Sociology (SOCI) 316

Sociology of Families (Revision 5)

SOCI 316 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online or grouped study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: SOCI 287 or SOCI 288 or introductory sociology.

Precluded Course: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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SOCI 316 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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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.


Part I: Beginnings

  • Unit 1: Definitions, Gender, and Social Contexts
  • Unit 2: Theoretical Perspectives on the Family
  • Unit 3: Gender, Social Class, and Families
  • Unit 4: Relationships and Intimacy

Part II: Maintaining Relationships

  • Unit 5: Single, Alone, and Cohabiting
  • Unit 6: Making a Commitment
  • Unit 7: Marriage Relations
  • Unit 8: Parenting
  • Unit 9: Socialization

Part III: Stressors and Endings

  • Unit 10: Communication, Conflict, and Crisis
  • Unit 11: Managing Family, Finances, and Work
  • Unit 12: Divorce
  • Unit 13: Remarriage and Stepparenting
  • Unit 14: Abuse and Violence in Families


To receive credit for SOCI 316, you must achieve a grade of 50 per cent or better on the final examination and an overall course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). A passing grade of 50 per cent is also required for the supplemental examination. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Telephone Quiz 5%
TME I 15%
TME II 15%
Essay Outline 5%
Essay 15%
Final Exam 30%
Total 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 who 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


Riedmann, A., Lamanna , M. A., & Nelson, A. (2003). Marriages and families. (1st Canadian ed.) Scarborough, ON: Thomson Nelson.


Luxton, M. (2006). “Conceptualizing ‘families’: Theoretical frameworks and family research”. In M. Baker (Ed.). Families: Changing trends in Canada. (3rd ed., pp. 36–52). Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson. (This reading is appended to the print Study Guide.)

Wagamese, R. (2006). Keeper ’n me. Toronto: Anchor/Random House.

Yamagishi, N. R. (2005). Nikkei journey: Japanese Canadians in Southern Alberta. Victoria, BC: Trafford.

Other Material

The course materials also include a study guide.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the SOCI 316 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least B (70 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

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 5, July 9, 2014.

View previous syllabus