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Robert Crosnoe, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Amias Maldonado

MA, The University of Texas at Austin

SOC 308 • Romantic Rels & Family Formatn

46305 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm CLA 1.104
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This course aims to gives students a historical overview of the ways in which families and romantic relationships have been conceptualized in the United States.  We will consider changing definitions of “normal” relationships and how these definitions have been shaped by race, class, gender, and sexuality.  We will also analyze current developments in family and relationship forms, including such topics as cohabitation, cyberdating, and same sex marriage. Through this course, students will gain an understanding of how social and economic factors shape what we consider “good” relationships and families. 

Required Readings:

Promises I Can Keep, by Kathryn Edin and Maria Kafalas

Hooking Up, by Kathleen Bogle

Gay Fatherhood, by Ellen Lewin

 Additional Readings will be made available on Blackboard

Grading and Requirements:

• Class Participation/ Engagement: Students are responsible for reading all assigned materials before coming to class. Once in class, students are required to demonstrate engagement with the material. This means, above all, respect for our learning environment. Please be respectful of others’ opinions and experiences, please arrive on time, and stay the entire class period unless you have informed the Professor that you will need to leave early. Attendance is not required. The use of email, social networking sites, and phones during class are strictly prohibited.

Course Requirements and Evaluation:

• Exams (60%): There will be three exams in this course, each worth 20% of your total grade. Exams will be a mixture of multiple choice and short answer. No make-up exams will be given without prior approval from the Professor. 

• Group Project (30%): 30% of your grade will come from a group project based around a topic suitable for this course.  Of this 30%, 10% will come from a research assignment where students will be asked to conduct a literature review of their topic and 20% will come from a presentation to the class of your group’s findings at the end of the semester.

• Participation (10%): Participation will consist of “pop” papers where students will be asked to reflect on that day’s reading. There will be five observation papers throughout the semester, each worth two points each. No makeup papers will be given, barring 1) a religious holiday 2) a serious illness or death in the family (documentation is required)


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