Debate On Family Power Essay

540 WordsSep 20, 20113 Pages
Family Hierarchy, Educational Levels, Socioeconomic Status Affirmative View: Every family has a power hierarchy. According to Friedman (2003), in the traditional nuclear family and in most nuclear families today, the power structure is clearly hierarchical, meaning the power structure is tiered. Friedman argues that in most families, men often dominate and develop power over women and parents almost have power over children. Friedman place great importance on the lines of authority or hierarchically arranged power structures in families. Opposing View: The author disagrees with Friedman’s theory and believes that behaviors indicative of appropriate hierarchy would clearly differ depending on age, relationship, cultural/ethnic group and background. According to Smith (2004), ethnic differences among families also dictate power arrangements. For example, male dominance is commonly seen in immigrant families from Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Literature on Hispanic and African American families, describe typical family to be male and female dominant, respectively. Affirmative View: Jory (2010), argues that power is apportioned between husbands and wives based on the relative resources that each contribute to the family. Research indicates that among American men, educational attainment and occupational prestige is the greatest resources, and the greater these men are perceived powerful within the family. This research suggests that these individuals became heads of household because they have access to educational and financial resources in society, not because of any divine right or natural biological processes. Research conducted in the United States found that when men made substantially more income than their wives, they were more likely to exert greater power in financial decision-making when compared to husbands who made about the

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