of marriageable women also made young women less dependent on their family of origin. The overall consequence was a weakened patriarchal control and a more egalitarian style of family relationships.