Sociology/Anthropology (SOAN) 384

The Family in World Perspective (Revision 4)

SOAN 384 Cover image

Permanently closed, effective March 30, 2016. Replaced with ANTH 384

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None. ANTH 275 is recommended but not required. (Bachelor of Nursing students exempted).

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

SOAN 384 is not available for challenge.

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Sociology/Anthropology 384 introduces you to topics such as the variability in family patterns, changes to family structures, the diverse cultural patterns for shaping identity, and the range of bonding relationships that occur within North American cultures and in cultures around the world. It also examines, from a world perspective, issues related to the dissolution and re-establishment of relationships, reproduction and new reproductive technologies, and public policy and government action as they pertain to families.


Sociology/Anthropology 384 comprises six units, each of which examines an important aspect of the study of the family around the world

  • Unit 1: The Family in Perspective
  • Unit 2: Gender and Sex, Gender Roles and Identity, Love
  • Unit 3: Marriage
  • Unit 4: Reproduction, New Technologies of Reproduction, and the Family
  • Unit 5: Childhood and Parenthood
  • Unit 6: Family Change and Family Policy


To receive credit for SOAN 384 you must complete five assignments and write a final examination. Your final grade is determined by a weighted average of the grades you receive on these activities. You must achieve a minimum grade of D (50%) or better on each assignment and a grade of 50% or greater on the final examination. A failing grade of F will be assigned when the weighted composite grade is 49% or lower. The weightings for each assignment and the final exam are as follows:

Assign. 1 Short Essay Assign. 2 Oral Quiz Assign. 3 Essay Assign. 4 Research Paper Proposal Assign. 5 Research Paper Final Exam Total
15% 5% 15% 20% 25% 20% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Stockard, J. E. (2002). Marriage in culture: Practice and meaning across diverse societies.  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Other Materials

Kelman, S. (1998). All in the family: A cultural history of family life. (PDF) Toronto: Penguin Books.

Additional Course Component

The course also requires you to view the video program Why Thee Wed? Montreal: National Film Board of Canada. This DVD videorecording is available from the Athabasca University Library.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, April 12, 2010.

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Updated March 31 2016 by Student & Academic Services