GCC Sociology The Social Construction of A Family Essay

The Social Construction of Family

Review the videos on family forms we watched.

The first film introduces fraternal polyandy – where a wife takes as her husbands brothers. Notice why they do this. 

FILM 1 Polyandry (Fraternal)

Fraternal PolyandryLinks to an external site.

The second film combines religion with family. It focuses on a cut called the Fundamental Latter Day Saints, a spin off from the Mormon religion. This is an example of patriarchy and a cult. Some of the images and conversations are quite difficult as the deal with incest, rape, and violence.

FILM 2 Patriarchy Cult

“Damned to Heaven”Links to an external site.

The third film is a documentary on the Mosuo society, which is a matriarchy. This society is ancient and is balancing their culture with modernity.

FILM 3 Matriarchy

“The Women’s Kingdom”Links to an external site.


Write your observation as an essay that compares polygyny to polyandry, and matriarchal to patriarchal families on these dimensions:

Culture – how do each of these family forms maintain legitimacy in society? (Refer to cultural artifacts of symbols, values and norms. How does ideology help secure these family forms as “normal”)

Power – who has the power in the family? How is this determined?

Then, compare these families to your own on culture and power.

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