Examines concepts and issues associated with family life and personal relationships. A variety of social problems that impact personal relationships, marriage, and the family will be addressed, relating them to social, cultural, political, and economic changes in society. Such issues as diversity of families, cross-cultural perspectives, work and economics, social class, reproductive and parenting rights, partner selection, the internal dynamics of relationships, gender and sexuality, relationship violence, marital dissolution, and future family trends will be examined. Altogether, such changes in the world outside the family have profound impact on what happens inside the family and profound consequences on how individuals conduct their personal and social lives together. The questions that this course will raise and attempt to answer will hopefully enable us to live together in adulthood with considerably more ease than many currently experience. (An introductory sociology or psychology course is recommended.)
An introductory sociology or psychology course
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to do the following:
- Explain the value of the sociological perspective as it applies to the socially constructed meaning of families and relationships.
- Demonstrate an understanding of why an analysis of gender is critical to the sociological study of families and relationships.
- Explain the importance of how race and ethnicity can play powerful roles in people’s family and relationship experiences.
- Evaluate the importance and influence of broad economic forces on relationship and family dynamics, access to important resources and life chances, and structure across the economic spectrum in respect to class distinctions.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the personal and cultural development of intimate relationships and the role of love, sexuality, and attraction in marriage and cohabitation.
- Demonstrate the understanding of the cultural importance of parenthood and the cultural and historical context of the transition to parenthood.
- Evaluate the significance of sweeping social changes in society on the future of relationships and families.