Marriage and Family


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This course will analyze the institutions of marriage and family from a sociological perspective. The course proceeds in four major parts: 1.) Socio-historical overview; 2.) identities and ideologies that shape and are shaped by our beliefs and practices surrounding marriage and family; 3.) life cycle issues as they relate to marriage and family; and 4.) special topics including same-sex couples and divorce. Format is lecture/discussion, and student evaluation will be based on class participation, two analysis papers, a one-page debate paper and debate, and an application project. Students may write one 12-15 pg. research paper in place of the two analysis papers.


Resource Type(s):
Maureen Day, Santa Rosa Junior College 
Date Published:
Subject Area:
Class Level:
College 400 
Class Size:

Usage Notes:

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Where the course “fits” This Marriage and Family course is an advanced undergraduate course in that it entails much more reading than an introductory course often requires and it emphasizes theory and critical analysis. Readings could be reduced and assignments simplified to make this into an introductory-level course. Overview of Approach In...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
To critically engage theory in order to better understand contemporary issues in marriage and family life.
Assessment 1:
Analysis papers (2): Define a concept, critique a concept, apply your improved concept.
Goal 2:
To articulate a thoughtful, reflexive position on family issues.
Assessment 2:
Debate: Use a one-page summary to debate the merits and shortcomings of a topic.
Goal 3:
To bring relevant sociological tools, theories and methods to contemporary issues within marriage and family and clearly convey these findings to others.
Assessment 3:
Application Project: Present an issue to the class and discuss the findings or theories in the readings that reinforced or changed your opinion on an issue.

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