Sociology | The Family
S316 | 20348 | Geist


Above section open to Undergraduates Only

What is a family? Is a couple a family if they don't have children?
Are a single father and his daughter a family? What about gay and
lesbian families? Are pets a part of the family?
In this course, we will discuss the different meaning family takes on
for different groups and how the definition of family varies over time
and across cultures. We will also study how families form and what
shapes their stability. We will talk about what happens inside
families, including parenting, housework, and conflict management. But
we will also examine how family and what happens within families is
affected by different aspects of context. Does neighborhood matter for
families? Can policies change the meaning of family? Is family life in
the United States different from that in other countries? In this
class we will use a cross-cultural approach to understand how the
outside world affects families.