E-res, Soc303. Crowdes, Fall 2008.
2. Syllabus and Calendar
3. Interactive-Lecture Focus Questions
4. Eisler,R. (2000). “Partnership and Dominator Possibilities”.
5. Eisler, R. (2002). “Your Intimate Relations: The Heart of the Matter”.
6. Mills, C. Wright (1959). “The Promise”.
7. Shahmehri, B. (2007). “More Than Welcome”.
8. Montuori and Conti, “Finding Partnership All Over the World”.
Assignments Soc 303
(A) Four response papers. (10 pts. each; part of P and P).
First one is due: 9/16 on your choice of 6,7, or 8 from Pt.II. 2 pages, typed
reflection on your selection reading. Start with a summary of the core
argument (a couple of paragraphs with well-chosen citations to support
and clarify). Finish with a reflection on its significance to you and to the
discussion topic at hand. In your reflection, do not just repeat the main
summary points: Reflect on the meaning and significance to you.
Second one is due: 9/23 on your choice of a selection from Part III or Part
IV in relation to the on-lining dating analysis/exercise (See prompt below).
Third one is due on: 10/14: Fatherhood and motherhood. Start with a
summary of the core arguments from each of your selections (a couple of
paragraphs with well-chosen citations to support and clarify). Finish with a
reflection on its significance to you and to the discussion topic at hand. Do
not just repeat the main points in your reflection: Reflect on the meaning
and significance to you.
Fourth one is due: 10/28. On your own, Watch the film “The Bird Cage”.
One –two pages typed about 1 compelling scene from “The Bird Cage”
(film). Why did you choose it? What makes it sociologically compelling
(consult reading assignments: 1 from assigned for today, one from
anywhere else in the course)? What makes it personally meaningful? Mark
the scene by timer so it can be quickly located in class viewing. Be well-
prepared to compare/contrast, justify and discuss your selected scenes
and concepts applied in class.
(B) Analysis of On-line dating (goes with A-2 response paper, 9/23.)
Many people are discouraged about finding Mr. or Ms. Right through
traditional dating methods and are now beginning to explore the virtual
route. The purpose of this assignment is to assess one of the fastest
growing “modern” ways to meet potential mates: discovering love via the
Internet. As part of your analysis, fit this type of mate selection into what
some sociologists have termed the “market learning viewpoint” or the
“marriage market,” concepts which illustrate how individuals “shop” for a
potential partner. Selections are made on the basis of physical
attractiveness, social class, athletic skill, education, intelligence, dress,
sexuality, and other social and personal “commodities” and preferences.
Explore at least 4 of the following websites (or others you are aware of) that
offer the opportunity to search for dating partners, friends or the pefect
mate. You may simple browse the sites and read ads in order to research
how other go about th4e search, or you may perform an actual dearch of
your own. For most sites, this service is either provided at no charge or
they offer a free sample search for beginners. Be sure to check out the
specialized sites---for animal lovers, greens and environmentalists, car
buffs, political stances, sexual persuasions, etc.
eharmony.com cartalk, com
Type 1-2 pages summary of key similarities and differences. Be well-
prepared to connect and explain your findings in relation to assigned
readings for this class session.
Assignment C: Family History Project, and Marriage and Family
Interview. Due on 10/21; they form the foundation of the final
Family Analysis Paper.
These two preparations are meant to be typed notes, not a complete
paper. Incomplete sentences are fine.
(1) Family History Project: Prepare your own family history. Document the
following information from the experiences of your grandparents (both
sides, if possible, but not absolutely necessary), your parents, and
(a) Marriages and/or other significant intimate partnerships
(including length, general quality, how or why they dissolved,
(b) Any divorces and/or remarriages;
(c) Number of kids and other household members;
(d) Occupations and general economic status (What did they do for a
living? Were they poor? Comfortable? Well-off?);
(e) Adult roles within the family (Who earned or ears income for the
family? Who took/takes care of the home and kids?)
(f) Other data you consider to be important to your family‟s
formation and dynamics (e.g. immigration, race, participation in
wars, access to/completion of education…).
Be sure to situate significant passages or events in the general time period
in which they occurred (examples might be: My grandparents raised my
mother and her siblings during the Depression, my parents married after
my father returned from world War II, my parents divorced in the early
1970s, I was raised in the 80s and 90s, etc).
(2) Marriage and Partnership Interview
If possible, interview one of your parents and one of your grandparents
about their expectations of marriage and/or partnership. Ask them to put
themselves in context of when they were first courting/dating
(this is important because you want to capture the culture of the time in
which they first experience courting), and then answer the following
(a) What were considered to be the attributes of an ideal marriage or
(b) What were the most important qualities or characteristics of a
marriage partner OR OTHER LONG TERM PARTNERS? Upon
what should marriage be based?
(c) When was “the right time” to marry?
(d) Under what circumstances was it appropriate to end a marriage?
(3) Think about: How would you respond to these questions yourself?
(4) Be well-prepared to compare and contrast your information with peers
in class. As you compare and contrast, bear in mind similarities and
differences among you in relation to ethnicity, culture, and socio-economic
In these exercises, as with this class in general, do not feel compelled to
share certain kinds of personal information if you are uncomfortable doing
(D) Current Debates: 11/18-12/9. (Find the texts on e-Res,
Note: Primary authors listed on e-res are not the particular authors
representing positions in the debates. Cite the correct authors during
Consult the calendar for dates and the order in which debates will take
“Is the Decline of the Traditional Marriage a National Crisis?”
(Popenoe vs Coontz).
“Does Divorce Create Long-Term Negative Effects for Children?”
(Zinsmeister vs. Gately and Schwebel)
“Should Abstinence-Until-Marriage” Be the Only Message for Teens?”
(Maher vs. Alford)
“Should Same-Sex Couples Be Able to Marry”?
(Human Rights Campaign v. Sprigg)
“Can Lesbian and Gay Couples Be Appropriate Parents for Children?”
(Biskupic vs. Dailey)
“Should People Live Together Before Getting Married?
(Solot and Miller, vs. Popenoe and Whitehead)
“Do the New Sex Roles Burden Women More Than Men?”
(Grabmeier vs. Faludi)
Depending on Enrollment, current debate teams will consist of 2-4
students per team, two teams per issue, two issues per class period
for 7 current debates.
Find and print the texts of the debate you are assigned on e-res.
You can also borrow the text from the instructor in order to make
yourself a copy of the debates you assigned.
DEBATE FACILITATIONS INSTRUCTIONS:
You will be randomly assigned your debate topic early in the
semester. You will be randomly assigned to the “yes” or the “no”
position two weeks before debates begin. Some time will be allotted
for in-class preparations. Use this time well to anticipate anything that
might come up in the discussions. Be prepared.
Each team will have some check-in time at the beginning of each
debate class to compare notes and devise a strategy for
presentation, and prepare key points that are likely to come up during
point-counterpoint. Prior to the debates, each debater should prepare
by reading and taking notes on the issue they are assigned. You
should write an outline for each side of the argument to be handed in
on the day of your debate. Make two copies of your
outline/notes. You should have additional course material to
reference during the debate-discussion. On your assigned debate
day (consult schedule of topics and dates), bring to class all your
notes, the debate articles, and other course reference material you
Each team gets 3 minutes for their opening statement to summarize
their position and give the best they’ve got in the logic of their
arguments (6 minutes total). Then, 3 rounds of 2 minutes per team of
friendly rebuttals begin (approx 15 min). Each team member must
take a turn in rebuttals. Take Good Notes So Your Responses are
Solid and Relevant. Each side gets a concluding 2 minute closing
statement (approx 5 minutes total). Then open floor for the remaining
20 minutes. At this point, debaters join the open discussion; they can
abandon the position they were assigned to argue if they choose, or
they can maintain their position.
Evaluation of presentations will be based on both content and
effectiveness of presentation. Observe and learn from each other. If
you see strategies that really seemed to work include them. If you
see things that didn’t work so well to make effective and engaging
debate discussions, avoid using them.
Content (30 points)
As an individual you can earn a maximum of 30 points if you
1. Knowledge of the material and the logic of the argument at hand;
2. Confident and obviously well-practiced analysis of specific
arguments from the authors of the debate positions, with clear
supporting connection with relevant arguments presented by soc303
authors, with clear reference to page # and location of the passages,
3. Use of original examples (from real life) to illustrate key ideas.
Communication style (30 points)
As an individual, you can earn a maximum of 30 points if you
1. Good eye contact with the whole audience as well as with fellow
debaters. This means:
(a) you do not just read from your notes with your head down and your
eyes only on your notes; Speak clearly and look at your audience.
(b) Your voice is clear and at an appropriate level for all to hear; in other
words, you do not speak too fast, too slow or in muffled tones.
2. You sit while listening, and stand while speaking in good posture
without slouching or leaning, with confidence in what you are saying.
3. During point counterpoint, you do not interrupt, and when it is your
turn to respond you do so with clarity and substantiation.
As a group, you can earn a maximum of 30 points if you demonstrate:
(1).Solid evidence of partnership preparation, practice, and collaboration,
including every team member speaks substantively during the course
of the debate.
(2) Solid evidence for arguments for the debate at hand.
(E) Family History Paper: Due 12/2. Prompt TBA.
(F) Preparation and Participation Portfolio: Due, 12/9. Prompt
Sociology 303: Families and Intimate Relationships
California State University, San Marcos
Fall 2008 Tues. 5:30-8:15, ACD 303
Professor: Margret Crowdes, Ph.D.
Office and hours: Cra6202, Mon-Wed, 1-2:50; Tues, 2-3, or by appointment.
Phone: 760-634-3955. Please do not use the campus phone number; it is
This course examines contemporary issues facing families in the United
States. We will survey key topics in the sociology of families (such as
parenthood, dating, marriage, divorce, and family violence) as well as
consider some of the debates in which the field is currently embroiled such
as what in fact “family” means, and to whom, and, what it means to operate
from certain assumptions and beliefs about family, marriage, and intimate
relationships. Additionally, we will ask how and why families are changing,
what the impacts are of changing gender role expectations, and, the role of
communication in the quality and vitality of primary relationships. How do
social environments shape families? How do families, in turn, shape social
environments? Are the changes as dramatic as some social commentators
claim? Is “the family” indeed breaking down? Through the course,
students will refine their sociological imaginations in relation to families
and intimacy. Ongoing attention is paid to intersections of race, class,
gender, sexual orientation, and, age in familial and marital experiences.
Students successful in completing in this course will:
1. Develop sociological imagination and critical thinking in written and oral
2. Develop and practice the skills of collaborative-partnership learning,
teamwork, and discussion leadership and facilitation.
3. Possess basic knowledge about the sociological study of families;
4. Understand and be able to discuss contemporary families and intimate
relationships within a larger socio-historical framework;
5. Become familiar with social forces that impact well-being in familial and
6. Gain an understanding of sociological frameworks employed in studying
families and be able to apply those frameworks to a variety of situations.
These objectives are met through written and oral assignments combined
with ongoing class activities throughout the semester.
Ferguson, Susan J. (ed). 3rd edition. 2007. Shifting the
Center: Understanding Contemporary Families (bookstore)
“Succeed in This Course!” (Crowdes, 2008) (bookstore)
Selected Readings 2008 on Electronic Reserve. Password: families
Assignments and Grading:
Preparation and Participation (40%): P and P points will be earned in a
variety of ways: Interactive-lecture discussions, in-class, small group
discussions, homework assignments, and attendance.
Family Analysis Paper (30%): You will be required to sociologically analyze
your family, using course material combined with information from various
assignments that you complete through the semester. This final paper
needs to be a well-written paper that connects ideas and concepts to your
familial data. It requires analysis, not a report and not just regurgitation of
the material. Papers will be collected at the beginning of the class period
on the day they are due. Late papers lose one-half percentage point for
each day it is late.
Current Debates (30%): Debates will take place over several class sessions.
Reading assignments on various current debates presented in Taking
Sides will be used for this exercise. Depending on enrollment, debate
teams will consist of 2-4 students per team, two teams per issue. Each
student will be assigned to a team and a position in the debate. Each
debate student should prepare by reading and taking notes on the issue
they are assigned prior to coming to class. Bring to class all your notes, a
typed outline of your presentation (with an extra copy for hand-in) and the
text. Evaluation of discussions will be based on (1) knowledge of the
material, (2) support from the articles and course material with clear
reference to page#, (3) use of original examples to illustrate key ideas, and,
(4) effective presentation style--which means good eye contact with
audience, voice level, verbal clarity.
Summary of Assignments:
Preparation and Participation 40%
Family Analysis Paper 30%
Current Debate discussion facilitation 30%
COURSE POLICIES AND CLASSROOM COURTESIES
Respect one another. We all come to this class with different life
experiences, positions in the social hierarchy, and understandings of the
social world. Our task is to discuss and process very provocative facts and
concepts that may challenge prevailing beliefs in our society. This may be
easier for some than for others. Be patient with each other and respectful
of our differences.
∙ Consistent attendance, participation, and promptness are required.
∙ Come to each class prepared for informed discussion, with all of your
reading done. All readings should be completed by the date they are listed
on the syllabus.
∙ If you have concerns about your work in this course, please talk to the
instructor as soon as possible.
∙ Bring your own hardcopies to class of the readings assigned for the day!–
we will be using them. NO LAPTOPS OR OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES.
∙ I keep track of attendance through prep papers, in-class exercises that are
turned in at the end of many classes. Class exercises and prep papers are
due at the assigned time in class. One make up allowed per person for
∙ No private conversations, cell phones, text-messaging, laptops or any
other electronic devices during class discussions.
∙ Do not interrupt the professor or your fellow classmates.
Students will be allowed one warning per class period for disruptive
behavior. The second time in any class period that a student behaves
disruptively, she/he will be asked to leave. You will need to meet with the
professor before you return to class.
If you cannot meet the above expectations consistently, please consider
taking the course at a time when you can.
Part I. Create A Collaborative-Partnership Learning Context for
A Sociological Exploration of Family and Intimacy
9/2 Interactive-Lecture #1: “Two Models for Thinking and Talking
About Families and Intimacy in a Public University Classroom”
DUE: “Succeed!” (ed. Crowdes)
Eisler, “Partnership and Dominator Possibilities” (e-res)
Ferguson, STC, pp. ix-6
Part II: “Thinking About Families
With a Sociological Imagination”
9/9 Interactive Lecture #2: “Whose Families, To Whom Does it Matter?
DUE: Gittins, in STC, pp. 7-17 (STC).
Weston, pp. 27- 41 (STC)
Lichter and Qian, pp. 42-58 (STC).
7:00-8:15, set up current debates teams. Late or no shows lose points
and/or forfeit assignment to a group.
9/16 Interactive-Lecture #3: “The Larger Context: “Historical Changes
and Family Variations”
DUE: Assignment A-1
Ferguson, pp.59- 62; (STC)
Mills, “The Promise”
Coontz, pp.80 (in STC)
Your choice of 6, 7, or 8
9/23 Interactive Lecture #4: “Dating, Power, Marriage, Cohabitation,
and Partnership: Whither the Patriarchal Household; Is it withering?”
DUE: Assignment A-2/ B: Analysis of on-line dating
Ferguson, pp. 133-138; 177-180 (STC)
Whyte, 139-148 (STC)
Cherlin, 183-201 (STC)
Schwartz, 222-231 (STC)
One more of your choice from Part III or Part IV in relation to
analysis of on-line dating
Part III. “Family and Intimacy Up Close:
The Communication Connection”
9/30 Interactive-Lecture #5: “Intimate Relations and Communication
in a domination paradigm compared with a partnership paradigm”
Eisler, “Your Intimate Relations”
YLLO, pp. 611-622 (in STC)
Review, “Tools for Effective Dialogue….” In “Succeed!”
10/7 Class activities
Part IV. “Variations Among Mothers and Fathers, Parents and
Children: Ways of Doing, Un-doing, and Re-doing
Marriages and Families”
10/14 Interactive-Lecture #6: “Motherhood and Fatherhood”
Due: Assignment A-3.
Hill-Collins, 371-389 (STC)
10/21 DUE: Assignment C: Family History Project; Marriage and
Homework Assignment Note for 10/28. One –two pages typed about 1
compelling scene from “The Bird Cage” (film). Why did you choose it?
What makes it sociologically compelling (consult reading assignment)?
What makes it personally meaningful? Mark the scene by timer so it can be
quickly located in class viewing.
10/28 Interactive-Lecture #7: “Parents and Children, and Their Dilemmas”
DUE: Assignment A- 4.
Ferguson, 265-270 (STC)
Vinovski, 271- 299 (STC)
Stacey and Biblartz, 299-322 (STC)
11/4 #8: “Divorce, Remarriage, and Blended Families”
Ahrons, pp.517- 522 (STC)
Arendell, pp. 534-550 (STC)
Mason, 588- 603 (STC)
11/11 #9: “Families and Care Work”
Shahmehri, “More Than Welcome” (e-res)
Bahr, pp. 487-503 (in STC)
Clawson and Gerstel, pp. 726-734 (in STC)
Plus your choice of one from Part XI.
11/18 DUE: 5:30-7:15: Last In-class preparations for Current Debates.
Late and No shows lose points.
7:30- 8:15: Current debate #1: “Is the Decline of the Traditional
Family A National Crisis?”
11/25 Current Debate #2: 6:00 – 6:45: “Should Abstinence-Until Marriage
be the Only Message for Teens?”
Current Debate #3: 7:15 – 7:45: “Should People Live Together
Before Getting Married?”
12/2 DUE: Family History Paper
Current Debate #4: 6:00 – 6:45: “Should Same-Sex Couples Be
Able to Marry?”
Current Debate #5: 7:15 – 7:45: “Can Lesbian and Gay Couples
Be Appropriate Parents for Children?”
12/9 DUE: Preparation and Participation Portfolio
Current debate #6: 6:30 – 7:15: “Do the New Sex Roles Burden
Women More Than Men?”
#7: 7:30 – 8:15: “”Does Divorce Create Long-
Term Negative Effects for Children?
E-reserves: Quiz-style Focus questions and related discussion
questions for Interactive-lectures Soc303
Interactive-Lecture #1 Sept.2
(1) Specifically, what is collaborative learning? What isn‟t it?
(2) What are some “common misperceptions” about collaborative learning
that might indicate resistance among some people? Why? How would it
show up so that you knew it was resistance? What are responses to those
(3) On the other hand, collaborative learning and discussion-style classes
appeal to many students. What are some major reasons for the appeal?
What are some ways you can think of to optimize the effectiveness, quality
and enjoyment of the learning process?
(4) Pick two right Rights and Responsibilities, explain and elaborate on
them; relate them to your own experience. When you have responded, call
on someone else to elaborate more or to give their response to other ones
you may not have addressed.
(5) Are there other perceptions or concerns about doing a class this way
that were not discussed that you think should be represented?
(6). What are the purposes and objectives of preparation papers and
interactive-lectures? What is their relationship to follow-up applications?
(7) Show and tell us the appropriate way to cite and reference an author
and their ideas. Why make a big deal of it?
From “Contribute to Effective and Respectful Dialogue…”
(8) From the communication behavior examples given by Verdeber and
Verdeber, what are three behaviors that would most likely undermine
successful collaborative-partnership learning and relationships? Why?
Illustrate with a concrete example from real life from your educational
experiences or familial experiences.
(9) What are three behaviors, on the other hand, that would notably support
and enhance collaborative learning, critical thinking, “equality, and, dignity
in democratic dialogue”. Why? Illustrate with a concrete example.
(10) How can you tell when you or another person is doing “effective and
active listening”? Illustrate with a concrete example from your own
experience or observations from real life classroom interactions, and
(11) Does effective listening, respectful communication and safe
interpersonal interaction in a classroom contradict critical thinking,
questioning, or strong sociological examination of ideas? Support your
(12) Describe the differences among assertive, aggressive and passive
communication. In your own words, give an example of what each would
sound like in a discussion about a current controversy of your choice
Eisler, (2000) "Dominator and Partnership Possibilities"
13. Eisler argues that we need to redefine and transform education to be
more appropriate to a democratic society. She argues that “partnership”
education is a better fit than “dominator” education. What exactly are the
core differences between structures of domination and partnership ones?
What constitutes a substantial difference in the two compared with a
simplistic, and ultimately, inaccurate, presumed difference?
Why is partnership education a better fit for a democratic society?
14. What does Eisler contend differentiates us as a species?
15. Explain how power is most likely exercised in a partnership paradigm
compared with how it is exercised in an authoritarian paradigm (or
structure of domination). Give concrete examples from ways of dealing
with conflict in an intimate relationship and/or in a classroom discussion.
16. What does the partnership-dominator continuum further allow us to see
that makes the word continuum a key term here?
17. Why and how would understanding and being able to recognize these
two models make a difference not only in the quality of classroom
experience, but also in family and intimate relationships?
Wild Card! Think for Yourself: Is our society or world experiencing a
paradigm shift in family and intimate relations? Why or why not?
Ferguson, pp. ix-6
1. Ferguson says, “we need to deconstruct idealized and stereotypical
notions about the family” (2007:1) What does she mean by this? Why
do we also need to consider history, diverse family forms, and the
impact of other institutions such as economy and work?
2. What is her working definition of “family”?
Wild Card! Why would the sociological realization that families and
intimacy are social constructions be liberating to some people and
disturbing or challenging to others?
I-L #2. Sept.9
“The Family in Question: What is the Family? Is It Universal?
1. According to Gittins, one problem with the functionalist definition of the
family is that
a. households never participate in economic cooperation.
b. NOT all families share a residence, so the term household is
c. it needs to further define specific family members‟ duties.
d. it emphasizes social connections over biological connections.
2. Murdock‟s definition of the family is an inadequate definition because
a. the incest taboo does not exist.
b. it applies contemporary Western ideas to families everywhere.
c. sexuality is NOT a basic function of the family.
d. it leaves out extended relatives who live far away.
3. Why, according to Gittins, is Edholm‟s definition of kinship preferable to
the functionalist definition of the family?
a. It stresses the fact that kinship is a social construction and
emphasizes variability of kinship.
b. Kinship is a biological fact, rather than a social fact.
c. It argues that there is no biological base to kinship.
d. It challenges traditional images of the family by making the mother
the universal center of all families.
4. “Motherhood” is NOT universal because
a. the definition of motherhood as both bearing and rearing children is
b. fatherhood is NOT universal.
c. each generation has different maternal instincts.
d. it is a biological event, NOT a social one.
5. The neglect of the study of sibling ties tells us all of the following
assumptions have been made EXCEPT
a. that parenthood is the most important aspect of family.
b. that reproduction is the essence of kinship.
c. that all children are raised by their biological mothers.
d. that sibling relationships are so great the effects are clear and
6. Gittins would say that the division of labor based on sex is socially
a. NOT all societies have a division of labor.
b. sex differences are NOT great enough to require that one kind of
work should be performed by women and another by men.
c. division of labor is generally based on age, NOT on sex.
d. social trends in popular culture determine what constitutes male and
7. According to Gittins, why is kinship assumed to be biological?
a. because individuals only have biological family members
b. because social relatives are NOT easy to recognize
c. because we assume that scientific definitions of the family are
d. because we know, or think we know, who our parents are
True or False
1. A functionalist would define a polygynous group as a family.
2. Love and motherhood are universal aspects of family. The incest
taboo CANNOT be taken as a universal defining characteristic of
3. According to Gittins, NOT all societies have a social construction of
the sexes into gender.
4. According to Durkheim, the most basic divisions of labor in a society
are based on age and sex.
5. While the social construction of motherhood varies from culture to
culture, the ideal of “good mothering” is universal.
6. Using evidence from the reading by Gittins, take one aspect of the
functionalist definition of family, and argue why it is NOT a good basis
for a definition of the family.
7. Gittins continually asks the question “What is the family?” Create
your own definition of what the family is, and defend it using arguments
and examples from the text as well as from your own life experiences.
“Exiles from Kinship”
1. What made the discourse on gay families, which emerged in the 1980s,
distinctive from earlier discussions?
a. The new discourse included a discussion of adoption and custody
b. The new discourse demanded that kinship ties formed between
friends and lovers receive social recognition.
c. The new discourse rejected same-sex marriage, calling it an
accommodation to heterosexual culture.
d. The new discourse argued that all families had biological ties based
2. According to Blanche Wiesen Cook, what effect does excluding
lesbians and gay men from the “family” have on representations of gay
men and lesbians?
a. It reduces lesbians and gay men to sexual identity, and ignores other
aspects of their lives, such as work.
b. It causes them to be seen as independent, unburdened by ties to
c. It implies that gays and lesbians are pro-children.
d. It suggests that gays and lesbians are against the institution of
3. Which socio-historical development in NOT mentioned by Weston as
part of the impetus for the development of the “families we choose”
a. the building of an urban “gay” community
b. the legalization of domestic partnerships
c. the lesbian baby boom
d. new contexts for disclosing lesbian or gay identity to others
4. Why are the “holiday blues” an acute problem for gay people?
a. Disclosure of lesbian or gay identity often disrupts relations with
b. Lesbians and gay men are rarely invited home for the holidays.
c. The holidays remind them of all the things they are missing out on in
d. Gay and lesbian families do NOT celebrate holidays.
5. Controversies surrounding the definition of the family include all of
the following debates EXCEPT
a. legal vs. illegal.
b. straight vs. gay.
c. nature vs. nurture.
d. real vs. ideal.
6. During the 1980s, Asian, Hispanic, and African American segments
of the United States
a. all increased.
b. did NOT change significantly.
c. fluctuated irregularly.
d. all decreased.
7. Charles Silverstein expressed a popular opinion of the time (late
1970s) when he said that
a. gays and lesbians place more importance on maintaining family ties
than heterosexuals do, because gays and lesbians do NOT marry
and have children.
b. gays and lesbians have small, weak family structures.
c. lesbians may become mothers, but gay men CANNOT become
d. gays and lesbians have no families.
8. In California in 1978, ________ was proposed in “defense of the
family,” but was defeated by large-scale activism on the part of the gay and
a. The Sexual Morality Bill
b. Proposition 6 (The Briggs Initiative)
c. The Brown Initiative (Policy Action 9)
d. Title IX
True or False
9. Most gays and lesbians grow up in homosexual families.
10. In contrast to gay families, heterosexuals “share a single coherent
form of family.”
11. Most lesbians and gay men interviewed by Weston thought that
claiming a lesbian or gay identity meant they could never be part of a
12. Holiday gatherings are important in helping gay men and lesbians
define family relationships.
13. According to Weston, in the United States, the symbol that joins
relatives of marriage and blood is heterosexual intercourse.
14. According to Weston and her interviewees, what two assumptions
lead to the separation between “gay life” and “the family”? How do
prevalent definitions of the family in the United States contribute to this
15. Reconstruct the families chart used by Weston in her reading in
order to compare straight and gay families. What is the basic difference
between these two structures? What are the similarities? Do you think
that the families are more alike, or more different? Why?
“Marriage and Family in a Multiracial Society”
Daniel T. Lichter and Zhenchao Qian
1. What percent of American families today represent the “traditional
2. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, what is the definition of a
a. Any heterosexual couple who share a residence and have one or
more children together
b. A social group characterized by economic cooperation, a common
household, sexual relations, and reproduction
c. Household members who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption
who share a common domicile
d. A group of persons whose primary purpose is the development and
gratification of its members
3. Roughly one in every ______ births in the United States occurs
outside of marriage.
4. All of the following represent recent trends in the American family
a. delayed marriage
b. fewer people living alone
c. a surge in the number of cohabiting couples
d. more single parent families
5. Which of the following is most representative of single-parent
a. welfare dependence
b. out-of-wedlock childbearing
d. 25% are children living with unmarried fathers
6. Which of the following is NOT true of cohabitation in the United
a. most cohabiting couples eventually get married
b. cohabitation is associated with delays in childbearing
c. increases in cohabitation are associated with delays in marriage
d. divorce rates are 30 to 40 percent higher for cohabiting couples who
later marry than for couples who do not cohabit
7. Many scholars ultimately attribute changes in the contemporary family
to fundamental shifts in __________ in American society.
a. education levels
d. gender roles
True or False
8. History indicates that family change is inevitable.
9. Although racial and ethnic family variations have been studied in the
past, most research has failed to identify significant differences in
family structures based on race or ethnicity.
10. A mother and son sharing an apartment is an example of a non-family
household because the father is not present.
11. Surveys indicate that most Americans expect to marry within their
12. Contrary to popular belief, children raised in married couple families
show no emotional or cognitive advantages when compared to their
peers raised in single-parent families.
13. Declines in marriage rates have been especially noticeable among
highly educated men.
14. Based on Lichter and Qian‟s explanations of how and why American
family structures have changed in recent years, do you think these
trends will continue in the future? If so, explain your reasoning using
evidence from the article and life experience. If not, explain how and
why you think new trends will emerge.
15. Lichter and Qian propose that one reason for family change in the
United States is economic in nature. Explain this economic model for
the restructuring of American families. Do you think it is a convincing
argument? Why or why not? Do you think this model has explanatory
power in diverse contexts?
I-L #3. Sept.16
Mills, “The Promise”
1. To the extent that people come to be “possessed by a sense of the trap”
(p.5) what does Mills say constitutes the nature of the trap?
2. What is the remedy to such a trapped feeling? When he says, “It is not
only information that they need….” (p.5) what is he wanting the reader to
3. So then, what is the sociological imagination? What does it enable us to
understand that we might not otherwise see without this form of analysis?
Why does Mills claim it is the most seriously needed “quality of mind” for
us today? Why would this matter to us in our study of families and
4.Elsewhere in his explanation of sociological imagination, Mills states,
“Both the correct statement of the problem and the range of possible
solutions require us to consider the economic and political institutions of
the society, and not merely the personal situation and character of a
scatter of individuals” (p.9). What do you think this means? Give an
example from contemporary real life experience to illustrate Mills‟ point
Think for Yourself: If we think with a sociological imagination about
family and intimate relations at both macro and micro levels of analysis,
what kinds of questions would we most want to ask? What would a deeper
look with more critical thinking (not to be confused with “negative”
thinking) allow us to see that we may not otherwise see?
“Historical Perspectives on Family Diversity”
1. By the late 14th century, the word family had come to signify
a. kin groupings.
b. parent-child groupings.
c. a man‟s offspring.
d. all who lived under the authority of a household head.
2. During the 19th century, the word family came to describe
a. a married couple and their co-resident children.
b. a married couple, their co-resident children, and other household
c. a married couple, their children, and more distant kin.
d. a married couple.
3. ________ is part of the definition of mothering in numerous cultural
traditions (outside of contemporary American thought).
d. Wage earning
4. According to Coontz, sexual behavior and identity ________ across time
a. show little variation
b. show great variation
c. reflect political beliefs
d. have become rigidly dichotomized
5. At the time of the European exploration of the New World, Native
American families of North America were characterized by all of the
a. kinship rules and obligations.
b. flexible and informal residence rules.
c. sharp distinctions between familial and civil duties.
d. non-property holding nuclear families.
6. Which of the following was NOT an impact of European colonization
on Native American family systems?
a. elevated role of young males
b. increased dependence on the household, due to the threat from
c. transformed gender and age relations
d. increased independence from the extended household, kinship, or
community group due to the influence of traders and colonial
7. Beginning in the 1820s, the emergence of a number of family
systems in the United States has been attributed to all of the following
a. the growth of wage labor.
b. the growth of a national market economy.
c. the specialization of many occupations and professions.
d. the development of a less nuclear family orientation.
8. In the 1820s, during the early development of American capitalism,
________ emerged as a category that European immigrants could use to
differentiate themselves from other groups.
9. The gradual separation of work and home during the 19th century
resulted in family and economic tensions that gave way to
a. wives taking greater responsibility for household and child care.
b. men beginning to specialize in paid work outside the home.
c. an extension of childhood and redefinition of motherhood.
d. all of the above.
10. All of the following generally characterize U.S. families after the Civil
a. the separation between home and work lessened.
b. families became smaller.
c. fertility rates dropped.
d. parents became more emotionally involved in child rearing.
11. Which of the following is NOT an example of diversity within families
during the late 19th century?
a. fewer uniformities existed in the age that young people would leave
school and home
b. a close integration between marriage and entry into the workforce
c. there was an increase in temporary co-residence with other kin
d. sexuality increasingly became an issue separate from fertility
True or False
12. In colonial America, economic activities were far more central to a
woman‟s identity and occupied much more of her time than child
13. According to Coontz, throughout history, a person‟s sexual acts
were assumed to be essential to and definitive of his or her fundamental
character or identity.
14. The term homosexual only came into use at the end of the 19th
15. In the 19th century, the closest, most intimate bonds were those of
women with their husbands.
16. Class distinctions in home furnishings, food, and household labor
lessened in the second half of the 19th century.
17. American fertility, on average, increased from 1855 to 1915.
18. Describe the six changes that, according to Coontz, have occurred in
family organization, resulting in the “modernization” of the family. How
have these changes influenced family diversity in terms of social class,
race, gender, and ethnicity?
19. What changes do you currently see taking place with regard to family
forms and functions? What factors account for these contemporary
changes? How do these changes influence family diversity in terms of
social class, race, gender, ethnicity, marital status, sexual orientation,
I-L #4. Sept.23.
Ferguson, 133-138; 177-180
“Choosing Mates—The American Way”
Martin King Whyte
1. The aspect of how well dating works in American culture is critiqued by
Whyte in terms of
a. whether dating provides valuable experience that will help make a
wise choice of marital partner.
b. how easy it is to find attractive dates on short notice.
c. whether dates result in enjoyable, entertaining evenings.
d. whether dates result in committed long-term, monogamous
2. Which of the following does NOT represent an example of “youth-
driven” patterns of courtship?
a. the decision to marry was made by the men and women involved
b. marrying in birth order
c. men and women taking the initiative to get to know each other
d. parents rarely arranged the marriages of their children
3. According to Whyte, which of the following is NOT a way in which
young Americans got to know each other before the era of dating?
a. arranged dates
c. local dances
d. church socials
4. All of the following may have been causes of the first sexual revolution
in America EXCEPT
a. expansion of population into unsettled frontiers.
b. the individualistic and freedom-loving spirit generated by the
c. the practice of “bundling.”
d. the increase in premarital births.
5. As dating replaced calling as the dominant custom in which young
people got to know each other, much of the control shifted to
a. the woman.
b. the man.
c. the woman‟s parents.
d. the man‟s parents.
6. Romantic and physical experimentation increased during the dating era
as a result of all of the following EXCEPT
a. greater autonomy of youths.
b. parents not being aware of who their child was dating.
c. greater privacy for youths.
d. “lovers‟ lanes” and other private locations.
7. Which of the following was NOT associated with the dating stage of
a. both partners committed to dating each other exclusively
b. getting pinned
c. deeper romantic and physical involvement than casual dating
d. explicit contemplation of marriage
8. According to Whyte, all of the following contributed to the rise of the
dating culture EXCEPT
a. an increased need to contribute to the family economy.
b. prolonged school attendance.
c. the invention of the automobile.
d. a rise in part-time employment for students.
9. The rise of dating and the transformation of America into a mass
consumption society has lead to the “marketplace learning viewpoint”
of mate selection. According to this viewpoint,
a. selecting a spouse is the same as buying a car or breakfast cereal.
b. getting married without much dating experience is risky.
c. dating a variety of partners would not lead to marital happiness.
d. marrying your first sweetheart, in some cases, could lead to a good
10. Our dating culture, according to Whyte, is based upon a marketplace
psychology and the view that
a. individuals with longer dating experiences make better dates.
b. individuals that date more partners make worse dates.
c. sexual compatibility is central to marital happiness, therefore it
should be left alone and not tested by premarital sex.
d. individuals with longer dating experience or more partners end up
with happier marriages.
11. According to the results of Whyte‟s 1984 survey of the Detroit area
a. the amount and type of dating experience did not make a clear
difference one way or another and the “marketplace learning
viewpoint” is misguided.
b. marrying very young was associated with successful marriages.
c. length of dating and dating variety were clearly related to measures
of marital success.
d. women who cohabitated or engaged in premarital sex were more
likely to have successful marriages.
12. Whyte argues that, although our dating culture is based upon an
analogy with consumer purchases in the marketplace,
a. in real life, selecting a spouse ends up being similar to buying a car
or breakfast cereal.
b. dating does not provide useful learning experiences that promote
c. dating experience is a good predictor of marital success.
d. women with more dating experience and greater premarital intimacy
had less successful marriages.
13. According to Whyte, marital success
a. is totally unpredictable.
b. is based on a rational process of mate selection.
c. is a total crap-shoot, as is mate selection.
d. may be based on how in love the individuals are at the time of their
True or False
14. Dating is an old institution that began in the 17th century.
15. The formalization of “calling” contributed to a decline in premarital
16. The closing of the frontier, the rise of the middle class, and defensive
reactions of the middle class to waves of immigrants contributed to the
rise of the first sexual revolution in America.
17. One of the major differences between “calling” and “dating” was that
with calling, the rules were defined by adults rather than peers.
18. The “marketplace learning viewpoint” of dating implies that having a
variety of dating partners and then getting to know one of them more
seriously over time was likely to lead to marital success.
19. Compare and contrast the activities of “calling” and “dating.” Do you
believe that either experience can prove helpful in making a “„wise‟
choice of a marital partner?” Why or why not? Are there more
contemporary activities (e.g. “hanging-out”) that are replacing the
process of dating? How do these activities compare and contrast with
“calling” and “dating?” What are the goals of these more contemporary
patterns, and are they being achieved?
20. One of Whyte‟s main arguments is that America has a “marketplace
learning viewpoint” approach to dating, and, moreover, that this
approach does not work as a pattern of mate selection. From your own
experiences with dating and marriage (others, as well as, possibly, your
own) do you agree or disagree with this argument? Can you envision
alternative patterns of courtship and dating that help “pave the way for
a successful marriage?
“The Deinstitutionalization of Marriage”
Andrew J. Cherlin
1. The term deinstitutionalization can be defined as:
a. decreasing political and legal control over social institutions
b. a decline in the number of people participating in a given social
c. the weakening of the social norms that define people‟s behavior in a
d. the replacement of one social institution with another
2. According to British demographer, Kathleen Kiernan, the acceptance of
cohabitation is occurring in four stages in European nations. For
countries in stage two,
a. cohabitation is indistinguishable from marriage
b. cohabitation is an acceptable alternative to marriage
c. cohabitation is a fringe or avant garde phenomenon
d. cohabitation is accepted as a testing ground for marriage
3. In his article, Cherlin argues that ___________ is becoming more
institutionalized in many Western countries.
4. The term _______________ marriage refers to the fact that people
evaluate how satisfied they are with their marriage by thinking in terms
of personal development and an expression of feelings.
5. Contrary to ___________ theory, marriages are increasingly being
formed well after a child is born.
6. Using a rational choice perspective, Cherlin argues that the major
benefit of marriage that would lead cohabiting couples to marry is
a. enforceable trust
b. financial gain
c. an increase in legal partner rights
d. labor specialization
7. Cherlin states that if modernity theorists are correct,
a. marriage will be reinstitutionalized
b. marriage will remain deinstitutionalized, but will still be a common
and distinctive phenomenon
c. marriage will fade away
d. none of the above
True or False
8. Contrary to Cherlin‟s hypotheses about marriage and remarriage, first
marriage has become more like remarriage, that is, it has become
9. In the 1990s, the proportion of cohabiting unions that ended in marriage
within three years was approximately 50 percent.
10. In 2002, the majority of adult participants in the United States General
Social Survey agreed with the statement, “It is alright for a couple to live
together without intending to get married.”
11. Recent studies show that women in the United States and Canada with
less education are more likely to marry.
12. According to Cherlin, although the practical importance of being
married has declined, its symbolic importance within society has
13. Marriage has become an event more centered on family approval and
having children than in the past.
14. What evidence does Cherlin give to support his claim that American
marriage has been deinstitutionalized? Cite at least three distinct
pieces of evidence that Cherlin uses in his argument. State which piece
of evidence you think lends the strongest support, which lends the
weakest support, and why.
15. Based upon Cherlin‟s article on the deinstitutionalization of marriage,
what do you think will happen to the institution of marriage in the
future? Will it become reinstitutionalized, remain symbolically
important but deinstitutionalized, or fade away as an institution? Why?
1. Schwartz used three categories to describe her married subjects. Of the
following, which description does NOT fit the “Traditionals” category?
a. The wife is responsible for the child-rearing.
b. The husband has the ultimate say in decision making.
c. The wife does not have (and does not want) equal status to her
d. The husband wants to be a participatory father, but cannot because
of his job situation.
2. “Near Peers” have all of the following characteristics EXCEPT
a. they believe in relationship equality.
b. they practice relationship equality, but do not believe it is important
c. they believe the father‟s parenting role is not as involved as the
d. they practice traditional child-rearing and/or male income-support.
3. The majority of the interviewed couples in Schwartz‟s study of peer
marriage used three of the following four reasons to explain their
egalitarian relationships. Which reason was NOT commonly used?
a. Couples want to replicate the egalitarian model that they themselves
were raised in.
b. The other partner has a strong interest in egalitarianism.
c. Couples have a strong belief in co-parenting.
d. Couples see their own upbringing/parents‟ relationship as a negative
4. In order to be defined as a “peer marriage,” a couple must have all of
the following characteristics EXCEPT
a. at least a 60-40 split on domestic labor (child-rearing, housework,
b. a common perception that the partners are on equal standing with
c. a reversal of traditional gender roles.
d. a desire to maintain an egalitarian relationship.
5. Present-day American culture supports the belief that egalitarian
a. are easily attainable.
b. are impossible, and NOT in partners‟ best interests.
c. fit well with contemporary gender roles in practice.
d. are in the best interests of the individuals and their children.
6. Most of the Peer Marriage study participants fit into which of the
c. middle class
7. The most important element of a peer marriage is
a. to remember the original purpose of their marriage, and why this
choice was important to the
b. to have a chance to participate in role-reversal behaviors.
c. the practice of nonspecialized divisions of labor, particularly in
reference to gender.
d. the expression of common life views.
8. Peer marriage couples, as opposed to the Traditional and Near Peer
couples, often cited problems in their sexual lives. According to
Schwartz, these couples may begin to lose interest in sexual activity
a. they have been married for a long time.
b. sex is not their main way of getting close.
c. they are no longer in love.
d. they know each other too well.
True or False
9. All of the couples recommended during the snowball sampling subject-
selection process fit Schwartz‟s egalitarian-relationship criteria.
10. According to Schwartz, individuals will experience “role discomfort”
when they begin to enter the opposite gender‟s world.
11. The majority of interviewed couples in the study of peer marriage
claimed that the women‟s movement or feminist ideology brought them
12. The greatest source of disagreement in peer marriage relationships
13. According to Schwartz, co-parents need to have good negotiating and
communication skills, so they can resolve differences of opinion
without challenging their relationship.
14. Pepper Schwartz analyzes a number of aspects of peer marriages and
several non-peer marriages. Do you think that one form is more
preferable than the other? Is so, why? Discuss the benefits and
drawbacks of your selection, and how you would attempt to achieve
such a relationship in your own life, should you choose to pursue one.
15. According to Schwartz, Near Peers and Peer Marriages have a number
of similar characteristics. In fact, many of the interview participants in
Schwartz‟s study selected additional “peer” couples that were actually
near peers, and not examples of peer relationships. Identify three
commonalities and three points of diversion for Peer and Near Peer
couples. What reasons does Schwartz give for the probable cause(s) of
these differences? What do you believe leads to the problem of
I-L #5. Sept.30.
Eisler, “Your Intimate Relations”
1. What are several important questions we could ask ourselves about our
early life experiences that could help us understand the effect they have on
our intimate relationships?
2. Often the argument is posed that “talking about caring and empathic
relationship is all well and good, but totally unrealistic” (2002:35). What is
the simplest response, as well as the more interesting response that Eisler
offers? What is it that is also biologically built into our species that makes
us “truly human” as Eisler explains?
3. Both violence, and caring and empathy, are part of our biological
repertoire. What determines which of these propensities we are likely to
replicate and reinforce in our personal and political lives?
4.What is the “lose-lose” that women and men often wind up with as a
result of trying to live according to the dominant gender code and scripts?
5.What are a couple of contemporary examples that try to pull us back to
the kind of sexuality appropriate to domination relations?
6.The author gives a number of suggestions for action steps we can take
towards healthier intimacy. What are two or three of these that you find
“Gender, Diversity, and Violence:
Extending the Feminist Framework”
Kersti A. Yllö
1. The conceptualization of violence as coercive control
a. was deduced from an abstract theoretical model
b. grew inductively out of the day-to-day work of battered women and
c. was first defined in legal terms by government officials
d. has always been present and accepted within the United States
2. The control model of domestic violence that was developed by the
Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, Minnesota is known as
a. Power and Control Wheel
b. Domestic Violence Continuum
c. Physical and Sexual Violence Chart
d. Coercion and Control Continuum
3. The Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth, Minnesota
developed a framework for seeing the interconnections between
______________ and other forms of coercive control.
b. male privilege
d. emotional abuse
4. The coercive control model of domestic violence identifies violence as
a. a conflict tactic that is individual and gender neutral
b. a symptom of a disorder
c. a tactic of entitlement and power that is deeply gendered
d. both a and b
5. The feminist slogan, ________________________ identifies and rejects
the public-private distinction that excludes women from public
a. “The political is personal.”
b. “The personal is political.”
c. “The private is political.”
d. “The political is private.”
6. Feminist analysis of intimate violence to date has emphasized
a. differences in the experiences of women based upon social class
b. differences in the experiences of women based upon race
c. differences in the experiences of women based upon ethnicity
d. the commonality of women‟s experiences despite racial, ethnic, and
7. All of the following describe characteristics of African American women
in Beth Richie‟s research on battered women jailed on Rikers Island,
New York EXCEPT:
a. They were less likely than white women to turn to social services for
b. They often turned to the police for help.
c. They were likely to come from stable families and parents with high
d. They were committed to traditional gender norms and family values.
True or False
8. The coercive control model of domestic violence supports
psychological explanations focused on personality disorders and the
sociology of interpersonal conflict.
9. Feminist theory has always incorporated extensive research into racial-
ethnic and social class diversity among women.
10. The term, “white solipsism,” refers to idea that white experience is not
synonymous to human experience.
11. Yllö argues that decisions on how to respond to abuse should be made
keeping in mind intersections of race, social class, and gender.
12. Public systems of social control invade the private realms of people of
color more so than those of whites.
13. In Eileen Abel‟s study of female “victims” and female “batterers,” those
who had been adjudicated as “batterers” were more likely to have been
threatened and forced to have sex than their “victim” counterparts.
14. Describe the relational theory of gender subordination that states that
differences in women‟s experiences are determined by and reflect
women‟s connection to or distance from white male power. Do you
agree or disagree with this theory? Use evidence from the article to
support your position.
Yllö states that “there is a thin line between debunking the stereotypical
beliefs that only poor and minority women are battered and pushing them
aside to focus on victims for whom mainstream politicians and media are
more likely to express concern.” In the case of domestic violence, what are
the pros and cons of highlighting the similarities of women despite racial,
ethnic, and social class differences? What are pros and cons of
highlighting the differences? Which position do you think feminist
activists should take?
I-L #6. Oct. 14.
“Shifting the Center: Race, Class, and Feminist Theorizing about
Patricia Hill Collins
1. According to Hill Collins‟ reading, it is important to examine
a. as it compares to fatherhood.
b. as a responsibility, and NOT a choice.
c. within the historical contexts of race, social class, and gender.
d. separately from outside influences.
2. Hill Collins argues that “racial domination and economic exploitation
profoundly shape the mothering context” for
a. lower-class African American women.
b. racial-ethnic women only.
c. racial-ethnic men and women.
d. all women
3. Hill Collins criticizes ________ in feminist theorizing about motherhood.
a. the contextualization in Western social thought
b. the emphasis placed on male domination in household and political
economy as a driving force to family life
c. the neglect of the father‟s role in the motherhood experience
d. the perspective on reproductive labor
4. According to Hill Collins, the term “motherwork,” or reproductive labor,
a. the process of becoming a mother, beginning with conception.
b. work that a woman does to make herself a better mother.
c. work that combines public and private, industrial and collective, in
terms of survival, empowerment, and identity.
d. the steps that a mother takes to reproduce her values in her
daughters, so they will be good mothers, too.
5. Hill Collins states that there are three basic themes to women of color‟s
motherwork. Which of the following factors is NOT one of these three?
6. In the United States, approximately ________ of African American
children and ________ of Hispanic children, who survive infancy, live in
a. one-third; one-half
b. one-half; one-third
c. two-fifths; five-eighths
d. three-fifths; one-fourth
7. For racial-ethnic women, being able to keep one‟s wanted children is a
a. simulated white privilege.
b. historic female roles.
c. maternal empowerment.
d. financial strain.
8. Personal sovereignty, in terms of racial-ethnic motherwork, concerns
a. male governance of the home.
b. comparison of individual approaches to mothering within racial
c. personal control of one‟s children.
d. fighting to hold onto views of family and motherhood that differ from
True or False
9. According to Hill Collins, for women of color, the sociocultural issues
prevalent in their respective racial- ethnic communities cannot be
separated from their experiences with mothering/ motherhood.
10. Through motherwork, children learn to see that their work and their
mother‟s work is crucial for their family‟s survival.
11. Racial-ethnic women‟s motherwork deals heavily with learning to accept
living in an oppressive society.
12. Racial-ethnic women are adamantly against encouraging their children
to conform to mainstream, white society.
13. According to Gloria Anzaldua, Latin American culture promotes
conflicting ideals for its women through the ideals of three symbolic
mothers: La Virgen de Guadalupe, La Chingada, and La Llorona.
14. Hill Collins says that the placement of white middle-class women at the
center of feminist concerns leads to two problematic assumptions.
State what these two assumptions are, and then describe the changes
that would happen if women of color were at the center of feminist
theorizing. Do you see any additional problems or benefits that might
ensue from either focus? What are they, and why might they occur?
15. Discuss some of the tensions and conflicts that exist in racial-ethnic
motherwork. Compare these conflicts to the types of tensions that are
prevalent in the white middle-class motherwork that has been placed at
the center of the feminist analysis focus.
“Fathering: Paradoxes, Contradictions, and Dilemmas”
1. According to Coltrane, which of the following statements best
represents contemporary married fathers?
a. They report valuing their jobs over their families and spend more
time in paid work and less time in family work than married mothers.
b. They report valuing their jobs over their families, but spend more
time in family work and less time in paid work than married mothers.
c. They report valuing their families over their jobs, but spend more
time in paid work and less time in family work than married mothers.
d. They report valuing their families over their jobs and spend equal
time in paid work and family work as married mothers.
2. Which of the following is NOT part of Coltrane‟s definition of
a. Impregnating a woman and begetting a child.
b. What men do with and for children.
c. A kinship connection that facilitates the intergenerational transfer of
d. A relationship that reflects a normative set of institutionalized social
practices and expectations.
3. Scholars have identified two general patterns of fathers‟ family
involvement by drawing on worldwide cross-cultural comparisons.
These two patterns are:
a. intimate and aloof
b. personal and distant
c. caring and dismissive
d. providing and detracting
4. The middle-class father‟s position as household head was slowly
transformed as market economies replaced home-based production in
which of the following centuries?
a. 16th and 17th
b. 17th and 18th
c. 18th and 19th
d. 19th and 20th
5. When men care for young children on a regular basis, all of the
following are true EXCEPT:
a. They emphasize verbal interaction.
b. They focus on play.
c. They notice and use more subtle cues.
d. They treat sons and daughters similarly.
6. One in every _____ births in the United States is to an unmarried
7. In the United States, men‟s wages continue to be about ________
percent higher than the wages of women.
True or False
8. Most U.S. men in the 20th century were not the sole breadwinners for
9. Societies with involved fathers are no more likely than societies with
aloof fathers to be peaceful or feature gender equality.
10. Emotional involvement with children in the Western world during the
17th and 18th centuries was greater than it is today.
11. High rates of marriage and low rates of employment reinforced a
gendered division of labor during the postwar era following World War
12. Children from one-parent households are at greater risk for lower
educational and occupational achievement than those from two-parent
13. Joint legal custody is a more common post-divorce parenting
arrangement than joint physical custody.
14. How does Coltrane believe increasing economic parity and more equal
gender relations will affect the American family? Do you agree or
disagree with his assessment? Why?
15. What are some of the potential influences involved fathers can have on
their families? Include a discussion of both positive and negative
potential influences. Do you think the government should intervene to
promote fathers‟ involvement in families? Why or why not?
I-L #7. Oct.28
“Historical Perspectives on Parent-Child Interactions”
Maris A. Vinovskis
1. The practice of wet-nursing during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries
resulted in ________.
a. low infant mortality rates
b. high infant mortality rates
c. low maternal mortality rates
d. high maternal mortality rates
2. What became one of the major characteristics of the closed
domesticated nuclear family?
a. the father as the head of the household
b. increased household production
c. deep affection and attachment to one‟s children
d. all of the above
3. By the 1830s and 1840s in Massachusetts, nearly _____ to _____
percent of 3-year-old children were attending schools and learning to
a. 10; 20
b. 20; 30
c. 30; 40
d. 40; 50
4. The kindergarten movement was popularized in the United States during
the 1860s and 1870s by whom?
a. Mary Peabody
b. Mary Poppins
c. Amariah Brigham
d. the Puritans
5. According to Vinovskis, with regards to teenage pregnancy and
sexuality in the United States, all of the following are true EXCEPT:
a. There were few teenage pregnancies in colonial New England.
b. There were many teenage pregnancies in colonial New England.
c. Early Americans were more concerned about premarital sexual
relations in general than the age of the woman involved.
d. Only since the late 19th century has there been a differentiation
between teenage and adult sexual relations.
6. In the United States, the rates of teenage pregnancy and child bearing
peaked in the late
7. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Puritans saw the ________ as the primary
catechizer of children; this trend was ________ in the late 18th and 19th
a. mother; maintained
b. father; maintained
c. mother; reversed
d. father; reversed
8. In the medieval period, the interests of the ________ were more
important than those of the ________.
a. king; family
b. lineage and kin; individual
c. masters; servants
d. parents; children
True or False
9. In colonial America, children were regarded as miniature adults, with
great intellectual capabilities.
10. Young children today are perceived as more intellectually capable at an
early age than young children in colonial America.
11. By the end of the 17th century, the mother‟s role in early childhood care
and socialization was clearly established.
12. It was more common in the United States than in Western Europe for
children to contribute some or all of their earning to their parents.
13. Parental control of children has significantly increased over time.
14. Describe the changes over time in the perceptions and treatment of
children, including parental love of children, the intellectual capabilities
of children, youth and adolescence, parental responsibility for child
care, and parental control of children. How has the development of the
nuclear family influenced the way we understand and perceive family
patterns and functions? What other factors account for the shifts in
parent-child interactions over time?
“(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?”
Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz
1. Wardle, a Brigham Young law professor, extrapolates from research on
which type of families to draw conclusions about children of lesbians?
a. low-income families
b. single-mother families
c. adoptive families
d. foster families
2. The __________________theory should predict some difference in an
inherited predisposition to same-sex desire between children of straight
and gay parents.
b. biological determinist
c. social constructionist
3. Who developed the “exotic becomes erotic” theory of sexual
4. Most research on gay parenting and children has focused on:
a. post-divorce gay fatherhood.
b. gay male married couples.
c. married lesbian couples.
d. post-divorce lesbian motherhood.
5. When compared to children with heterosexual parents, children with
lesbigay parents appear:
a. less traditionally gender-typed and more likely to be open to
b. less traditionally gender-typed and less likely to be open to
c. more traditionally gender-typed and more likely to be open to
d. more traditionally gender-typed and less likely to be open to
6. The majority of children of lesbigay parents identify as:
d. confused about their sexual orientation.
7. According to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in 1999, __________
of those surveyed endorsed the legalization of same-sex marriage.
True or False
8. A hierarchical model of parenting implies that differences between
heterosexual and homosexual families indicate deficits.
9. Most contemporary lesbian and gay parents adopted the children they
now care for.
10. There is evidence that gay men desire children just as strongly as
women of any sexual orientation and more strongly than straight men.
11. Stacey and Biblarz examined the relationship between parent sexual
orientation and child “outcome” variables such as academic
achievement and physical health.
12. According to Stacey and Biblarz, lesbigay parents and their children
exhibit no differences from their heterosexual counterparts in
psychological well-being or cognitive functioning.
13. Social constraints on access to marriage and parenting mean that
lesbian parents are often older, educated, urban, and self-aware.
14. According to those opposed to gay marriage and gay parent rights,
what effects will gay parents have on their children? Is there empirical
evidence to support these opinions?
15. Describe how the sexual orientation of parents matters in child
outcomes. In other words, how do children of lesbigay parents
compare to children of heterosexual parents? According to Stacey and
Biblarz, do these differences represent deficits? Why or why not?
I-L #8. Nov.4
“No Easy Answers: Why the Popular View of Divorce is Wrong”
1. Ahrons argues that good divorces, in which the divorce does not
destroy meaningful family relationships, are not acknowledged in
mainstream life because:
a. they do not exist.
b. even good divorces are less ideal than marital relationships.
c. acknowledgement of good divorces might lead to increases in the
d. they threaten nostalgic images of family.
2. Approximately what proportion of new marriages are actually
remarriages for at least one of the partners?
a. less than one-sixth
d. more than one-half
3. The acronym ACOD stands for:
a. Aid to Children of Divorce
b. Agency for Children of Divorce
c. Adult Children of Divorce
d. Avoiding Choices of Divorce
4. Two-parent first-married families now represent what percentage of all
a. less than 25
d. more than 50
5. In the vast majority of divorces, over 85 percent, mother are awarded:
a. joint custody.
b. sole custody.
c. no custody rights.
d. shared residence.
6. Almost ______ percent of children with divorced parents will have a
stepparent at some time in their lives.
7. In the future, the divorce rates in the United States are expected to:
a. increase dramatically.
b. increase slightly.
d. remain stable.
True or False
8. The popular view of Americans is that divorce is deviant and that
healthy families cannot exist outside of marriage.
9. Most experts agree that when families have unresolved, open
interparental conflict, it is better for the children if parents divorce
rather than stay married.
10. For the majority of children who experience a parental divorce, the
divorce becomes a defining factor of their lives.
11. Even though kinship ties are legally terminated by divorce, meaningful
relationships are likely to continue.
12. Current realities of family life in America typically match popular
13. Divorce is typically a family decision in which spouses as well as
children and extended kin are involved.
14. According to Ahrons, there is a misconception that divorce turns
everyone into ex-family, that in-laws become outlaws. Explain how this
misconception is perpetuated by the American culture, specifically by
language, and steps that could be taken to increase the visibility of
more positive divorces.
15. What are the consequences of accepting bad divorces as the societal
norm? Be sure to address how children, parents, and extended families
are all affected by making good divorces invisible. What would change
if good divorces were accepted as the norm?
“The Social Self as Gendered”
1. Gender strategies are
a. the strategies men use to solve a problem, as opposed to the
strategies women use.
b. male and female approaches to competition.
c. methods suggested for dealing with opposite gender interaction.
d. problem-solving strategies using current gender norms and
2. The primary social group that reinforces and expresses gender
b. the family.
d. the racial-ethnic community.
3. A “successful” marriage was defined by the divorced men in Arendell‟s
b. traditional, but separate.
d. traditional and companionate.
4. The “masculinist discourse of divorce” view of “family” is that of a(n)
a. broken family.
b. shared family.
c. joint family.
d. extended family.
5. According to Arendell, divorced males‟ resistance to such activities as
paying child support can be explained by
a. low funds.
c. unfair court rulings.
d. lack of contact with children.
6. It can be difficult for men to behave in areas outside of traditional male
arenas for all of the following reasons EXCEPT
a. gender wage gap.
b. work schedules.
c. cultural definitions of male success.
d. individual perceptions on rights and responsibilities.
7. What element did a majority of the divorced men in Arendell‟s study see
as being an essential ingredient to family?
a. positive relations with extended family and in-laws
b. a successful marriage
d. traditional gender roles
True or False
8. Divorce causes gender identity crises.
9. The majority of participants in Arendell‟s study were European
American males who shared the custody of their children with their
10. According to Arendell, men were able to objectify their ex-wives
because they saw themselves as being inherently different from them.
11. Most of the men in Arendell‟s study felt that while a variety of things had
been lost through the course of the divorce, one thing that they were
able to hold onto was power and authority in the lives of their ex-wives
12. Anger at the denial of perceived rights is an expected and permitted
response within the construction of masculinity.
13. Women and men are usually equally satisfied (or equally dissatisfied)
14. What is a “masculinist discourse of divorce”? How does it differ from
other examinations of divorce? As you respond to these questions, be
sure to state what elements are at the center of a masculinist
15. Contrast the basic tenets of “androgynous fathers” with the rest of
Arendell‟s study sample. What makes these fathers “androgynous”?
What are their views on postdivorce parenting activities? How would an
androgynous father define fatherhood, in general, and as it relates to
“The Modern American Stepfamily: Problems and Possibilities”
Mary Ann Mason
1. Approximately ________ percent of mothers who get divorced are
remarried within six years.
2. According to Mason, what is the most difficult time in which to have the
remarriage of a parent occur?
a. preschool age
c. early adolescence
d. early adulthood
3. The “stranger” model of stepparenting, which is followed by most
a. gives the residential stepparent few rights, but still assigns him/her
b. assumes the stepparent is supporting the stepchildren and therefore
grants parental rights.
c. gives stepparents no rights and no responsibilities.
d. gives stepparents parental rights, but does not assign them any
4. Which of the following family issues is NOT governed by state law?
b. immigration eligibility
5. Upon divorce or the death of the custodial parent, stepparents:
a. typically assume parental rights and responsibilities for their
b. share parental responsibilities with their ex-spouse (in the case of
divorce) or the non-custodial parent (in the case of death).
c. may claim parental rights or choose to give up their parental
d. usually experience the termination of their stepparent relationships
by the state.
6. The majority of scholars who study step families are ____________;
they acknowledge the complexity of stepparent relationships and
believe that law and policy should largely leave stepfamilies alone.
7. Approximately _______ percent of all stepchildren receive child support,
which typically amounts to less than $2000 a year.
True or False
8. It is estimated that one-fourth of all the children born in the 1980s will
live with a stepparent before they reach adulthood.
9. Stepfathers are much more likely to live with their spouse‟s children
than are stepmothers.
10. A residential stepparent in the United States typically has more rights
than a legal guardian or foster parent.
11. If there is no will, even stepchildren whose stepparents have supported
and raised them for many years are not eligible to receive any
12. Stepfamilies are more likely to terminate in divorce than biological
13. Adoption of a stepchild is not possible unless the parental rights of the
absent biological parent have been terminated.
14. Describe the perspectives of negativist, voluntarist, and reformist
scholars who study stepfamilies. With which group do you identify
most and why?
15. Describe some of the current state policies regarding stepfamilies.
What are some of the positive and negative aspects of the current laws?
What changes would you make to stepfamily policies and why?
I-L #9. Nov.11.
Shahmehri, “More Than Welcome”
16. What reasons does Shahmehri cite for why Sweden has its current
17.In contrast to most U.S. employers, what are Swedish employers‟ key
responsibilities to families?
18.While Swedish women face many of the same problems as U.S. women,
what is the one difference between them that makes a significant positive
difference for Swedish women?
19.What is the concluding and core perspective on the issue as articulated
by a Swedish Parliamentary Minister?
20. In Macionis‟ article, Popenoe argues that Swedish families are weak.
What might Shahmehri point out to him in response?
“The Strengths of Apache Grandmothers: Observations on Commitment,
Culture, and Caretaking”
Kathleen S. Bahr
1. According to Bahr, in scholarship as well as in popular stereotypes
regarding family matters, all of the following are true EXCEPT
a. white Americans have assumed that their own cultural norms are
normal and right, as well as morally superior.
b. Anglo American family patterns are seen as standard and normative.
c. families of ethnic minorities have been defined as deficient,
disorganized, or immoral to the degree that they have differed from
d. cultural sensitivity in the study and application of family life cycles
and developmental stages of racial and ethnic minority families.
2. Three-generation households (grandparents, adult children,
grandchildren living in the same home) are considered to be all of the
a. out of phase.
b. full nests.
c. developmentally disadvantaged.
d. off balance.
3. According to Bahr, the expectation that grandparents will play a major
role in the physical care and training of their grandchildren is common
a. Anglo Americans
b. African Americans
c. Native Americans
d. all of the above
e. none of the above
4. In Apache culture, the ________ roamed long distances to gather food
and provide for the families while the ________ stayed close to home
and cared for the children.
a. men; women
b. mothers; grandmothers
c. fathers; grandmothers
d. mothers; daughters
5. Grandmothers in Apache culture are often considered to be all of the
a. the caretaker of the last resort.
b. an essential part of normal family life.
c. ultimately responsible for the caring for and teaching of
d. retired after all their years of hard work and child rearing.
6. The chief regret expressed by grandmothers in Bahr‟s sample was
a. not having enough leisure time.
b. wanting to be done with parental obligations.
c. wanting to do more for their children and grandchildren.
d. having to work outside the home.
7. The grandmothers in Bahr‟s sample described their caretaking as
b. being exploited and used by their children.
c. loving, altruistic responses.
d. a choice.
True or False
8. Within Native American tribes, grandparents have little responsibility or
right to intervene in the rearing of grandchildren.
9. The expectation that grandparents will play a major role in caring for the
grandchildren is one of the notable similarities among the wide diversity
of Native American tribes.
10. Historically, the Apaches were hunters, gatherers, and farmers, and
Apache men played a major role in providing for their families,
beginning when they were young and into old age.
11. The modern trend toward a cash economy has completely eradicated
the traditional tribal economic system of reciprocal amity and
12. Apache grandchildren are custodians of the culture, responsible for
transmitting traditional values and skills.
13. In 1990, an Apache child was at least five times more likely to be living
in the home of a grandparent than an Anglo American child.
14. In both Anglo and Apache society, the grandmothers‟ priority over
grandfathers is due to their greater longevity and a culturally prescribed
greater affinity and responsibility for children.
15. For both Anglo and Apache grandparents, elder status and
grandparenthood are times of fairly secure economic status.
16. Apache grandmothers are among the least influential and active
participants in community life since they are so busy caring for
17. For some Apache women, there is the expectation that they do not need
to be a truly responsible parent until they become grandmothers.
18. Compare and contrast Anglo American and Apache grandmothers.
What are the similarities and differences in terms of obligation and
responsibility, gender expectations, role in the family network, and
19. How and why do grandmothers play such an essential role in Apache
culture? How has this role changed over time and why?
“Caring For Our Young: Child Care in Europe and the United States”
Dan Clawson and Naomi Gerstel
2. In the United States, almost half of children in which age group spend a
good portion of their day in non-parental care?
a. less than 1 year
b. 1-2 years
c. 2-3 years
d. 3-4 years
3. In France, what percentage of parents enroll their three-year-olds in the
école maternelle, a voluntary early education system?
4. Staff in the French école maternelles must have:
a. a high school diploma
b. some college experience
c. a college degree
d. a master's degree
5. In 1999, how many of the 15 million U.S. children who were eligible to
receive child care benefits actually received them?
a. 1.8 million
b. 4.7 million
c. 10.5 million
d. 14.8 million
6. Which of the following best characterizes the Danish system of early
a. Teachers oversee classrooms of 3-4 year olds whose parents pay for
their educational services.
b. All children aged 2-4 are required to spend time in government-
c. Pedagogues care for children of working parents from birth to six
d. Free government-sponsored care is available to all children aged 3-5,
but only about 50 percent of parents enroll their children.
7. In the United States, _________ mothers are especially likely to feel that
center-based child care does not provide enough warmth and moral
8. Since its passage in the United States in 1993, the Medical and Family
Leave Act has:
a. guaranteed a 6 month paid leave to all employees.
b. guaranteed a 1 year combined leave to new parents (1 year leave
split between mother and father) of covered employers.
c. guaranteed a 4 week paid leave to all workers.
d. guaranteed a 12 week unpaid leave to workers of covered employers.
True or False
9. Publicly-funded child care programs are restricted to the poor in the
10. Employee turnover rates for preschool teachers and child care workers
in the United States are close to 10 percent a year.
11. The cost for a child in Paris to receive early child care in 1999 was
nearly twice the cost of care for a four-year-old in the United States in
the year 2000.
12. Child care staff in the United States are almost all women and operate
on a mother-substitute model of child care.
13. The United States provides extensive paid family leave with job
protection and substantial income replacement.
14. Workers in the United State put in approximately 300 hours more per
year than workers in France.
15. Which of the three child care systems (American, French, Danish) that
Clawson and Gerstel outline in their article do you think is the best
system? Discuss features of this system that you feel make it
preferable to the other two systems. Do you think the system could
work in other countries? If so, what would be necessary for its
implementation? If not, why do you think the system would not transfer
well to other situations?
16. Do you think that child care policies in the United States should be
focused on promoting more parent-child interactions or making outside
child care more affordable and accessible? Why? What would new
child care policies look like if you were writing them?