Delta State University

Sociology 101

Spring Semester 2003


Study Questions

Henslin Text, Chapter 12


(1)  What is a family?  Describe ways that families vary by culture.


(2)  What important functions do families fulfill in society?  How do these functions vary by culture?


(3)  Describe how the functionalist, conflict, and symbolic interactionist perspectives on the family differ.


(4)  What is the basis of the practice of arranged marriages?  Would arranged marriages work as a general practice in the United States?  Why or why not?


(5)  How might a typical family change over time?  What events generate these changes?  What factors influence how these changes might vary?


(6)  Cite statistics that show how the following trends have developed in the United States:  postponing marriage, cohabitation, unwed mothers, and care for the elderly.


(7)  How might we go about assessing the rate of divorce in the United States?  What are some important social problems produced by an increasing divorce rate?


(8)  How does family structure differ between the following ethnic groups:  White Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Native Americans?  How does family structure differ within each group?  What factors account for this variation?


(9)  What are some problems that arise with the following family types:  single-parent families, childless families, blended families, and gay and lesbian families?


(10)  What is meant by the term “the second shift?”  What are some characteristics of men who share the second shift, and what influence does this have on their marriage and families?


(11)  What are some important functions of the media in U.S. society?  What is the relationship between advertising and the media?