Sociology | The Family
S316 | 3669 | Kathryn Henderson


ABOVE SECTION OPEN TO UNDERGRADUATES ONLY
ABOVE SECTION MAY NOT BE TAKEN FOR CULTURAL CREDIT

The family is perhaps the single most important social institution in
our society because it plays such a large role in influencing who we
are, how we orient ourselves toward the public world, and how we
interact with other people.  Despite the obvious impact families have
on the social world most people think of the family as a private
institution.  In the United States we are especially encouraged to
think of families as independent, self-reliant units that just happen
to be situated in a larger society.  By studying families from a
sociological perspective, however, we can reveal systematic
connections between this institution and the larger economic,
political, and social forces in society.

Tentatively, grades will be based on class participation, exams and
short writing assignments.  Topics to be addressed include: the
changing definition of the family; the gendered division of labor in
the home; the balance of work and family life; representations of the
family in the media; and public policies affecting the family.