Sociology of the Family / SS 330

Dr. Tricarico, PhD

Room 121/Medical Arts
(718) 631-6015 -6015
Dtricarico@qcc.cuny.edu

Course Overview

The family is the basic social unit. Its importance in contemporary American society is reflected in passionate ideological discourse about its appropriate configuration and role (e.g., same-sex marriage). This course examines the way Americans live in families, with emphasis on the major shifts that have occurred in recent decades. Topics under discussion include patterns of courtship and mate selection; the ideals of romantic marriage and the companionate family; the negotiation of a new sexual division of labor within marriage; the construction of a family microculture; the culture of divorce; trends in childrearing and child care, and; alternative family and household forms.

Textbooks

Readings will be distributed in class and placed on library reserve (one flight down from the main desk). A recommended text is the reader, Family in Transition, edited by Skolnick and Skolnick (Allyn and Bacon, 2002). The syllabus lists readings from this volume.

Readings are incorporated in class discussion and students are responsible for keeping abreast of relevant readings. Timely reading keeps you informed about discussion topics and, thus, enhances your ability to contribute. Readings are also expected to enrich your written work.

Course Readings

Readings will be distributed in class and placed on library reserve (one flight down from the main desk). Students have the option of purchasing texts for their personal use. Readings are incorporated in class discussion and students are responsible for keeping abreast of relevant readings. Timely reading enhances your ability to contribute to class discussion. Readings are also expected to enrich your written work.

Course Grade

Students will complete up to 6 research projects throughout the semester. The projects entail the interpretation of data collected from observations and interviews of subjects in contemporary living arrangements. They are coordinated with class discussion, required readings, and Internet lab work. Students will present their “work in progress” in class as the basis for a discussion grade. Class presentations will serve as an occasion for the revision of writing projects. Written research reports comprise 80% of the course grade. The remaining 20% is based on contributions to class discussion, including the presentation of research.

Attendance

The QCC attendance policy permits 6 hours of absence per semester for a 3-credit course. Excessive absence will require documentation and can impact your grade.

Some Ground Rules

Students are asked to be on time for class and to abide by common sense etiquette of class behavior. Students are expected to be prepared for class presentations and to submit written work on a timely basis. Problems with the submission of assigned work should be discussed with me.

As a student, you share responsibility for a rewarding learning experience.

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