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SOCI 2293

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at
Credit Hours 3
Course Title Introduction To Marriage And Family
Prerequisite(s) Exit or exemption from Learning Support reading and all ESL requirements except ENSL 0091
Corequisite(s) None Specified
Catalog Description
This course is the study of human relationships in dating, courtship, marriage, and family life.

Expected Educational Results
As a result of completing this course the student will be able to:

1. Describe the different ways in which "family" has been defined.
2. Distinguish the terms "family," "kinship," and "household."
3. Identify and distinguish the main theoretical perspectives that are used to understand family life.
4. Summarize the history of family life in the West, from the modern to the postmodern periods.
5. Describe the relationship between the family and other major social institutions, especially the economy.
6. Evaluate the position that changes in the family create change in society and contrast it with the opposite position, that the family usually adapts to other social changes.
7. Distinguish between scientific and non-scientific approaches to social knowledge.
8. Identify the major ways in which social class is thought to affect family life.
9. Describe some of the ways that family patterns among ethic minorities differ from those among white Americans.
10. Define "love’ and explain its role in mate selection.
11. Distinguish between dating and mate selection.
12. Discuss the proposition that marriage is an instance of social exchange.
13. Summarize what is known about American sexual practices, including both typical and less typical practices, noting about how prevalent the different practices appear to be and what the trend in the behavior is.
14. Discuss the historic trends in fertility rates and explain some of the possible explanations for them.
15. Explain what role, if any, contraceptive technologies play in family life.
16. Describe what is known about housework in the United States—who does it, how much they do, and what the trends are.
17. Discuss the concepts of power, authority, and violence as they apply to family life.
18. Discuss the concepts of "marital happiness" and "marital quality."
19. Identify the main changes that families go through while raising children.
20. Describe the trend in divorce rates and identify major explanations for it.
21. Discuss the trends in remarriages and stepfamilies, noting some of the major challenges these families confront.

General Education Outcomes
I. This course addresses the general education outcomes relating to communication as follows:
A. Students will read and critically evaluate text and other material.
B. Students will discuss the material knowledgeably.
C. Students will write critical assessments of selected topics.
II. This course addresses the general education outcomes of recognition and application of scientific inquiry as follows:
A. Students will understand basic methods and procedures in social scientific research.
B. Students will examine and evaluate data pertaining to current issues and problems of family life.
III. This course addresses the general educational outcomes of identification and evaluation of basic sociological tenets.
IV. This course addresses the general education outcomes of developing effective individual, and at times, group problem solving and critical thinking skills as applied to social problems.

Course Content
1. What is a family?
· Anthropological alternatives
· The perspectives of the different theories
· Ideological perspectives
· Census definitions
· Biology v. culture
2. Theory and methods in family study
· Family theories
· Methods for understanding families
· The role of history
3. Central issues in family study
· The family’s relationship to other social institutions
· Family and social class
· Ethnicity and family life
4. Trends in contemporary family life
· Dating v. mate selection
· Alternatives to marriage
· Alternatives to heterosexuality
· Reproductive technologies
· The changing role of children
· Changing assumptions about gender
· Power in families
· Sexuality
· Marital quality
· Divorce
· Remarriage and step parenting
· Aging and the family

Assessment of Outcome Objectives
A. Tests and a final exam prepared by individual instructors will be used to determine a part of the course grade. Tests and exams will focus on the objectives above.
B. Writing assignments that emphasize higher order thinking skills and enable students to demonstrate abilities in analyzing and synthesizing information as well as presenting ideas in a logical and coherent fashion will be a component of the course.

The final exam of students in Sociology 2293 will consist, in part, of twenty-five multiple-choice questions incorporating fundamental concepts and developed by the Sociology faculty.

The results of the assessment questions will be analyzed by a committee of Sociology faculty. A summary of the committee’s findings will be sent to the Vice President for Academic affairs together with recommendations for changes and improvements, if any.

Reviewed June 8, 2005

Last Revised: Aug. 12, 2011
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