Families and Households in Different Nations

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 5
Words: 1200
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


I have chosen “Families and Households” as the topic of my essay. Through this essay, we will first point to the definition of families and households, Gender, how everyone expects to do his part in a family or household as being a “Boy” or “a Girl”. and how this normative construction affects the levels of society?

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According,”how countries define “family” varies considerably from nation to nation”.

I totally agree with that. Every nation and culture has its own definition and aspects for Families and Households, the composition of families, the relationship of household members to each other, and the role of gender inside the family and in the society.

These perspectives do not only differ according to the nation but also differ from certain society to another in the same nation, even in the same city or state. These depend on many other givens as culture, nativity, ability to speak English, age, disability status, earnings, educational level, employment status, household size, industry, labor force status, language spoken at home, occupation,..etc.

Family, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau

“A family includes a householder and one or more people living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. All people in a household who are related to the householder are regarded as members of his or her family.

In the U.S., a “household” is everyone who lives in a dwelling, be it an apartment, house, whatever. Everyone who lives together is a “household,” but they are not always a family.

Not all households contain families since a household may comprise a group of unrelated people or one person living alone.”

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Through a nice question on; Ever wondered why men are known for loving sports and women are known for loving to talk? Or why do we try so hard to predict a baby’s gender?

It turns out there’s actually science and research behind many of our ideas about what it means to be masculine or feminine. But that’s not all gender means. When it comes down to your gender identity, it depends on whether or not you strive to meet society’s expectations or defiantly blaze your own trail.

On (www.edchange.org, An Overview for Adolescence, Sexual Orientation & Identity By Warren J. Blumenfeld ) state a clear definition for gender and gender role.

Gender Identity

This is the individual’s innermost concept of self as “male” or “female” — what we perceive and call ourselves. Individuals develop this generally between the ages of 18 months and 3 years.

Gender Role

This is the set of socially defined roles and behaviors assigned to females and males. This can vary from culture to culture. Our society recognizes basically two distinct gender roles. One is the “masculine”: having the qualities or characteristics attributed to males. The other is the “feminine”: having the qualities or characteristics attributed to females.

(www.allacademic.com, The Body: Reconstructing Judith Butler’s Theory of Sex/Gender ) says that:”A body is both dependent upon others and subject to violation by another, by others. Through our bodies, we always remain exposed to others, and our very vulnerability ties us to others (2004b: 20, 22). In this sense, and only in this sense, we find something primary about the body, something fundamental, undeniable.”

Site (www.blackwell-synergy.com) states that Gender is related to about a third of these task meanings. Consistent with the feminine care hypothesis, women consider baby care and laundry especially good, potent, and active and consider meal preparation particularly powerful, although contrary to this hypothesis women evaluate washing dishes less positively than men. Consistent with the masculine care hypothesis, men consider auto work and yard work especially good and powerful. When paid and unpaid work patterns are controlled, however, 9 of the 12 gender differences become nonsignificant and 4 new gender differences are identified, suggesting that work patterns both mediate and suppress some gender differences in task meanings. Gender also moderates the relationship between work and 12 task meanings. In several of these equations, women’s proportion of nonmasculine work is negatively related to the goodness or the power they associate with a nonmasculine task.

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While (findarticles.com) says that several studies find that women’s attitudes and behavior determine the division of labor (Antill & Cotton, 1988; Hardesty & Bokemeier, 1989), others demonstrate that men’s attitudes have a greater impact (Ross, 1987). Indeed, husbands’ prerogatives continue to have a more pronounced effect on marital role bargains than do wives’ employment status or other family characteristics (Hiller & Philliber, 1986).

parents are guilty of perpetuating one of the most sexist stereotypes out there (at least I think so): we expect our daughters to do more housework than our sons, and when the boys do lend a hand, we are more likely to pay them for their effort than we are the girls.

Gender does not only affect our role in our families or household but for sure also affects a wider range around us in our society.

Act Like a Man

what does it mean to “Act Like a Man” in sports, business, on a date, etc.).

What does it mean to act like a man? What words or expectations come to mind? (e.g., men don’t cry, men are tough, men are strong).

Be Ladylike

What does it mean to be ladylike? What words or expectations do you think of? (e.g., girls are polite, girls are neat, girls are passive).

attitudes and behaviors that boys are pressured to adopt in the process of becoming men in our society. Men and boys are not born this way; these roles are learned.

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Women also learn to conform to very specific role expectations as they grow up being female in our society.

Where do we learn these gender roles?

Where do women learn these messages?

What other people influence our learning of gender roles? Where else in society do we find these messages?

A stereotype rigidly confirms the belief that if you are a girl or a boy, or a woman or a man, you must perform these specific roles, and do them well. This belief takes away our personal choices in determining our own interests and skills. It also discourages men from participating in “women’s work” (such as flower arranging and child care) and it restricts women from choosing roles that are traditional “male” (such as engineering and science).

(www.findarticles.com)states that, “For the past two decades, we have witnessed dramatic shifts in gender roles within the family and the workplace. Due to increasing rates of women’s labor force participation, the traditional, single-earner family has become the exception rather than the norm”.

We are all real people and we can experience the full range of emotions, including happiness and sadness, love and anger. We learn these attitudes and behaviors through the stereotypes of what our society thinks it means.

This is not to say that it’s wrong for guys to like sports or fix cars or for girls to enjoy cooking that we are told that we must perform these roles in order to fit in. It is important for all of us to make our own decisions about what we do.