21A230; SP 456J: THE CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN FAMILY
Study Questions for Exam
Relate the literature we have read on the African-American family to the “family values”
Include Coontz, Stack, Gutman, Sudarkasa, plus two of the following: Collins,
Edin, Kaplan, Rubin, Taylor, Luker, and Newman.
What are the major functions of the family in American society at present?
these were filled in the past by other institutions, and which can be provided only by the
Discuss six articles or books, including Skolnick (“life course”) and Coontz.
Compare and contrast middle-class and working-class families.
Discuss work, priorities,
You must discuss Coontz, Rubin, Newman, Hayes, and Fuchs
Epstein et al.
Discuss the literature we have read on dual-provider families.
What changes in society
led to the increase in numbers of mothers with young children working outside the home?
What impact has this shift had on childrearing?
Include Hayes, Hochschild, Gerson and
Jacobs, Coontz, and two of the following: Cowan and Cowan, Hertz, Galinsky, Fuchs
Epstein et al., Coltrane and Adams.
Define the word “family.”
Using six readings, discuss why you would include or exclude
within your definition: single-parent families, communes, group marriage, voluntarily
childless marriages, homosexual marriage, cohabiting couples, and single people living
alone (including the elderly).
How does your definition reflect your attitudes toward the
status of the American family at present?
What, in your opinion, are the most serious stresses on the nuclear family of the late 20
Discuss six readings relevant to your argument.
What are the main demographic changes (family size, age at marriage, family structure,
fertility rates, mortality rates, and so on) that have taken place in the family in the last
What do these changes say about the future of the American family?
must discuss Skolnick and Skolnick (Introduction), Giddens, Hareven, Morgan,
Hernandez, and Coontz .
Gold stars if you discuss Cott, Welter, and Hutter (“Immigrant