1. Struening discusses social and legal challenges faced by same-sex couples and families. What happens when race is added to the mix, for example, for African American same-sex couples or for interracial same-sex couples? What cultural, legal or other tools might these couples and families use to resist discrimination on multiple fronts?
One cultural way in which same sex couples can be able to deal with discrimination is the fact that marriage is an important pillar of society. Therefore, to avoid the promiscuous activities in the society, it would be prudent for one to get into some form of marriage. While marriage has been in the past defined only as engagement of the opposite sexes in a union, the dynamics have changed the definition in a big way (Struening, 74). Legally, the same sex couples would easily fight off discrimination. When there are conflicts in families, the law becomes a pillar in defining the terms of engagement while spelling out the rights of every individual as pertains to family issues. Dynamics and transitions, family formations have made it possible for the laws to be formed to deal with growing dynamics. In the United States, for instance, some states have provisions in law that allow same sex partnerships (Struening, 80). This, to a large extent, vindicates the people involved in same sex marriages. Thus, this helps the people in same sex marriages to wade off any form of discrimination. Same sex marriage is protected in some states by the constitution, thus the legality.
2. How do you think the "cohabitation revolution" presented by Smock and Manning has changed, or might change, the way we view family formation? Is it changing what counts as a "family"? What evidence can we use to determine an answer to this question?
Cohabitation revolution has to a large extent changed the way we view family formation. The basic underlying norms of family formations are not adhered to in the present day. For instance, people get into marriage for convenience purposes, a phenomenon that bypasses the spirit of family formation (Risman, 132). Individuals today cohabit for the sake of kids who perhaps might have come unexpectedly. Economic drives are also a reason for increased cohabitation. Individualism has also made cohabitation real as people divorce themselves from the societal norms to chat their own course in social life. For this reason, family formations have changed as the basic norms and regulations have been abandoned and new forms of social dynamics like individualism adopted (Risman, 137).
Risman, Barbara J. Families As They Really Are. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print.
Struening, Karen. Families in Law. Families in practice. Ppt retrieved from: