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SOCI 204 - The Family in Canada
Course Code:
SOCI 204


Calendar Description:
This course examines the fundamental structure of the "family" in terms of its importance for the individual and society; the various forms of "family" now found in Canada; the changes from traditional to existing family forms. (3:0:0:W)

Date First Offered:

Total Hours: 45
Lecture Hours: 3

Total Weeks:

This course is offered online:

An introductory Sociology course, or consent of the instructor.

Non-Course Pre-Requisites:


Rearticulation Submission:

Course Content:
This course intends to improve the student's ability to read critically, to evaluate and analyze the available theories and perspectives, and to apply them to their own lives and experiences. The primary goal of the course is to inspire students to use the principles of what they have learned, and to form coherent opinions about the family life, and the shape and the future of Canadian society with regard to this issue. As part of the learning procedure, the students are required to be involved in peer group discussions, presentations, and reviews. Therefore, participation consists of attendance, as well as completing the readings before the assigned date, and being prepared to give a brief summary of that reading, and being able to offer some sort of evaluation of it in a short time (minute papers). 1% will be deducted from the overall 10% of class participation mark for each session that a student may miss.

The classes will primarily follow a lecture format, interspersed with class discussion and possibly occasional videos and small group activities.

Introduction to the course
Family Relationships
Chapter 1

Family Relationships and Historical Perspectives in Canada
Chapter 2

Historical Perspectives
How Families Begin
Chapters 2 & 3

Types of Intimate Couples
Chapter 4

Ways of Being Close: Interaction, Communication, Sex, and Trust
Chapter 5

Parenting: Childbearing, Socialization, and Parenting Challenges
Chapter 6

Work and family life: The Domestic Division of Labour
Chapter 7

Stress and Violence: Family dynamics
Chapter 8

Stress and Violence: Realities of Family Life
Chapter 8

Divorce and Ending Relationships
Chapter 9

Divorce & Ending Relationships
Chapter 9

Family Transitions and innovations
Chapter 11

Family Transitions and The Future of Canadian Families
Chapter 11

The Future of Canadian Families
Preparation for Final Exam

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the course the students will be able to:
- Develop an inclusive definition of "family"
- Examine the structure and function of the family as a "small social organization" and as a fundamental social organization
- Explore the nature of the impact of issues such as global industrial capitalism on household and family structures, family relationships, male/female division of labour and changing roles and relationships, and parenting
- Critically evaluate the impact of power and authority in the family and family dynamics
- Examine martial roles and family transitions, and relations between the family and the state.

Grading System:

Passing Grade:
D (50%)

Grading Weight:
Final Exam: 20 %
Midterm Exam: 20 %
Assignments: 40 %
Participation: 10 %
Other: 10 %

Number of Assignments:

Nature of Participation:
Students are required to be involved in peer group discussions, classroom discussions, and reviews.

Writing Assignments:
2 assignments
- Assignment #1) Research Paper - Individual Assignment - Research an issue that has proven significant in your local community and that has impacted the families in your area.
- Assignment #2) Response Paper - Group Assignment - Select an issue discussed in the book or in the classroom and respond to it critically. This is a critical evaluation of an important topic that is mentioned in the textbook but not discussed intensively in the classroom.

Percentage of Individual Work:

Course Offered in Other Programs:

Other Programs:
Associate of Arts Diploma - Fine Arts
Associate of Arts Degree

Additional Comments:
Number of Assignments - One research paper (20%)
Individual Assignment: One response paper (20% - Group Assignment)

1) Selects a theme or topic approved by the instructor.
2) Selects material appropriate for intended audience.
3) Organizes the content well.
4) Uses effective communication skills - speaks from very brief notes or headings [doesn't read the paper only], speaks clearly, and engagingly.
5) Uses audio-visual materials sparingly.
6) Encourages questions and leads the discussion.
7) Demonstrate creativity and originality.
8) Uses time efficiently.

You are required to provide the students with a short outline/summary of your presentation.

Failing to submit papers/assignments at the designated time will result in an automatic loss of 5 marks (of the value of the work) PER DAY, unless prior arrangements based on exceptional circumstances have been made. Presentations cannot, unfortunately, be rescheduled.

There will be two midterm and one final exam in the course. Exams will be based on multiple choice and/or short answer questions, and short essays. Your final may be take home (or open book). The final decision on this matter will be announced after the second test. Exams will be based on all videos, lectures, hand-outs, and the textbook and other class material. As a general rule, any student missing the scheduled exam will receive a grade of 0% for that exam.

1% will be deducted from the overall 10% of class participation mark for each session that a student may miss. Attendance and active participation is strongly advised.

To ensure a positive and stimulating learning environment for both yourself and your fellow students please avoid the following:
- Unexpected absences - it will have a very negative effect on your overall conduct. Please remember that the instructor will not be responsible for the provision of the materials (such as classroom notes, handouts, etc.) that you may miss as a result of having being absent.
- Anything that may distract the students, for example, late attendance, talking during lectures or while others are talking, or your cell phone operating during the class time.
- Making offensive remarks (e.g., use of sexist, racist, or stereotyping language).
- Not respecting the opinion of others - even if you may disagree with them.
- Plagiarism: It is a very serious academic misconduct. It occurs when a writer uses another person's words and/or ideas without giving them credit. To avoid plagiarism you may do the following:
~ Put quotation marks when you borrow materials directly from another source.
~ Put in-text citations after any material that is either directly quoted or paraphrased form another source.
~ Familiarize yourself with either the MLA system of documentation or the APA system.
~ Consult with your instructor if you have any concerns.

(Please see Rights and Responsibilities section of the Northern Lights College website at http://nlc.bc.ca/services.rights.php))

Each student will be required to complete one written assignment and a group response paper.

Assignment #1 - Research Paper - Research an issue that has proven significant in your local community and that has impacted the families in your area. To help you find the topic, the issue(s) and the scope and significance of the matter, you are advised to track the local news reported through TV, radio, and the local newspapers during a certain period of time. Your research based essay should be at least 1200 words but no more than 1800 words (6 - 8 typed, double spaced, font size of 12).

Assignment #2 - Response Paper (commentary) and Class Presentation (Group Assignment) - Select an issue discussed in the book or in the classroom and respond to it critically. Your papers should be written in essay format, be at least 2000 words but no more than 3000. Oral presentation of the second assignment.

1) It has followed the basic elements of essay writing (has an introduction and thesis statement, well developed body, and a coherent conclusion).
2) It is based on a significant issue - In your introduction explain this.
3) It is easy to read (well organized; concise; proofread for errors of grammar, spelling, and dictation).
4) It makes connections to pertinent course readings, concepts, and class discussions.
5) It moves beyond summarizing - but not too detailed.
6) It provides examples and explanations.
7) It shapes facts, personal insights, or preferably both into a structured argument.
8) It demonstrates the ability to reflect critically on assumptions and ideology.
9) It uses inclusive language.
10) It provides references - minimum five.
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