Overview of major research findings on marriage, the family, and gender, including demographic trends, the place of children in society, courtship, the internal management of intimate relationships, divorce, and social policy.
This graduate seminar explores substantive issues that are central to contemporary debates about the family, many of which are at the intersection of family and gender. Readings and discussion will draw on a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives from sociology, economics, and demography. Usually, the focus will be industrialized countries, with emphasis on the US. However, the substantive topics covered will vary so that they accommodate the diversity of stages and substantive interests of the students enrolled.
Student learning goals
Develop skills in critical reading and engaging literature.
Learn demographic perspectives on families and households.
Understand trends in the family and the associated explanations offered for these trends.
Understand socioeconomic variation in family behaviors (e.g., non marital childbearing, timing of marriage, child-rearing practices, etc.) that have policy or theoretical relevance and debates over the causes of the variation.
Low income families
Theoretical and substantive knowledge about the gender based division of labor within families.
General method of instruction
The course is a participatory seminar, requiring students to complete all readings prior to class and take an active role in discussion. Discussion is an integral part of this graduate seminar and gives students the opportunity to engage with the material on a much deeper level.
Class assignments and grading
1. Write and present a final paper that addresses family and gender. 2. A brief written description of the proposed seminar paper 3. Weekly reading and 1-2 page double spaced critique of readings. 4. One response paper and presentation. 5. Submit discussion questions one week