Spring 2022 - SA 231 D100

Sociology of Families (S) (4)

Class Number: 2793

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Thu, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Barbara Mitchell
    Office: AQ 5057
    Office Hours: Fri 2pm - 3pm via email, Canvas; Zoom appointments available



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 courses in relation to various social processes, institutions, and amidst social change. A variety of substantive areas will be examined such as: diverse meanings, experiences, interpretations, and conceptualizations of "family;" culture, ethnicity and immigration patterns; theories of childhood socialization; midlife parenthood and the 'launching' of young adults; gender and parenthood issues, such as childcare, and the division of domestic labour; selected health issues; social inequality, neoliberalism, and globalization; family poverty, stress and violence; partnership formation and dissolution; aging families and caregiving; and a number of relevant social policy issues (e.g., housing, labour market, health care).


  • Small group work 20%
  • Tests (2 x 20%) 40%
  • Paper proposal 10%
  • Term paper 30%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T20.01), and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10‐S10.05). 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.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

The Sociology and Anthropology Student Union, SASU, is a governing body of students who are engaged with the department and want to build the SA community. Get involved!  Follow Facebook and Instagram pages or visit our website.



Mitchell, B.A. (2021). Family Matters: An Introduction to Family Sociology in Canada, 4th ed. Toronto: Canadian Scholar’s Press.

Print ISBN: 978-1-773382494
VitalSource ebook ISBN: 978-1-773382500

Doucet, A. (2018). Do Men Mother? 2nd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Print ISBN: 978-1-487520519
VitalSource ebook ISBN: 978-1-487511692

A small list of supplementary reading links will also be provided on CANVAS.


Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.