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Sociology (SOCI) 316
Sociology of Families (Revision 3)

Revision 3 closed, replaced by current version.

View previous syllabus

Delivery mode: Individualized study or grouped study.

Credits: 3 - Social Science

Prerequisite: SOCI 287 or SOCI 288 or introductory sociology.

Precluded course: None

Centre: Centre for Global and Social Analysis

SOCI 316 has a Challenge for Credit option.

Course website


SOCI 316 introduces sociological theories about, and research on, families, with an emphasis on the situation of families in Canada. Students are also expected to have university-level analytical and writing skills.


Section 1: Beginnings

Unit 1: Definitions, Gender, and Social Contexts

Unit 2: Theoretical Perspectives on the Family

Unit 3: Gender, Social Class, and Families

Unit 4: Single, Alone, and Cohabiting

Unit 5: Relationships and Intimacy


Section 2: Maintaining Relationships

Unit 6: Making a Commitment

Unit 7: Marriage Relations

Unit 8: Parenting

Unit 9: Socialization

Unit 10: Communication, Conflict, and Crises


Section 3: Stressors and Endings

Unit 11: Managing Family, Finances, and Work

Unit 12: Divorce

Unit 13: Remarriage and Step-Parenting

Unit 14: Abuse and Violence in Families

Unit 15: Family Policies and the Future of Families


To receive credit for SOCI 316, students must achieve a course composite grade of at least "D" (50 percent) and a grade of at least 60 percent on the final examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Quiz 1 Quiz 2 Quiz 3 Quiz 4 Essay Final Exam Total
10% 10% 10% 15% 20% 35% 100%

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

Course Materials


Coltrane, Scott. 2000. Gender and Families. Walnut Creek, CA: Rowman and Littlefield.

Luxton, Meg. 1980. More than a Labour of Love: Three Generations of Women's Work in the Home. Toronto: Women's Press.

Riedmann, Agnes, Mary Ann Lamanna, and Adie Nelson. 2003. Marriages and Families. First Canadian Edition. Scarborough, ON: Thomson Nelson.

Other Material

The course materials also include a student manual and a study guide.

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