• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Sociology
  • Areas of interest Sociology
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Joanna Sikora
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

The last fifty years have witnessed profound changes in the structure and social meaning of relationships, family and marriage. The main goal of this course is to examine these changes in contemporary Australia and  cross-nationally. Students will gain an understanding of demographic changes, shifts in the attitudes to family and marriage, problems of the work-family balance and the effectiveness of government policy in this area.  The course will also introduce sociological and social-psychological theories of marriage and the family.
A large part of the course will be devoted to the examination of special topics including gender, love and sexuality in relationships, the meaning of family and marriage across cultures, singlehood, partner selection; stress, crisis, violence and abuse in relationships; divorce, remarriage and their effect on children; childlessness as a lifestyle, same-sex relationships, globalization and outsourcing of care.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Describe, contrast and compare the leading themes in the research on intimacy, marriage and the family in Australia and overseas.
2. Identify, describe and interpret key concepts informing sociological knowledge of intimacy and the family.
3. Construct a written argument applying these concepts.
4. Design and conduct a small small-scale research project investigating changes in the perceptions regarding intimacy, marriage and family held in the local social environment.

Indicative Assessment

Research proposal and report 2500 words  (50%) Learning Outcomes 1-4
Synoptic essay 2200 (40%) Learning Outcomes 1-4
Tutorial and lab participation (10%) Learning Outcomes 1-4

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 38 hours of contact: 26 hours of lectures, 12 tutorials
b) 92 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level ANU courses; or permission of the convenor. Incompatible with GEND2057.

Preliminary Reading

Baker, M. (2014). Choices and Constraints in Family Life (3rd). Toronto: Oxford University Press




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9409 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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