[note to instructors: This is a template for creating course syllabi for

Heartland Community College
Social and Business Sciences
Course Syllabus for Students Fall 2007
Course Prefix and Number: Soc 135-01HY & 135-02HY
Course Title: Sociology of Marriage and Family
Credit Hours: 3
Lecture Hours: 3
Laboratory Hours: 0
Days and times the course meets:
Section 1 - Tuesdays from 11:00 – 12:15 in ICB 1812
Section 2 – Mondays from 2:00 – 3:15 in ICB 1812
This course is a sociological exploration of the institution of the family, including marriage. In
this society we have a multitude of ideas of what family ‘should’ look like but we also have a
multitude of different forms of the family. This course will take the student through the various
stages of familial development on a more individual scale and it will also attempt to draw
connections between the family and other societal institutions.
Catalog Description:
The sociological investigation of marriage and family, with particular attention to the impact of
social institutions on marriage and family structure, various marriage and family arrangements
and their consequences, interactions within marriage and family, abuse, divorce, and
Instructor Information:
Instructor name: Janice Malak
Phone number to contact instructor: 268-8584
Instructor e-mail address, if one: [email protected]
Location of instructor’s office: ICB 2111
Hours and days of instructor’s office hours: Mondays, Tuesdays, & Wednesdays
9:40–10:55, Wednesdays 1:15–2:30, and by appointment.
Required Book:
Schwartz & Scott (2007). Marriage & Families: Diversity & Change. 5th Ed. Pearson
Relationship to Academic Development Programs and Transfer:
(Indicate if course is General Education/IAI)
This course fulfills 3 of the 9 semester hours of credit in Social Sciences required for the A.A. or
A.S. degree. This course should transfer as part of the General Education Core Curriculum
described in the Illinois Articulation Initiative to other Illinois colleges and universities
participating in the IAI. However, students should consult an academic advisor for transfer
information regarding particular institutions. Refer to the IAI web page at www.itransfer.org for
more information.
Academic Discipline: Sociology is a dynamic discipline with everyday life application. Lately
sociologists have been trying to answer the question the questions, “Are our families falling
apart?” “Is the family dying?” and “Should we return to ‘traditional’ family values?” You will
realize during the course of this class that there is no easy answer to these questions as we
discover what families are really like in America today. Perhaps the biggest discovery that we
will make is that our families are really individual units, most families have a dysfunctional
component to them and that the family has actually been this way for a long period of human
Student Learning: Students learn sociological concepts best when they can be applied to
something that is real in the student’s world. Many students will bring unique situations to class
that they may choose to share. Discussing the various concepts in class will help in student
understanding of this area of the discipline of sociology. Assignments in this class are geared to
the student’s own family to help in the application and understanding of complex theories and
Instructor’s Role: I believe that my role in the learning process is to make sociology as
accessible for you as possible. This means making class interesting and, hopefully, a fun
learning experience for you. You are always welcome to contact me with questions and
concerns that you are having about this course.
Course Objectives (Learning Outcomes):
At the completion of this course, the student will be able to accomplish the following objectives:
Demonstrate appreciation of family forms (e.g., single parent, step-families, and
dual career families) as well as cultural differences between families in our
society as well as in other societies.
Have knowledge of major theories that will aid in their understanding of family
Understand how historical events are connected to current marriage and family
Be able to identify and apprise the various issues that are problematic for
marriage and family situations.
Be more aware of the fundamental changes that the family is experiencing.
All five of these are highly important and you will be well versed to discuss any one of these by
the time of the final exam.
Course Outline:
1. Marriage & Family over time
2. Gender
3. Singlehood
4. Attraction & Dating
5. Love & Mate Selection
6. Successful Marriage
6. Family Life Cycle
7. Work & the Family
8. Reproduction & Parenting
9. Parent-Child Relationships
10. The Extended Family
11. Family Crises
12. Divorce
13. Remarriage
Course Policies:
Method of Evaluation
Exams: There will be two exams worth 100 points each during the course of the semester
(for a total of 200 points). Exact exam dates will be announced in class but there is an
approximate time for them on the last page of this syllabus. These exams will consist of
multiple choice, matching, short answer, and essay questions. For all practical purposes they
will serve as a mid-term and final exam.
Theory Exercise: The first graded online assignment will be one where students will explore
a specific theory of family life. You will work in groups and will discuss your assigned
theory and attempt to come up with an explanation and example that will work for the rest of
the class as well. Directions for the first assignment will be given in class and will be posted
online as well. This assignment will be worth 50 points.
Discussion Papers: Twice during the semester, each student will prepare a discussion paper
on an issue that is being discussed that day in class from the current news in our society.
Students will sign up for their weeks the first day of class. The first paper will be a one page
paper summarizing a current news story from a newspaper, magazine, credible online source
etc. and will end with three thought provoking discussion questions. The second paper will
be two to three pages in length and will also summarize a current news story, will include
three thought provoking questions, will connect up to one of the theories used in class and
will use terms and concepts from the particular chapter that the news item represents. Each
student will be expected to lead a discussion for 5 minutes on one of his/her discussion
papers. A schedule will be posted on WebCT during the first week of class. The first paper
should be a good attempt at discussing an issue within marriage & family while the second
paper, coming later in the semester should show a progression in the student’s thinking about
marriage & family in the U.S. Papers are worth 25 points a piece for a total of 50 points for
the semester.
Online Quizzes: For every chapter we cover in class, there will be a 15 question quiz that
students must take on WebCT by 7:00 pm the night before class for that week. This
means that students will have to read the chapter and be prepared for class two days ahead of
time. These quizzes are timed so students should make sure that they are prepared when they
log in to take them. Each quiz will be worth 15 points for a total of 225 points for the
Assignments. There will be four other assignments during the course of the semester where
students will work on WebCT in groups on a specific issue. Each assignment will be related
to a topic from the course and will have the student either work with using the terms and
concepts is his/her own life, applying concepts to a specific situation, researching an aspect
of family further or having the student look at an issue from a different perspective. All of
these assignments together will account for 100 points in the course. Directions for these
assignments will be posted online and announced in class. Due dates and times for the
assignments are firm. This means that no late work will be accepted.
1. Students are expected to attend all classes and participate meaningfully in the activities
each class day.
2. You are responsible for the material presented or discussed in class even if you are
absent. The instructor will not provide notes for students who have missed class.
3. Attendance will be taken regularly in class. Points will be deducted from your semester
total once you have accumulated more than three absences. Each absence above and
beyond three will result in a deduction of three points per absence from your final
point total.
Incompletes: Incomplete grades may be discussed with the professor. They are issued on a
case by case basis.
Extra Credit: None.
Make-up of tests and assignments: In order to make up an exam the following procedure will
be used:
1. The student must notify the instructor before the day of the exam that s/he will be
unable to take the exam during class time.
2. The instructor decides if the reason/excuse WARRANTS a make up exam.
3. If granted the student will take the make up exam in the testing center.
There are no makes ups for late assignments or missed class work.
Grading Scale:
There are 625 points available in this course.
562 points and above = A
500 - 561 = B
437 – 499 = C
375 – 436 = D
374 and below = F
Student Conduct/Class Rules:
1. Turn off all cell phones, pagers and any other electronic devices for the entire class
2. Do not interrupt other students while they are making a point or asking a question.
3. Do not attempt to carry on a conversation with another student while in class.
***4. Be on time for class and stay for the whole period.
Notice of Cancelled Class Sessions
Cancelled class sessions, for all HCC classes, will be listed under Cancelled Class Meetings in
the A-Z Index and under Academic Information in the Current Students page on the HCC Web
site. Go to http://www.heartland.edu/classCancellations/ to learn what classes have been
cancelled for that day and the upcoming week. Be sure to check the last column, which might
contain a message from the instructor.
Syllabi disclaimer: The instructor reserves the right to make changes to this syllabus as needed.
Course Calendar:
WebCT intro
Introduce self WebCT practice assignment
Families Throughout Time
WebCT Quiz Chapter 1
Ways of Studying M&F
Chapter 2
WebCT Quiz Ch 2
Online Theory Assignment
WebCT Quiz Ch 3
Chapter 4
WebCT Quiz Ch 4
Online Discussion Assignment
Dating & Mate Selection
WebCT Quiz Ch 5
Chapter 6
WebCT Quiz Ch 6
Online Discussion Assignment
WebCT Quiz Ch 7
Chapter 1- read all
Chapter 3
Chapter 5
Chapter 7
MID TERM EXAM – exact date given in class
The Marriage Experience
WebCT Quiz Ch 8
Chapter 8
Reproduction/ Parenting
WebCT Quiz Ch 9
Chapter 9
Work & the Family
Chapter 10
WebCT Quiz Ch 10
Online Discussion Assignment
Power, Abuse & Violence
Chapter 11
WebCT Quiz Ch 11
WebCT Quiz Ch 12
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
WebCT Quiz Ch 13
Online Discussion Assignment
Marriage in Later Life
WebCT Quiz Ch 14
Chapter 14
M&F in the 21st Century
WebCT Quiz Ch 15
Chapter 15
Final exam given during the final exam period for this class.
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