Sociology | The Family
S316 | 3873 | VonDerHaar
S316 The Family (3 CR)
3873 1:00-2:15 MW BH204
OPEN TO UNDERGRADUATES ONLY
MAY NOT BE TAKEN FOR CULTURAL STUDIES CREDIT
As the basic unit of society, the family orients humans to
their culture and society. While the form of the family has
changed throughout history and differs across cultures, few
would doubt that its function has been crucial to the
maintenance and survival of society. But today, the state of
the American family is becoming a grave concern as social
problems become increasingly linked to failures in the family.
Concern over the family is not new. Observers have been
forecasting the demise of the family for over fifty years.
Aldous Huxley wrote one of the most memorable predictions in
1932 in his book, Brave New World. At that time, the idea of
test tube babies was almost beyond imagination. Today it is a
reality. Whether societies will take a course similar to that
which Huxley portrayed is yet to be seen. Nonetheless, we
already face many of the problems he described.
In this course we will study the family as it has evolved
through history. We will focus on the functions served by the
family and how these change as societies grow and develop.
Grades in this class will be based on three exams, and class
participation. Exams will include multiple choice questions,
short answers, and essays.