SOC 220: Marriage and the Family

Class Program
Degree Code
Social Science
Credits 5 Lecture Hours 55

A comprehensive examination of the institution of marriage and family life, including past, current, and future trends. The course will help students understand different marriage and family patterns and will develop skills for meaningful, long-term, intimate relationships, and is structured to promote the critical thinking and problem-solving skills of students by using the sociological perspective. Topics include the social construction of the family, race/ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual orientation, and social change. (Formerly: SOC 270).


Strongly recommend placement into ENGL 099 or higher and completion of MATH 094/MAP 117 or placement into MATH 0 98/MAP 119 or higher

Course Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge or skills:

  1. Understand the differences between traditional views of marriage and family and the diverse forms marriages and families take/have taken in the US and globally.
  2. Explain the influence of class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation on the structures of marriage and the family.
  3. Understand how race, gender, class, and sexual orientation/identity interact and how they affect dating and mating choices.
  4. Analyze the dynamic relationship between human sexuality and social learning and the social factors that help shape human sexuality.
  5. Articulate how race, class, gender, and sexual identity intersect to create different family and parenting experiences.
  6. Discuss the range and prevalence of intimate and gender-based violence in the US and the role of the media in gender-based violence.
  7. To provide effective techniques that will help to build stronger, more satisfying relationships, marriages and families.
Institutional Outcomes
IO1 Students will be able to communicate clearly and effectively.
IO3 Students will be able to demonstrate teamwork, ethics, appropriate safety awareness and/or workplace specific skills.
Course Content Outline
  1. Marriages and Families over Time and Across the Globe
  2. Studying and Explaining Marriages and Families
  3. Understanding Gender: Its Influence in Intimate Relationships
  4. The Many Faces of Love
  5. Dating, Coupling, and Mate Selection
  6. Sexuality and Intimate Relationships
  7. Living Single, Living with Others, Non marital Lifestyles
  8. The Marriage Experience
  9. Reproduction and Parenting
  10. Work and Family Structures
  11. Power, Abuse and Violence in Intimate Relationships