Lesson 1 Introduction to Sociology of the Family.html

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You are previewing this course, click here to enroll. Skip to content Accessibility Mizzou Online Sociology 3420: The Family H ome O verview L essons S yllabus Course M ap H e lp Lesson 1: Introduction to Sociology of the Family Purpose Learning Objectives Reading Assignment Commentary Study Questions Writing Assignment to Submit Purpose This lesson provides you with a general introduction to sociological studies and perspectives of the family. Most of us have lived in some sort of family, so we often think of ourselves as experts on the topic. However, while all of us experience family life as individuals, we cannot fully understand this experience without an understanding and appreciation of the environment in which it takes place. This lesson will introduce you to the sociological study of families in an attempt to broaden your understanding of families and personal relationships. Return to Top Learning Objectives After completing this lesson, you should be able to accomplish the following: 1. Discuss the variations in ways to define families, showing the political reasons that definitions are important. 2. Explain and discuss the sociological imagination. 3. Explain how the family is both a private relationship and a public institution. Return to Top
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Reading Assignment In Family in Transition by Arlene S. Skolnick and Jerome H. Skolnick, read the following: Reading #1: “The Theoretical Importance of the Family,” by William J. Goode, pages 15–27. Reading #2: “The Global Revolution in Family and Personal Life,” by Anthony Giddens, pages 27–33. The readings in this section provide a focused discussion of the social construction of the family and of how families have changed over time. In order to deconstruct the cultural meaning of the term “family,” it is necessary to locate it in a historical and comparative context. The assigned articles should enhance your ability to compare social science research findings with the assumptions underlying public debates about family. This ability will be important as you complete the first writing assignment (and those that follow in later lessons). Moreover, a strong familiarity with and understanding of the readings will be necessary for the exams in this course. Return to Top Commentary Figure 1.1. How is the concept of "family" communicated in each of the above drawings? Virtually all of us grew up within something that we would define as “family.” And many of us hope to recreate a family of some sorts, either through marriage or partnership, perhaps with children, maybe without. Interestingly, we often talk about “the family” as if there is one singular experience, even though we know there is tremendous variation in the types and experiences of family. For example, some families have children, some don’t, some have adopted children or stepchildren. Some families have two parents, some have one. Some families are content and happy, for the most part, while others are wrought with conflict.
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