The family as a social institution. Historical changes and societal variation in family patterns. Changes over the life cycle. Alternative family forms.
This course will examine the family as an institution from a social science perspective, with emphasis on family sociology, and social demography. It will focus primarily on aggregate patterns, historical trends, and how social class, gender, and racial inequalities are intertwined with family patterns and change. Most of the emphasis will be on the US, with some attention to comparisons to other countries. We will engage contemporary debates over the family in the US, such as the ban on same sex marriage, and redirecting welfare funding to marriage promotion taking into account recent research findings and public policy implications. As a course in sociology and not psychology or family studies or human development, we will not cover interpersonal family dynamics.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading