Welcome to Sociology!
The Department of Sociology is delighted that you have chosen to take one of our courses.
The courses in our department seek to give students the ability to use sociology’s concepts and analytic approaches in order to better understand their experience in various group and institutional settings. We also try to enhance students’ ability to understand and evaluate reports of research -- in the news, in professional work, and elsewhere -- that use methods of social science. Our emphasis is on enabling students to use sociological perspectives to become more insightful and effective participants in society and culture as well as in the wide range of careers relevant to group life. Those who major in sociology are also prepared to undertake further study in graduate school.
to explain and apply the major sociological concepts
to identify and describe the main methods used in building sociological knowledge
to evaluate reports based on an appreciation of their methods
to understand the meaning and impact of culture, institutions, socialization, differentiations (by race, ethnicity, gender, age, and social class), change, and other major aspects of social structure
to appreciate how cultures and social structures vary across time and place
to determine what information is relevant to any inquiry
to describe how sociology differs from, but is also similar to, other social sciences
to gather the relevant sociological information effectively and efficiently
to write a clear report of the findings of a sociological data analysis
We hope that you will enjoy this course and find it useful. If there is any way that it can be made to serve your needs better, please feel free to talk with your instructor.
Sociology GSO 318/318.6 SA Spring 2010
By Dr. Komla S. Ganu
Web Site: http://www.kganu.net
Marriage and the Family
This course explores the various protocols humans follow around the world in courtship and marriage leading to the derivative product – the primary form of human organization. It defines family and its origin as the primary human group (from antiquity to present); the historical outlook of family i.e. past and present- similarities and dissimilarities; family as the first agent in human socialization; how individuals get prepared from the micro level in order to be able to deal with the macro – society at large. It examines the various types of family, theoretical approaches on the family, prevailing structures, the metamorphosis of gender roles in the family, the impacts of intervention of social (including peer) and political groups on the family; the new definitions of sexuality and conflicts with traditional family norms; functional and dysfunctional families – prevailing definitions and causes; and separation and or death.
NB: A copy of this course outline could be retrieved online at: http://home.att.net/~kganu/wsb/html/MarriageAndTheFamily.htm
Eshleman, R. J. and Bulcroft R.A. (2006). The Family (11th Ed.).
1. A seven-page term paper on a topic relating to the family, replete with citations, bibliographic and electronic references utilizing the APA format for everything (including parenthetical citations and footnotes). A draft must be presented in class towards ending of semester; final paper due one week before the final exam. 20%
2. Class participation (be aware that you cannot participate if you do not attend classes; please be on time, come prepared!). 10%
3. Two written assignments 15%
4. Midterm Exam 25%
5. Final Exam – comprehensive 30%
NB: Leaving and entering the classroom intermittently while class is in session is not acceptable and will be used against your final grade. Please have your cell phones turned off during class sessions!
1-2. Overview of Course and Requirements
What is Family? – Definitions
Family as primary group
Historical perspective of the family: origins- forms and structures, traditional versus modern models of family; courtship and marriage.
Assignment: Read The Family Chapter 1: pp. 1-9; 13-19; & 22-28; & Courtship from What’s a Modern Girl to Do – By Maureen Dowd. Do a one page paper on “Courtship” based on this article and class discussions. Introduction to APA Format; it is mandatory for students to take this online tutorial: APA EXPOSED, complete the online poll at the end of the tutorial and print the Certificate of Completion to submit by the ending of week 3.
Changes in Western Industrialized Families:
Modernity- internal and external factors influencing the family- marital status, religion, education, profession, income, housing, peers etc.; gender roles in the family, past and present compared; the necessity of two working parents and its impact on the family; egalitarianism of gender in family sexuality and other ethics; the search for romance in the mix of child raising; library visit by class.
Assignment: The Family- Read Chapter 2, pp. 41-73. APA assignment is due!
4. Marriage and the Family: Disciplinary & Theoretical Approaches: sociology of the family; social science approach to the family; research and theory, the wheel of science; research methods and statistical concepts.
Assignment: The Family – Chapter 3, pp. 93-103.
5. Social Class Variations in the U.S. Families: the concept of social stratification; determination of one’s social class; impact of social class on family; single parent household families; family mobility and transformation.
NB: Assignment on Courtship is due today!
6. Ethnic American Families: African Americans’; Hispanics’; Asians’ & Native Americans’. The Family – Chapters 5 & 6; preparation & review for midterm
7. Midterm Exam: In Class written exam
8. Partnering & Marriage Formation: trends and characteristics; purpose and consequences; dimensions and consequences of homogamy and intermarriages. Premarital and Nonmarital Relationships: the social construct of love; theories on partner selection; single to married transformation and adaptation; & common law living arrangements. Nonmarital Sexuality: social regulations & the culture wars on sexuality; biological v. sociological perspectives on sexual behavior; sexual orientation; nonmarital sexual behavior
Assignment: The Family – Chapters 7, 8 & 9, pp. 231–263; & 275–283; 291-
9. The Marital System: the transition; division of labor; working moms v. stay-at-home moms; power and authority in the family- sources and dimensions; marital quality; sex and marriage; extramarital sex and infidelity; & same sex relationships and their legalities.
Assignment: Read The Family, Chapter
10; also check out this WebMD article: The
7 Steps to Happily Ever After. Also read
Written Assignment: Do a two-page position paper (pros & cons) on “Working Moms versus Stay-at-Home Moms.” **Due week 11.
10. The Parental System: transition to parenthood; gender roles in parenting; social consequences; unwed parenthood; family size and consequences. Socialization Process: parent/children; among siblings; sociological perspective; psychological perspective; impacts of significant others and reference groups.
Assignment: Read The Family, Chapters 11 & 12; pp. 393-402; 409-419; 430-438; & 444.
11. The Aging Family: post-parental period; grand-parenting; living arrangements during senior years and other problems; death and separation. Other family Issues: violence; child abuse; spousal abuse; sibling abuse.
Assignment: The Family, Chapters 13 & 14; pp. 462-463; 469-472; 481-490; 508- 523.
NB: The position paper assignment is due today.
12. Divorce and Remarriage: desertion and marital separation; divorce around the world; divorce in the United States; legal and social grounds for divorce; impact on children; child custody issues; same sex parents v. custody rights; remarriages & reconstituted families.
Assignment: The Family, Chapter 15; pp. 533-540; 550-569; & Should this Marriage be saved? – By Laura Kipnis.
Class Presentation by students
13. Family Social Policy: various research assessments of family policies.
Assignment: Read The Family, Chapter 16.
Class Presentation by students
14. Review for final exam
Class Presentation by students
15. Final Exam – in class