Jul 13, 2024  
2022-2023 Course Catalog 
2022-2023 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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SOC 2031 - Sociology of the Family

Credits: 3
Hours/Week: Lecture None Lab None
Course Description: What makes a family?  This course examines the family as a social institution, focusing on how family life both shapes and is shaped by larger social forces, including the economy and public policy. The diversity of family forms and experiences, and how these change over time, are examined along the lines of gender, race, class, and sexual orientation. The course also addresses the gendered nature of family roles and experience, i.e. the way that individuals’ actions may conform to, or challenge, dominant cultural gendered expectations of family members. This course meets the requirements for Elective A: Organizations and Institutions for the MN State Sociology Transfer Pathway AA.
MnTC Goals
5 History/Social/Behavioral Science, 7 Human Diversity

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 1020   with a grade of C or higher OR ENGL 1021  with a grade of C or higher.
Corequisite(s): None
Recommendation: None

Major Content

  1. General topics
    1. How sociologists study families
    2. Historical change in family forms
    3. Intersection of family experiences related to gender, race, class, and sexual orientation
  2. Topics focused on the consequences of gendered role expectations within families
    1. Impacts of economic change on families
    2. Work and family
    3. Division of labor within the family
    4. Regulation of sexuality and sexual relationships
    5. Marriage, divorce, remarriage, and blended families
    6. Family violence
    7. Parents and parenting
    8. Children and childhood
    9. Families and the state, public policy affecting families including the welfare system
    10. Collective action and social movements on family issues

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Describe the ways our ideas about family are socially constructed, including how they have changed over time and how they differ cross-culturally.
  2. Analyze the gendered nature of family roles and social forces that contribute to individuals conforming to and/or challenging cultural ideals of masculinity and femininity.
  3. Apply sociological concepts such as social location (e.g. race, gender, class) and the conflict and order models of society to understand the family as a social institution.
  4. Critique taken-for-granted assumptions and ideas about families and family life.
  5. Articulate how family forms and experiences both shape and are shaped by larger societal forces economic, political, cultural, etc.
  6. Evaluate avenues for social change on public policy issues affecting families.
  7. Outline the techniques sociologists use to study families.
  8. Sociological Perspective:
    1. articulate the processes by which social forces affect individuals through organizations or institutions, and vice versa.
    2. apply founding theoretical traditions and concepts in sociology to specific organizations or institutions.
  9. Social Structure:
    1. explain how social structure affects human action and social life at the micro, meso, and macro levels.
    2. articulate the processes through which groups, formal organizations, and social networks influence human thought and action.
    3. explain how hierarchy, power and authority operate across specific organizations or institutions.
  10. Socialization:
    1. explain the relationship between the self and society.
    2. articulate how the self is socially constructed, maintained and transformed at multiple levels through specific organizations or institutions.

Competency 1 (1-6)
05. 01. Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.

05. 02. Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.

05. 04. Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
Competency 2 (7-10)
07. 01. Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States’ history and culture.

07. 03. Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.

07. 05. Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.

Courses and Registration

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