SOC 326

This course examines contemporary family life in the United States. We will focus throughout the course on the “diverging destinies” of children and families — a divergence that has occurred as inequality has risen in the U.S. over the past half century. Students who successfully complete the course will achieve an understanding of the historical and contemporary conditions of family life based by studying research that uses the best available sources of data. Students will also read and evaluate social science research in order to understand the forces shaping behavior in contemporary families. The course examines topics such as childbearing, child well-being, cohabitation, single parenthood, marriage, divorce, remarriage, aging, family policy, gendered roles in families, and transnational families. We  consider the causes of change in these family behaviors as well as variation in family patterns across race and ethnicity, class, sexuality, and age. Finally, we will learn about and apply the tools and methods of family demography. These tools will improve our ability to think critically and to be appropriately skeptical when we make statements about causality.

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