SOC 4050/5050 Sociology of Families
Exam 3 Study Questions

  1. How common is violence in American families?  Are American families more or less violent than families in other developed countries?  What are some of the factors account for the violence in American families?

  2. Discuss some of the different types of abuse that occurs in American families.  What types of abuse are most common?  Who does most of the abusing?  Does the type and severity of abuse vary depending on who is abusing whom?  How can these patterns be explained?

  3. What are some of the characteristics associated with abuse in American families?  In other words, what factors are associated with abuse or what types of families are most violent and abusive?  How can these patterns be explained?

  4. Is it ever acceptable to hit a child?  Is all corporal punishment abusive?  How would Murray Straus answer these questions?

  5. What is the family life cycle?  Briefly outline and discuss the family life cycle in America?  Do all American families follow this cycle?  Explain your answer?

  6. What are some of the more common experiences of families during the latter half of the family life course?  Would you describe these experiences as positive or negative?  Why do think family scholars have focused so little attention on latter life families?  Is this likely to change?  Explain your answers.

  7. What is the "empty nest" period?  What is the "refilling of the empty nest?"  What are some of the causes and consequences of the refilling of the empty nest?

  8. Discuss family care giving in later life families?  Who provides care for whom?  Who are the "sandwich generation" and "women in the middle?"  Discuss the aging of the baby-boomers and "caregiver crunch."

  9. Does America have an explicit family policy?  Why or why not?  Discuss the the competing family ideologies that dominate contemporary debates over family policy.  Who tends to hold these competing views of family?  Discuss these competing views as they relate to (1) homosexual marriage, (2) single-parent families, (3) impoverished children, (4) rising divorce rates, and (5) family decline.

  10. Discuss the following statement:  "American public policy tends to emphasize the individual to the exclusion of the family, community, and society."  In what ways does our public policy emphasize the individual?  What impact does this individualist orientation have on family policy?

  11. In American public policy, who is seen as responsible for welfare of citizens?  The citizens themselves?  Their families?  Their communities?  The government?  How do liberals (democrats) and conservatives (republicans) tend to differ on this issue?  How does this affect family policy?

  12. Discuss the following statement:  "American public policy has tended to be selective, targeting "needy" populations?"   How has our policy been selective?  What needy populations have been targeted and what are some the programs that target them?  Are such targeted policies good or bad?  Explain your answer?

  13. Do the elderly receive a disproportionate share of federal resources?  Do children receive too little?  What age groups receive the least support from our government?  Is this "generational inequity" a problem?  What are some possible solutions to the generational inequity in our public policy?

  14. How are black families, Hispanic families, Asian families, and Native American families similar to and different from white families?  How are they similar to and different from each other?