Sociology | The Family
S316 | 21015 | McManus


OPEN TO UNDERGRADUATES ONLY
MAY NOT BE TAKEN FOR CULTURE STUDIES CREDIT

In this course we step back from our private families and take a look
at the concept of family as a dynamic social institution shaped by
economic, political, and cultural forces in society.  The principal
goals of the course are (1) to examine diversity in American family
structure and American family dynamics across race, class, ethnic,
and gender lines (2) to compare American family patterns, practices,
and social issues with those of European nations (3) to sharpen
critical thinking skills by scrutinizing the nature and quality of
evidence offered in support of different perspectives on family.  The
course is organized into three sections.  In the first section we
review the development of family institutions in the west and
alternative explanations for the diversity of family forms.  In the
second section we examine fifty years of trends in family formation,
divorce, and remarriage; we investigate the changing rules for
marriage, cohabitation, and domestic partnership.  In the final
section, we consider different approaches to “work and family
balance” across nations and within the United States.  Course
requirements include two research papers, three exams, and a group
project.