Mr. Jackson’s family is in trouble because conflict of interests always emerges. The husband is unwilling to appreciate the efforts of his wife while Mrs. Mary does not want to sit back and see her husband infringe on her rights on employment. Recently, the family engaged in a fight, which attracted the attention of neighbors because of its severity. The husband claimed that his wife was not playing her role appropriately since she is expected to serve the family diligently by undertaking the household chores.
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On her part, the wife, Mrs. Mary Jackson, believes she has the same privileges and roles as the husband in the sense that she should be allowed to work outside the home. In this paper, the conflicts in Jackson’s family would be explored using sociological concepts. The main reason for locating the family is the unending conflicts that are witnessed almost on daily basis.
Settling on the family was simply because it enjoys a close tie with our family. Regarding age, the couple is in their late thirties and they are of the African race. The economic status of the family is average since they both earn a salary. Education wise, they are both college graduates, with the wife having an advanced degree. Each of the couple has a specific role to play and a scenario where one of them interferes with the position of the other is highly discouraged. However, they both play a great role in parenting.
The main problem in the family is communication because the husband is unwilling to share his views with the wife something that seriously interferes with decision-making. In this regard, power structure is skewed in the sense that it lies with the husband while the wife is left at the mercy of Jackson. The interview revealed that the family does not have clear-cut priorities. The couple was interviewed to capture their views on various family issues.
Many sociological scholars in the modern society are interested in examining family interactions and relationships because of the many problems that couples face. Classical scholars applied various theories in understanding family relations, with structuralism being the most valued at the time whereby each member was expected to play his or her role faithfully. Such scholars had a narrow definition of the family with quite a number terming it a basic social unit that serves the purpose of helping out its members in meeting the desired objectives.
However, this definition is changing and application of other theories, such as conflict theory, symbolic interaction, and systems theory is valid. Even though sociologists offer various definitions of family, a number of scholars agree that it entails a primary social group that consist of parents and children with the major aim being provision of the basic needs. Traditionally, the family had a primary role of socializing its members to be accepted in society, but the case is different in the modern society since other agents of socialization, including the media and the peer, are taking over this primary role.
For instance, children are no longer properties of parents because they receive information from different sources even before they attain the legally attained age. Regarding role playing, the mother is longer a house wife in the sense that she is expected to undertake the affairs of the home while the father provides for the family. In fact, many women are taking over traditional positions that were previously reserved for men. Based on this, other theories should be applied in explaining the current trend as far as family relations are concerned.
Structural scholars believed that, being a social unit, the family is expected to operate as system whereby each individual should undertake his or her responsibility diligently without interfering with those of others. Unfortunately, the notion that the father is the head of the family is no longer valued in many families. In this regard, the views of conflict theorists that tensions characterize social relationships are valid since the husband is reluctant to lose his position while the wife is ambition to take over new responsibilities.
An in-depth interview with the family revealed that the husband is reluctant to allow his wife to play any of the roles that is known to belong to men traditionally. For instance, Jackson is opposed to the idea of his wife joining professional workers in other countries trying to develop their careers. The family is faced with a serious conflict that threatens its survival because communication among members is poor. For Jackson, a woman should never try to compete with a man both in the work place and at home.
He views his wife as a major impediment towards goal attainment in the sense that he is not given his freedom to interact with other people in social places. Whenever he visits his social joint, his wife insists on going together, something that angers him so much. In his view, women have different roles and functions that differ greatly with those of men.
Unfortunately, he does not delineate gender from sex because he does not see any difference. Since men and women differ in physical features, there should be a difference in the gender roles as well. For instance, his wife prefers going with him to shop, but he does not approve this behavior terming it weird and unacceptable. Unfortunately, Jackson wants his wife to participate in providing the basic needs for the family claiming that life is challenging in the modern society and each member should at least contribute something financially.
An assessment of the six sources of power suggests that men derive their power from traditional authorities whereby they were able to control affairs in the society because they are relieved of the childbearing responsibilities. The conflict existing in Jackson’s family is social and the major issue affecting the couple is disclosure of the problem because each of them is reluctant to share it openly.
Even though non-verbal communication play a critical role in sustaining relationships, the couple should consider employing verbal communication since it is direct in explaining the problem. In the interview, Mary noted that she prefers keeping quite when her husband does something unpleasant as opposed to engaging him in talks. She only shows that she has an option through facial expressions. The mode of communication is critical is resolving social conflicts, such as the one affecting the couple and effective utilization of listening skills whereby turn taking is given a chance is advisable.
Marriage and happiness are interrelated to an extent that people agree to enter into consensual unions hoping to enjoy their lives forever. Asked what she is most interested in the relationship, Mary replied happiness, but it is unfortunately she is not getting it. Marriage in societies, irrespective of the level of development, is a valued aspect and many consider it a communal affair, especially developing societies. If an individual is not happy in the relationship, chances are high that he or she would seek divorce and the case of Mary is not different since she believes her husband is always unfair, illogical, and insensible.
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Marriage is a concept that is best understood at the two stages, including macro and micro levels. Macro nature of marriage entails looking at it from societal perspective whereby the other people’s contributions and influences are analyzed. For the case of Jackson’s family, the society is to blame for the declining relations among its members because women are supposed to follow orders from their husbands and ensure that they carry out activities of the home as required. In the interview, Jackson complained of being alone at home and was forced to cook, wash, and take care of the child while the wife was away on official duty.
He was never pleased with this and decided to complain to other relatives who advised him to do something to prevent the occurrence of the same situation in future. Marriage after the industrial revolution was never the same as in the traditional society whereby only men were allowed to work. Development of industries diversified labor meaning that men were not enough to offer services. During the World Wars, men were called upon to defend their countries, but the economy could not be left to collapse and the state gave women a new role of producing goods and services in factories.
Since then, the number of women in managerial positions in various organizations is ever increasing, a reality that Jackson is yet to accept. Scholars holding the marital decline perspective observe that industrial revolution and the world wars contributed in destabilizing the family structures since women wanted to further their careers instead of being forced to take care of the domain of the home. Those holding the marital resilience perspective observe that many people managed to stay in relationships during and after the industrial revolution, especially those who accepted the new gender roles.
In regard to upbringing of children, the couple had a problem, but they both underscore the fact criminal behavior is something that can perhaps be learned through the socialization process implying the environment has a role to play in shaping the immoral behaviors in any given society. In the entire interview, the issue of anomie was brought up fully. Durkheim and Merton talked about them in detail. For Durkheim, suicide is mainly caused by the failure of the social institutions, such as the family, the polity, and the school while Merton linked anomie with the personality adaptations.
Durkheim further observed that anomie is a state of formlessness meaning that an individual decides to commit suicide when he or she lacks sufficient guidelines and values that would help in coping with the difficulties in life. For Merton, anomie simply occurs when a person fails to meet societal needs through the socially accepted means, something that forces people to develop new mechanisms to adopt well in society, including confirming to the new rules, engaging in constant innovation, retreating to the established values, such as those of the family, and finally resorting to ritualism.
The couple is likely to suffer from anomie leading to cases of suicide if proper care is not taken. In the interview, Jackson talked about social process tradition, which concentrates mainly on the learning process, socialization, and transmission of subculture behaviors that might be immoral in nature meaning he does not want the adoption of modern cultures.
- Does anyone of you hold a traditional view towards marriage
- How do you share out your responsibilities as a couple
- Do you consider the father the head of the family
- Who is charged with the role of upbringing a child in the family
- Does the family consider the utilization of day care institutions
- Is the mother employed outside the town
- What are some of the source of the family revenue
- Do you share the household chores
- Who is in charge of the family budget and finances
- When doing daily shopping, do both of you go to the market
- Do you enjoy their evenings in the social places together
- What are some of your individual activities
- Do both of you contribute in sustaining the family
- Are you involved in any political activity
- What is the process of making decisions