syllabus fall 2009

syllabus fall 2009 - SYG 2430 MARRIAGES AND FAMILIES Fall...

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1 SYG 2430 MARRIAGES AND FAMILIES Fall 2009 – Section 5933 INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Constance Shehan, Professor and Chair Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law University of Florida 3219 Turlington Hall Phone: 392-0265 Email me through the e-learning website. “In person” Office Hours: By appointment only. GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTS: Ching-Yu (Louisa) Chang, Hanyao Qiu, and Flavia Leite Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law University of Florida Email your TAs through the e-learning web-site. “In person” Office Hours: By appointment only. COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introductory survey course (i.e., an overview of many major topics) in family sociology. In this course we will focus on couple relationships – heterosexual and homosexual -- at various stages of their development. We will look at the ways in which people search for intimate partners, including historical and cross-cultural variations in this process. We will examine the qualities that are most highly desired in partners today and how these vary by gender. We will also consider the demographic matching by age, race, religion, and social class that typically occurs in partner selection. We will look in detail at the idea of commitment and examine the ways in which this is demonstrated and acted upon in intimate relationships. We will include committed couples who do not marry , either because they choose not to or because they are legally unable to do so. We will also consider the role of sexual involvement in the development of intimacy and commitment. We give some attention to couples’ decisions to become parents and discuss the challenges paid employment poses for parents . Another major emphasis of the course will be on the dynamics of intimate relationships . Starting from the assumption that there will be conflict of some type in all relationships, we will attempt to understand the primary reasons for the conflict, looking at the impact of external pressures (e.g., jobs or employers, economics, influences of friends and families). We will examine ways to effectively resolve conflict through constructive communication. We will see the ways in which factors such as gender, age, race, social class, and nationality may cause differences in communication styles that can lead to misunderstandings between partners. We will also look at factors that are associated with the emergence of violence and abuse in intimate relationships , paying attention to gender differences in the use of violence. We will review findings of recent research which show that intimate violence, while committed by women as well as men, is more likely to have severe consequences for women. In our examination of
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syllabus fall 2009 - SYG 2430 MARRIAGES AND FAMILIES Fall...

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