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.
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 AssessmentResearch 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
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from: a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and, b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Preliminary ReadingBaker, M. (2014). Choices and Constraints in Family Life (3rd). Toronto: Oxford University Press
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