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Divorce Perspectives and Descent

 Divorce Perspectives and Descent


a) Patrilineal descent: Patrilineal descent is a kinship system in which an individual’s family lineage, inheritance, and social status are primarily determined through their father’s side of the family. In patrilineal societies, individuals are considered to belong to the same descent group as their father, and property and names are typically passed down from father to son. This system is often associated with patriarchal societies, where men hold significant power and authority within the family structure.

b) Matrilineal descent: Matrilineal descent is a kinship system in which an individual’s family lineage and social status are determined through their mother’s side of the family. In matrilineal societies, individuals belong to the same descent group as their mother, and property and names may be passed down through the maternal line. Matrilineal systems can be found in various societies around the world and are often associated with a more balanced distribution of power between men and women.

c) Bilateral descent: Bilateral descent, also known as cognatic descent, is a kinship system in which an individual’s family lineage and social ties are based on both their father’s and mother’s sides of the family. In bilateral descent, individuals are considered to have connections to both their maternal and paternal kin networks. This system allows for a more inclusive approach to kinship, as it recognizes the importance of both maternal and paternal relatives.

In the United States, the favored pattern of descent is bilateral descent. This is because American society places a strong emphasis on individualism and personal choice. In a bilateral descent system, individuals have the flexibility to maintain relationships and connections with both their maternal and paternal relatives, which aligns with the American cultural value of personal autonomy and the freedom to choose one’s own social connections.

Examples of how religion has promoted dramatic social transformation:

  1. The Protestant Reformation: In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation led by figures like Martin Luther and John Calvin resulted in a significant religious and social transformation in Europe. This movement challenged the authority of the Roman Catholic Church and led to the establishment of various Protestant denominations. The Reformation also played a role in shaping political and social structures, contributing to the development of modern secular states and the spread of literacy.
  2. The Civil Rights Movement in the United States: The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s in the United States was deeply influenced by religious leaders and organizations. Figures like Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister, used religious principles to advocate for racial equality and social justice. The movement’s use of nonviolent protest strategies was grounded in religious ethics, and it played a crucial role in challenging racial segregation and advancing civil rights for African Americans.

Is divorce best viewed as a problem, a solution, or a symptom? Explain your answer:

The view of divorce as a problem, a solution, or a symptom can vary depending on one’s perspective and context. Here are different viewpoints:

  1. Divorce as a Problem:
    • From a traditional or conservative standpoint, divorce is often seen as a problem because it signifies the breakdown of the family unit and the dissolution of a committed partnership. It may be viewed as a social issue associated with moral and religious concerns.
    • Some argue that divorce can have negative consequences, especially for children, as it may disrupt their stability and lead to emotional and psychological challenges.
    • High divorce rates in a society might be seen as an indicator of social instability or breakdown in family values.
  2. Divorce as a Solution:
    • From a more progressive perspective, divorce can be viewed as a solution to unhappy or dysfunctional marriages. It allows individuals to exit relationships that are no longer fulfilling or healthy.
    • Divorce can be seen as a means of personal liberation, particularly for individuals, often women historically, who may have been trapped in abusive or oppressive marriages.
    • It can provide an opportunity for personal growth, self-discovery, and the pursuit of more satisfying relationships.
  3. Divorce as a Symptom:
    • Some sociologists and researchers view divorce as a symptom of broader social changes and shifting norms. It can reflect changes in gender roles, expectations of marriage, and societal acceptance of diverse family structures.
    • High divorce rates may indicate shifts in economic factors, such as women’s increased workforce participation, which can impact marital dynamics.
    • It can be seen as a symptom of individualism and the prioritization of personal happiness over traditional societal expectations.

Ultimately, whether divorce is viewed as a problem, a solution, or a symptom depends on cultural, societal, and individual perspectives. It’s a complex social phenomenon with multifaceted implications that can vary widely based on context and individual circumstances.

 Divorce Perspectives and Descent

Question Description

I need an explanation for this Sociology question to help me study.


What is:

a) Patrilineal descent?

  1. b) Matrilineal descent?

c) Bilateral descent?

Which pattern of descent is favored in the United States?  Why?

Provide at least (2) examples of how religion has promoted dramatic social transformation.

Is divorce best viewed as a problem, a solution, or a symptom? Explain your answer.

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