Fall 2016 - SA 231 D100

Sociology of Families (S) (4)

Class Number: 3439

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2016: Wed, 9:30 a.m.–1:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



An examination of families and households in social, cultural, political and economic context. This course focuses on the diversity of family forms in contemporary societies (particularly Canada) in relation to various social institutions and processes, including demographic trends, ideology, gender inequality, the economy, the state and social policies.


This course is designed to introduce students to theory and research on Canadian families within socio-cultural, political and economic contexts. Attention will be paid to critically analyzing both continuities and diversities in contemporary family life in relation to various social institutions and amidst social change. A variety of substantive areas will be examined such as: globalization and family lifestyles; ethnicity and immigration patterns; theories of childhood socialization; midlife parenthood and the `launching` of young adults; gender issues and the division of domestic labour; balancing unpaid and paid work; family poverty, stress and violence; partnership formation and dissolution; aging families and caregiving; and a number of relevant health and social policy issues.


  • Small Group Work 20%
  • Tests (2 x 20% each) 40%
  • Proposal & Presentation 10%
  • Term Paper 30%


Students are required to attend classes and must complete all course requirements. These include participating in class discussion groups, the writing of 2 tests, a research project (proposal presentation and paper). Specific details will be announced in class.


Unless otherwise specified, all graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐ S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style. It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.



Mitchell, B.A. 2012. Family Matters: An Introduction to Family Sociology in Canada, 2nd ed. Toronto: Canadian Scholar’s Press.

Sev’er, A. & J.E. Trost. 2011. Skeletons in the Closet: A Sociological Analysis of Family Conflicts. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfred University Press.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html