Resource 

Home and Society Syllabus

Abstract:

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The course draws primarily from scholarship on the sociology of gender, work, family, and culture, focusing on research and theory concerning “home” (whether or not it is where one resides) and the “private” or “domestic” sphere. Particular attention is given to consumption, labor, and leisure practices associated with “home.” The course examines the history behind the ideology of separate spheres, contemporary implications of this division, and the ways in which the line between “private” and “public” spheres is actually quite blurry. Applying a sociological perspective, students explore the interplay between social structure, culture, and agency, examining how meanings and experiences of “home” are shaped by social location (e.g. gender, race, class, etc.) and inequalities, along with a variety of other social, cultural, economic, and political forces. In doing so, course material challenges notions of the domestic as somehow trivial or apolitical. The learning goals for this course are the following: 1) Students will demonstrate an understanding of the private/public sphere division with regard to its history, contemporary implications, and blurry nature. Students will demonstrate a sociological imagination when analyzing consumption, labor, and leisure practices associated with “home,” 2) Students will design and carry out an original qualitative interview project about home and labor. This project involves developing research questions and an interview guide, gathering data using semi-structured interviews, analyzing data, putting findings in conversation with course material and outside research, and presenting findings in the form of a paper and oral presentation. And finally, 3) Students will exercise and improve...

Details:

Resource Type(s):
Syllabus 
Author(s):
Alexandra Hendley 
Date Published:
3/12/2018 
Subject Area:
Work and Labor Markets 
Class Level:
Any 
Class Size:
Any 
Language:
English 


Usage Notes:

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This course, capped at 25 students, was taught as an upper-level special topics sociology course at a regional public university. The syllabus strikes a balance between being a “contract” and “invitation to learning” by clearly identifying course goals, expectations of students, and consequences for not meeting expectations, while also offering...

Learning Goals and Assessments:

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Goal 1:
1. Comprehend the history, contemporary implications, and blurry nature of the private/public sphere division. Analyze the impact and interplay of social structure, culture, and agency on consumption, labor, and leisure practices associated with “home.”
Assessment 1:
1. Take-home essay exam and final paper based on qualitative interviews.
Goal 2:
2. Design and carry out a qualitative interview study about home and labor (i.e. develop research and interview questions, conduct interviews, analyze data, connect findings to existing research, and present findings as a paper and oral presentation).
Assessment 2:
2. Research assignments building up to final paper and oral presentation (e.g. research questions, interview guide, transcripts, memo, etc.). Final paper and oral presentation based on qualitative interviews.
Goal 3:
3. Exercise and improve skills in critical thinking and written and oral communication.
Assessment 3:
3. Reading summaries and discussion questions. Take-home essay exam. Final paper and oral presentation based on qualitative interviews.

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