Approved by Faculty Senate
University Studies Course Approval:
Department or Program:Sociology
Course Number: 212
Number of Credits: 3
Offered every semester. Grade only. Recommended prerequisite: Introduction to Sociology (Soc 150).
Course Title:The Family
Analysis of the family as an intimate, resilient, and dynamic social institution. Sociological influences on the family by legislation and law, technology, medicine, and other engines of social change.
This is an existing course that has previously been approved by A2C2:yes
This is a new course proposal _____. (If this is a new course proposal, the WSU Curriculum Approval Form must also be completed as in the process prescribed by WSU Regulation 3-4).
Department Contact Person for this course:
R. Stephen Schwartz, Minne 224, ext 5422
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UNIVERSITY STUDIES COURSE: Arts & Sciences Core Social Sciences
The Family (Sociology 212)
Social Science Outcomes
Socialization is a universal process: beginning in infancy, every family (primary
Historical contexts for sociological theory as applied in The Family will include the research and perspectives of several classical sociologists. These include Max Weber and the complex value system that shapes a familys social status and style of life; Bronislaw Malinowskis ethnographic emphasis on observing what people do in the intimate family relationship; Emile Durkheims observations regarding ritual and its significance in family interaction processes; and, George H. Meads concept of symbolic interaction. Selected works of these sociological thinkers will be used in studying the historical context and changes in the institution of the American family as it has evolved over time.
Empirical and hypothetical issues germane to family members and their intra-relationship in the family unit, and the effects on the individuals and the family by outside forces over which they have virtually no control, will be examined. Textbook examples, current news events and student suggestions regarding problems and questions pertinent to the family will provide topics for objective discussion.
A liberal arts education should provide opportunities for adults (students) to learn to
like to think; and, in an environment which emphasizes constructive critical thinking. As
a formulative initial step, students will be introduced to or, re-acquainted with
the three major theoretical frameworks in sociology:
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structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism. This will include contemporary variations on these, and other sociological theories. Emphasis is on symbolic interaction because of its remarkable versatility as a micro analytical theory for studying, for example, family roles and relations, dual-earner families, crisis, and other dimensions of family life. Theories are woven into the course to enhance student understanding of functional and dysfunctional families.
Social science research examples are utilized extensively in top quality, university-level sociology of the family textbooks. Research methodology strengths, weaknesses, reliability is presented through appropriate examples specifically relevant to the extraordinary range of studies on numerous aspects of the family. Discussion includes the focus of social science research, goals and outcomes, the methodology, group(s) researched, results and conclusions.
Disciplinespecific knowledge includes subject matter areas noted in the course syllabus. To reiterate, sociological theory is implemented throughout the course in analyzing and explaining family study issues and for encouraging critical thinking. Extensive bibliographical references on specific research areas are included in the textbook.
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The Family (Sociology 212)
University Studies Course (Arts & Sciences Core: Social Sciences)
Syllabus (Fall Semester, 2001)
Section 01: M,W,F, 8:00-8:50 a.m., Minné 239
Professor R. Stephen Schwartz, Ph.D.
Office Minné Hall 224 Office phone: 507/457-5422
Department phone: 507-457-5420
Office hours: M,W,F, 7:30-8:00 am,
11:00-12:00. Other office periods
by appointment. Please make
appointments directly with me.
Analysis of the family as an intimate, resilient, and dynamic social institution. Sociological influences on the family by legislation and law, technology, medicine, and other engines of social change. Recommended prerequisite: Introduction to Sociology, (Sociology 150).
University Studies: Social Science Outcomes (referred to as US: SSO in the General Outline of the syllabus) help guide the course content, class activities, and assessments of the students participation in the class.
To provide the student with knowledge which can contribute to his or her understanding of the institution of the family. To provide the student with an academic opportunity to analyze and discuss empirical findings, and theoretical perspectives, in regard to research on various aspects of the family (e.g., courtship, roles, marriage, family interaction, etc.). Activities may include focus group discussions, panel presentations, and in-class papers.
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University Studies: Social Science Outcomes
(referred to as SSO in the General Outline)
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Human Intimacy - Marriage, The Family & Its Meaning -- (8th ed) - Frank D. Cox
College/University-level dictionary (e.g. Websters New College)
Four required multiple-choice examinations (50 pts each) including the final: (200 points total)
I 1-4 & lectures
Course Grade 200 points total
Periodic unannounced in-class assignments may be given. Each assignment may be worth at least one point, and the point(s) will be included with the students test score total.
Any changes in course requirements, grading, assignments, etc. will be announced in class.
Attendance: REGULAR ATTENDANCE IS ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED AS PART OF THE CLASS REQUIREMENTS. See the professor about legitimate excused absences (e.g. nursing clinicals, work, university activities, family, etc.).
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For each topic below, there is a reference to appropriate University Studies: Social Science Outcomes (referred to below as US: SSO) which are clearly defined in this syllabus (page 5-6) and have been explained in class. After each topic, the SSO is noted as (for example) #2, 5, etc. The student should refer to the Course Goals which help guide the content, activities and assessments in this course. The Social Science Outcome (US: SSO) designations (e.g. US: SSO #2, 5, etc.) are dynamic, not rigid or inclusive, and serendipitous changes will be explained in the lectures.
Topic 1 Sociological Theory and Research on the Family
Topic 2 Decision Making and Relationships
Topic 3 Human Intimacy, Marriage, the Family and Its Meaning:
Topic 4 American Ways of Love: Conceptualization and Reification
Topic 5 Dating, Courtship, and Mate Selection
Topic 6 Marriage, Intimacy, Expectations
Topic 7 Communication in Intimate Relationships
Topic 8 Roles in Marriage
Topic 9 The Dual-Worker Family
Topic 10 The Importance of Making Sound Economic Decisions
Topic 11 Values and Sexuality
Topic 12 Family Planning, Pregnancy, and Birth
Topic 13 The Challenge of Parenthood
Topic 14 Family Life Stages: Middle-Age to Surviving Spouse
Topic 15 Family Crises
Topic 16 The Dissolution of Marriage: Spouses and Children, Etc
Topic 17 Remarriage: Spouses and Children, Etc.
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CLASS DISCUSSION IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED.
Office: Minne 224
Office Phone: 457-5422
Department Phone: 457-5420
No voice mail and no e-mail.
THE STUDENT IS CORDIALLY INVITED TO MEET WITH ME TO DISCUSS ACADEMIC QUESTIONS OF INTEREST TO THE STUDENT.