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Graduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Sociology (SOC)

SOC 440 (HD FS 440) Family Policy (3) An in-depth examination of family policy.

SOC (HD FS) 440 Family Policy (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

This course is designed to provide an in-depth examination of family policy. Students will identify and critically analyze major issues, controversies, and policies that affect families. Attention will be devoted to recognizing both intended and unintended consequences of family policies and understanding policy challenges and trade-offs. Students will gain an understanding of how policies are shaped by both facts and myths, as well as our values. Students will examine historical and current trends in family patterns (e.g., divorce, women's labor force participation, nonmarital births) to understand the implications they hold for individuals, families and society. Students will gain an awareness of the social, economic, historical, legal, and political contexts within which family policies exist and are proposed. Although the main focus is on U.S. family policy, some time will be devoted to learning about family policies in other countries. We will learn about several specific family policies in-depth (e.g., welfare), but a final goal is to help students develop a general way of looking at family policy that they can then use to understand any issue of family policy that unfolds throughout their lifetime. This course will foster thoughtful reflection and critical thinking, writing skills, research skills, and skills of synthesis, logic, and argument. Course goals will be accomplished through course readings, writing assignments, lectures, class discussions, debates and group projects. Mastery of course material and student evaluation are assessed in several ways. Students will take a midterm and final exam that cover lectures, class discussions, and assigned readings. Two papers are also required. The first paper is based on an analysis of newspaper articles dealing with family policy issues that students will collect and relate to course materials. The second paper is a literature-based analysis of a family policy in a society outside the United States. Class participation is also essential and its evaluation will be based on a combination of class attendance, contributions to class discussions, participation in group debates and projects, and an oral presentation of the final paper on a non-U.S. family policy.


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Spring 2007
Prerequisite: 3 credits of SOC or HD FS

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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