Week 5: Reading Sociology Part 5

Estimated Reading Time 00:05:05

Reading Sociology

Part 5: Families

Chapter 18: The More Things Change… the More We Need Child Care: On the Fortieth Anniversary of the Report on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women
by Patrizia Albanese

Four principles of the Royal Commission:

  • that women should be free to choose whether or not to take employment outside their homes;
  • that the care of children is a responsibility to be shared by the mother, the father, and society;
  • that society has a responsibility for women because of pregnancy and child birth, and special treatment related to maternity will always be necessary; and
  • that in certain areas women will for an interim time require special treatment to overcome the adverse effects of discriminatory practices

These recommendations are never put into action.

Albanese’s position:

  • Women nowadays have it so hard. Women need more affordable childcare to be able to balance work and child care effectively.
  • Stephen Harper sucks since he doesn’t support an affordable childcare plan.
  • According to UNICEF’s 2008 study, Canada ranked at the very bottom of the 25 developed countries in terms of accessibility of early childhood education programs.
  • Quebec is so good; it offers $7 a day reliable childcare. It’s a lifesaver for women!

Notable quotes:

The child care situation is miserable in this country, especially outside of Quebec. After 40 years, now more than ever, we need an affordable, flexible, high-quality national child care strategy. This would assist women in their choices and access to paid work, and in their ability to fulfill their own and their family’s well-being.

Patrizia Albanese

Chapter 19: Keeping the Family Intact: The Lived Experience of Sheltered Homeless Families
by Annette Tézli

Explores lived experience of homeless families sheltered at the Emergency Family Shelter (EFS) in Calgary, with ethnographic data relying on participant observation (i.e. stalking) and interviews with guests, staff, and board members.
On a side note some of the quotations are actually quite moving. Many participants wouldn’t have made it without their partners. Adversity has made them strong.
People couldn’t afford housing due to high rents.

Basically a restatement of common sense. Is there really anything to summarize here?

Notable quotes (pretty much sums up the whole chapter):

Shelterization may serve to keep together families that otherwise might have separated; and it may cause tensions that break apart families that otherwise might have stayed together.

Annette Tézli

She says nothing at all with that quote! Gee, is it easy to become a sociologist these days.

Chapter 20: Love and Arranged Marriage in India Today: Negotiating Adulthood
by Nancy S. Netting

General ideas:

  • Modernization theory predicts that Indian youth would oppose arranged marriage.
  • Neo-traditionalism predicts that Indian youth would support it.
  • Indian arranged marriage (in the perspective of 30 middle-class interviewees) has qualitatively changed. Young people can veto and have choice to some extent. Ideals such as romantic love has become an important value.
  • Young people want to create an intimate space where emotion, sexuality, ideas, and needs could safely be expressed, which is difficult with the patrilocal multigenerational families in India.

Notable quotes:

The prevailing tone expressed by Indian youth approaching marriage is not one of defiance or rebellion, but of conscious attention to their own needs and empathy for those of their parents. They do not want to abandon a cherished home, but to renovate it to accommodate modern requirements. Freer communication between generations, based on respect and trust, as well as assured space for intimacy between marriage partners, are key goals to be achieved.

Nancy S. Netting

Chapter 21: Gender Equality and Gender Differences: Parenting, Habitus, and Embodiment (the 2008 Porter Lecture)
by Andrea Doucet

Feminists want gender equality on one hand yet some of them deny that “men can mother” ie. fill the role as a mother in the development of a child. Gee they are hard to please.

  • Maternal demands — “preservation, growth, and social acceptability” — not only as demands but also emotional, communal, and moral responsibilities.
  • Emotional responsibility: you need to be able to emphasize — know about others’ needs — to care for others.
    • Three forms for men to connect with their children: 1) play2) go out and do sports together, and 3) promote their children’s independence.
  • Community responsibility: you need to coordinate and balance others who will be involved in your children’s lives. One obvious way is to talk to other parents as your children are playing in the field.
    • Two other ways for men to form networks: 1) connect with other stay-at-home mothers, and 2) network around their children’s sports.
  • Moral responsibility: traditionally men go out and break their backs labouring. What do stay-at-home dads make of that? They are also stereotyped to be lesser carers than women. Things get particularly awkward if you are a single dad and you have a teenage girl whose bunch of girl friends are staying over at your house tonight. Behave yourself and don’t get labelled as a child predator, man.
  • Reasons for gendered differences in parenting: hegemonic masculinities, embodiment, maternal gatekeeping, gendered friendship patterns, habitus, and gender ideologies.
  • Habitus: having “grown up as a girl” or “grown up as a boy” has bearings to how parents parent their own children.
  • Embodiment: a mother can hug and kiss her teenage boy all she wants. But a father that hugs and kisses his teenage girl? Uhhhhh…

Five concluding points:

  1. The issue of responsibility is the one area where gendered differences persisted.
  2. The view that gender differences are bad may need to be reexamined.
  3. When father takes care of a child don’t apply your gyno-centric views because it is prejudiced.
  4. I presented some views here but you need to take into account differences in class, ethnicity, and sexuality kk?
  5. Why do we differentiate between mothering and fathering in the first place? They are one and the same (kind of).

Notable quotes:

One of the main conclusions emanating from my research on gender equality and gender differences in parenting is that, rather than using a maternal lens and comparing fathers to mothers, what is required are novel ways of listening to and theorizing about fathers’ approaches to parental responsibilities and how they are radically reinventing what it means to be a man and a father in the 21st century.

Andrea Doucet

Creative Commons License
SOC103 Notes by digitalhardhat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


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