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Interracial Marriage and The Family

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I.                   The social conflict theory touches on the laments about the condition of the family imply that at an earlier time in history the family was more stable and harmonious that it currently is

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II.                Marriages of the ancient times were based on family and property needs, not on choice by affection

III.             The changing roles of European men and women have also reduced the benefits of marriage, increasingly separating marriage from sexual behavior and making parenthood simply an option

IV.             The social conflict theory tells that the meaning of marriage has been changing and with it the family institution

V.                Developmental psychologists say that getting across the boundary of the family is a major developmental task during the teens and twenties

VI.             Sociologists viewed the family as a social group whose members are related by ancestry, marriage, or adoption and live together, cooperate economically, and care for the young

VII.          The family is a timeless entity, rooted in our social and animal nature.

However, since society is always changing, the family, as the basic unit of this larger entity, must change to reflect this fact

VIII.       To political conservatives, the family is the last bastion of morality

IX.             Most adult Europeans hope to establish an intimate relationship with another person and make the relationship work

X.                European men seemed preoccupied with dominance and power

XI.             Parenthood has become a natural part of our maturity in our marriage

XII.          According to the literature, women were more likely than men to say they were the emotional caretakers of the family

XIII.       The difference in gender intimacy expression may lead to serious misunderstandings between partners

XIV.       Gary Soto, Roger Jack, and Bebe Moore Campbell believe that the really critical event in an individual’s life centers on moving into a relationship marked by intimacy, commitment, and love

XV.          In the case of divorce, marital separation frequently produces a precipitous and sustained decline in household income for the mother and child (in contrast, marital dissolution often leads to an improvement in the economic standard of living for men)

XVI.       Family or domestic violence includes the use or threat of physical force or restraint carried out with intent of causing pain or injury to a family member, and consist of pushing, shoving, slapping, kicking, biting, hitting with fists, hitting or trying to hit with an object, beatings, and threat or use of a weapon

XVII.    Family theorists find that social stress, including the loss of a job or divorce, is associated with the maltreatment of children. Moreover, families that are socially isolated and outside neighborhood support networks are more at risk for child abuse than are families with rich social ties

XVIII. Even before the family theorists prophesy the social conflict-focused family theory, back in the day, the theory was already developing when educators of the Medieval and Enlightenment periods started to worry about the strength and character of the European family

XIX.       To close, marriage is a partnership born out of love, founded on thought-out goals, and sustained through procreation. In particular, feelings of trust, caring, honesty, friendliness, respect, acceptance, and support are the key elements in the maturity of and in marriage, and these are also attributes associated with intimacy.

Interracial Marriage and The Family

We hear a good deal nowadays about the crisis of the European family and even its impending death. The state of marriage has become severely weakened in Western nations over the past decades. Divorce, the postponement of marriage, a rise in the proportion of the never-married, an increase in non-marital cohabitation, and the ready availability of contraception are forces that have eroded the family and compromised its ultimate function, the licensing of reproduction (Cherlin, 2003).

The social conflict theory touches on the laments about the condition of the family imply that at an earlier time in history the family was more stable and harmonious that it currently is. Yet, despite massive research, historians have not located a golden age of the family. Frontliner theorists Gary Soto, Roger Jack, and Bebe Moore Campbell have the answers in the form of their commanding oeuvres talking about the myth of the model family in the European context (Sherlock, 2001).

They contend that the marriages of the ancient times were based on family and property needs, not on choice by affection. Families were often devastated by desertion and death. She views the family as an institution in difficulty and cite many signs that they take as evidence of decay and disintegration: Loveless marriages and increasing remarriage cases, the tyranny of husbands, high death rates, and the beating and abuse of children are up to a grim image. And she holds ancient Christianity accountable for this paradoxically antifamilial phenomenon (Sherlock, 2001).

Should the trend continue, industrial societies will be impaired because they will not replace themselves. The changing roles of European men and women have also reduced the benefits of marriage, increasingly separating marriage from sexual behavior and making parenthood simply an option. Like many Europeans, family theorists similarly share a concern about the directions in which family life has been moving in recent decades. They view the family as an institution in difficulty and cite many signs that they take as evidence of decay and disintegration (Hochschild, 2003).

Indisputably, the social conflict theory tells that the meaning of marriage has been changing and with it the family institution. But pronouncements concerning the death of the family, or at least its impending doom, seem greatly exaggerated. While its obituary continues to be written, the myth of the model family still has to find if it will have a happy ending or tortuous development throughout European history (Sherlock, 2001).

In the late teens and early twenties, many young people find themselves in a phase of life in which a roughly equal balance exists between “being in” the family and “moving out.” Developmental psychologists say that getting across the boundary of the family is a major developmental task during these years, individuals must become less financially dependent, enter new roles and living arrangements, and achieve greater autonomy and responsibility (Nock, 2004).

Sociologists view social institutions as the principal instruments whereby the essential tasks of living are organized, directed, and executed. They have traditionally viewed the family as a social group whose members are related by ancestry, marriage, or adoption and live together, cooperate economically, and care for the young. The family institution has as its chief focus the reproduction, socialization, and maintenance of children (Shorter, 2003).

The family has held on, and many believe actually flourished. Some population experts say that families are back in style. And some sociologists insist that the family is a timeless entity, rooted in our social and animal nature. However, since society is always changing, the family, as the basic unit of this larger entity, must change to reflect this fact. As viewed from the family reorganization perspective, marriage and the family are changing to reflect personal lifestyle choices available in today’s society. Accordingly the family is not only a resilient institution; it is a durable feature of the human experience (Sherlock, 2001).

To political conservatives, the family is the last bastion of morality in a world that is becoming increasingly decadent. And to the army of helping professionals, the family is a problem, an institution in grave difficulty (Sherlock, 2001).

            Since marriage brings a new member into the inner circle of a family, a child’s relatives have a stake in the person who is to be the spouse. Random mating might jeopardize these interests. If children were permitted to fall in love with anybody, they might choose the wrong mate. Although love has many meanings, we usually think of the strong physical and emotional attraction between a man and a woman as romantic love. The ancient Greeks saw such love as a diseased hysteria, an overwhelming force that irresistibly draws two people together and leads them to become passionately preoccupied with one another (Shorter, 2003).

            Most adult Europeans hope to establish an intimate relationship with another person and make the relationship work. This finding underlies a study of European couples undertaken by sociologists Philip Blumstein and Pepper Schwartz. They investigated the experiences of four types of couples: married, cohabitating, homosexual male and lesbian. The study centered on New York City, Seattle, and San Francisco, where the researchers secured 12,000 completed questionnaires. From these, Blumstein and Schwartz selected 300 couples for in-depth interviews. Eighteen months later, they sent half the couples a follow-up questionnaire to determine if they were still living together. As with most volunteer samples, the survey was not wholly representative, since it was weighted toward white, affluent, well-educated Europeans. The researchers believe that any bias is toward the liberal side, and that the nation is probably even more conservative in its family patterns than their results show (Cherlin, 2003).

European men seemed preoccupied with dominance and power. In fact, they could take pleasure in their partner’s success only if it was not superior to their own. In contrast, women were found to be happier and relationships were more stable when the male partners were ambitious and successful. Most married couples pooled their money. However, regardless of how much the wife earned, they measured their financial success by the husband’s income only (Cherlin, 2003).

Most of the married couples had sexual relations at least once a week. People who had sex infrequently were just as likely to have a long-lasting relationship as those who had sex often. While couples were happier when the opportunity to initiate and refuse sex was shared equally by the partners, in more than half of the cases the husbands were still the primary initiators (Cherlin, 2003). But whereas the women tended to link sex and love, men often did not. Less than a third of the couples engaged in extramarital activities. Husbands were more often repeatedly unfaithful than wives, but their transgressions did not necessarily represent dissatisfaction with either their partner or the relationship as a whole. Women, in contrast, often strayed just once, mostly out of curiosity; but for them, infidelity was more likely to blossom into a full-fledged love affair (Cherlin, 2003).

Each modification in the role content of one family member has implications for all the other members. The arrival of the first child compels the reorganization of a couple’s life, since living as a trio is more complicated that living as a pair (Nock, 2004). Couples had to juggle our work roles, alter our time schedules, change our communication patterns, and relinquish some privacy.

Parenthood has become a natural part of our maturity in our marriage. And parenthood competes with the husband/wife role. Women with a first child are more likely than childless women to report that their husbands are not paying enough attention to them. Moreover, marital adjustment ratings typically fall after the birth of a first child. Overall, it seems that although our initial encounter with parenthood may be stressful, we did not find it sufficiently stressful to warrant calling the experience a crisis (Nock, 2004).

Contemporary parents appear to have a less romantic and more realistic view of the probable effects of children on their lives than did earlier generations of parents. And despite the changes a child brings to their lives, most couples report enormous satisfaction with parenthood (Cherlin, 2003).

As a couple has additional offspring, their children are also affected. An only child, an oldest child, a middle child, and a youngest child all experience a somewhat different world because of the different social webs that encompass their lives. Increases in the number of siblings are associated with the completion of fewer years of schooling and the attainment of fewer educational milestones. In brief, families with few children can offer greater educational advantages to their offspring than can families with large numbers of children. Certainly, part of our maturity in our marital responsibilities is carrying out a healthy and systematic family planning in hopes of giving our children the best education possible (Shorter, 2003).

According to the literature, women were more likely than men to say they were the emotional caretakers of the family, although 39 percent of the men indicated that they focused more on their marriage than they did on their work. In about a quarter of the marriages, both partners claimed they were relationship-centered (Cherlin, 2003).

Indeed, being a mother of several children requires making sacrifices. Many mothers, like me, whine of a lack of free time, spiraling child-care costs, loneliness, and for employed moms, the unrelenting pressures associated with the dual demands of home and job. Rearing fathers, especially the unaccompanied ones, also encounter many of the same problems. Juggling work and childcare poses a good deal of difficulty, especially for fathers with preschool youngsters. Many fathers first attempt to have someone come into their homes and care for the children there while they are at work. But the vast majority finds that this arrangement does not work out. Many fathers then gravitate toward daycare centers and nursery schools where they feel that the staff has a professional commitment to children (Cherlin, 2003). Communication, I must say is the key to a full-grown marriage.

The difference in gender intimacy expression may lead to serious misunderstandings between partners but, be it positive or negative, any form of communication is a natural part of a married couple’s maturity. One way in which we can understand the disagreements and tensions in our relationship is by noting whether we have different, and even conflicting expectations (Shorter, 2003).

We shall see throughout our journey that anything that isolates individuals from social support puts them at risk for both physical and mental problems. For those who meet the challenge of intimacy successfully, the next opportunity, and challenge, is generativity. The focus of concern becomes a commitment beyond oneself; to family, work, society, or future generations. This is typically a crucial step in development in one’s thirties and forties. It is critical for parents to be able to give their children the steady acceptance, emotional support, and guidance that the children will need to weather their own storms and crises of development (Nock, 2004).

Gary Soto, Roger Jack, and Bebe Moore Campbell believe that the really critical event in an individual’s life centers on moving into a relationship marked by intimacy, commitment, and love. It is true that far more marriages break up today than in the past. The divorce rate has increased eightfold since the early part of the century, to the point where millions of Mexicans and Europeans go through marriage counseling and divorce courts every year (Cherlin, 2003).

In the case of divorce, marital separation frequently produces a precipitous and sustained decline in household income for the mother and child (in contrast, marital dissolution often leads to an improvement in the economic standard of living for men). The reduction of income for divorced women and their dependent children is not compensated by a corresponding reduction in expenditures for food, housing, and other items, and so the drop in living standards persists indefinitely. And the women are cut-off from their ex-husbands’ private pension and medical insurance plans. In the end, women remain the abandoned in the family-building obligations whether they are legally married or divorced (Sherlock, 2001).

Marriage and family are made important in the contemporary age. But subordination to men’s will forces women to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown when they are desperate to do anything for themselves without men around. Family-centered books are thus criticized embarking upon too feministic or contradictory to the traditional roles of women in the household (Hochschild, 2003).

Also, family theorists suggest that family violence, child abuse, and incest are much more common than most Europeans had suspected. The expression coming out of the closet is an apt one when applied to battered women and victims of child abuse and sexual molestation. They have been as reluctant as gay persons have been to reveal their sexual preferences. Traditionally, they have attempted to keep the indignities they have experienced locked inside the family home (Sherlock, 2001).

Family or domestic violence includes the use or threat of physical force or restraint carried out with intent of causing pain or injury to a family member, and consist of pushing, shoving, slapping, kicking, biting, hitting with fists, hitting or trying to hit with an object, beatings, and threat or use of a weapon. Although both men and women engage in violence, men typically do more damage than their female partners. Women are affected by violence the most, in that their mental and physical health suffers in violent relationships where they are in more danger of killing or being killed by their partners. Some men find it easier to control the weaker members of the family by force because it does not require negotiation or interpersonal skills (Sherlock, 2001).

Women put up with battering for a variety of reasons. For one thing, the fewer the resources as wife has in the way of education or job skills, the more vulnerable she is in the marriage. For another, Europeans place the burden of achieving ideal family picture or at the least, family harmony on women, with the implication that they have failed if the marriage disintegrates (Sherlock, 2001).

A great many factors are related to abuse and violence. Family theorists find that social stress, including the loss of a job or divorce, is associated with the maltreatment of children. Moreover, families that are socially isolated and outside neighborhood support networks are more at risk for child abuse than are families with rich social ties. Additionally, abusive parents are themselves likely to have been abused when they were children (Sherlock, 2001).

In Mexico and in Europe, although incest has been called the last taboo, its status as a taboo has not kept it from taking place, but merely from being talked about. Indeed, most people find it so offensive that parents may be sexually attracted to their children they prefer not to think about it. The perpetrator is commonly the father, uncle, or other male authority figure in the household. In cases of father-daughter incest, the fathers are typically family tyrants who employ physical force and intimidation to control their families (Sherlock, 2001).

The mothers in incestuous families are commonly passive, have a poor self-image, and are overly dependent on their husbands, much the same traits found among battered wives. The victims of molestation are usually shamed or terrified into treating the experience as a dirty secret. The sexual abuse of children often leads to behavioral problems, learning difficulties, sexual promiscuity, runaway behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, gastrointestinal and genitourinary complaints, compulsive rituals, clinical depression, low self-esteem, and suicidal behavior (Sherlock, 2001).

In the modern age, the matters of domestic violence, child abuse, and incest have emerged as major issues. Even so, considerable ambivalence still exists on these subjects. Much needs to be done to assist the victims, if not to save the model family. Should the trend continue, industrial societies will be impaired because they will not replace themselves. As well, the changing roles of European men and women have also reduced the benefits of marriage, increasingly separating marriage from sexual behavior and making parenthood simply an option. Like many Latin Europeans and Europeans, the theorists similarly share a concern about the directions in which family life has been moving in recent decades. They view the family as an institution in difficulty and cite many signs that they take as evidence of decay and disintegration (Sherlock, 2001).

Even before the family theorists prophesy the social conflict-focused family theory, back in the day, the theory was already developing when educators of the Medieval and Enlightenment periods started to worry about the strength and character of the European family. In colonial and frontier times people expressed anxiety about the disruption of family life. And in the 19th and early 20th centuries, worry about the family was cloaked in recurrent public hysteria regarding the peril posed to the nation’s Latin European and European institutions by the arrival of immigrant groups with alien cultures. In sum, the model family question despite its many guises, is not new. So, given the lesson of history and the certainty that families will continue to adapt in unforeseen ways, it is safe to assume that debate will continue (Shorter, 2003).

Indeed, marriage is a partnership born out of love, founded on thought-out goals, and sustained through procreation. With such “heavy and big concepts,” no doubt mature conduct should be a pre-requisite and a growing footing in such a relationship. One researcher, R.J. Sternberg, has simplified some of this complexity in a Triangular Theory of Love (Shorter, 2003). The triangle is composed of passion, intimacy, and commitment. The fact that these make up a triangle indicates that all three dimensions rely on the other two. While passion is important, it is usually identified as a quality that is heavily dependent on the other dimensions if it is to have any longevity. Commitment is also critical, but it refers to the type of investment we put into a relationship rather than the experience or feeling of affection and closeness. Intimacy seems to compromise many of the attributes most people use to define love (Shorter, 2003). In particular, feelings of trust, caring, honesty, friendliness, respect, acceptance, and support are the key elements in the maturity of and in marriage, and these are also attributes associated with intimacy.

References

Cherlin, Andrew. (2003). “Changing Family and Household: Contemporary Lessons from Historical Research.” Annual Review of Sociology.

Hochschild, Arlie Russell. (2003). The Second Shift. Penguin Books.

Nock, Steven L. (2004). “The Family Life Cycle.” Journal of Marriage and Family.

Sherlock, John (2001). “The Family Changes Shape.” USA Today.

Shorter, Edward. (2003). The Making Of The M Family. New York: Basic Books.

Cite this Interracial Marriage and The Family

Interracial Marriage and The Family. (2016, Oct 24). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/interracial-marriage-and-the-family/

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