Marriage and the Family
Instructor: Dmitri Shalin
Office hours: Tuesday 2:00-4:00, 6:30-7:00 p.m., or by appointment
COURSE OBJECTIVES: The course is a survey of major problems and theories related to modern marriage and the family. The discussion focuses on contemporary American society. Cultural differences in the mate-selection process and family life designs are emphasized. The course is intended for students with diverse intellectual and professional interests and does not presuppose prior work in this area.
READINGS: Reading assignments come from a book by B. Strong, C. DeVault, and B. Sayad, The Marriage and Family Experience, Wadsworth Publishing Co., and a collection of essays edited A. Skolnik and J. Skolnik, Family in Transition, Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. Books are available at the Campus Book Store. All students are encouraged to purchase the textbook. Additional reading materials will be distributed throughout the class.
LECTURES: Class lectures follow the sequence of the chapters in the textbook. Some of the materials discussed in class are not covered in your reading assignments. Students are advised to do readings for each session in advance of its coverage in class. Questions from students are welcome, both during regular class sessions and office hours.
REQUIREMENTS: All students will be given a written mid-term exam in the 9th week of the class. At the end of the semester, undergraduate students choose between writing a paper and taking a final examination. Graduate level students will receive some additional class readings and are required to write a paper at the end of this class. All tests are based on assigned readings, lectures, class discussions, and special video session materials. Undergraduate students taking this class write a paper on the order of 8-12 double-spaced typewritten pages, and graduate students write a paper on the order of 12-16 double-spaced typewritten pages. Participation in class discussions is strongly encouraged. Individual contributions to class discussions will be reflected in the final grade. The midterm and final exams are given equal weight in determining the final grade, with consistent class participation adding half a point to the overall grade.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES/OUTSOMES: Using the latest sociological theory and research methods, students will learn the nature, structure, and main characteristics of marriage and family life in contemporary society. At the end of course, students will be able to (1) distinguish key theoretical perspectives and methods used to study marriage and the family; (2) understand how gender roles acquired through socialization in different cultures inform the dating and mate selection process; (3) track the historical changes in the structure of marriage and the division of labor in the family; (4) identify the nature of marital conflict and forms of its resolution; (5) specify key stages in the divorce process and its impact on family members; and (6) familiarize themselves with the alternatives to the traditional family design.
EXAMINATIONS: The course is divided into four units. Unit I covers the materials from Chapters 1-3 of the textbook; Unit II -- Chapters 4-7; Unit III -- Chapters 8-11; and Unit IV -- Chapters 12-16. Mid-term exam covers the readings from Sections 1 and 2. The final exam covers the readings from Sections 3 and 4. Please note that the examination questions will reflect your textbook readings as well as the materials covered in lectures, class discussions and special video sessions.
OUTLINE OF TOPICS:
Unit I. Meanings of Marriage and Family
Unit II. Intimate Relationships
Unit III. Family Life
Unit IV. Family Challenges and Strengths
APPENDIX: UNLV POLICIES
Disability Resource Center (DRC) – The Disability Resource Center (DRC) determines accommodations that are “reasonable” in promoting the equal access of a student reporting a disability to the general UNLV learning experience. In so doing, the DRC also balances instructor and departmental interests in maintaining curricular standards so as to best achieve a fair evaluation standard amongst students being assisted. In order for the DRC to be effective it must be considered in the dialog between the faculty and the student who is requesting accommodations. For this reason faculty should only provide students course adjustment after having received an “Academic Accommodation Plan.” UNLV complies with the provisions set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The DRC is located in the Student Services Complex (SSC-A), Room 143, phone (702) 895-0866, fax (702) 895-0651. For additional information, please visit: http://drc.unlv.edu/.
Academic Misconduct – Academic integrity is a legitimate concern for every member of the campus community; all share in upholding the fundamental values of honesty, trust, respect, fairness, responsibility and professionalism. By choosing to join the UNLV community, students accept the expectations of the Academic Misconduct Policy and are encouraged when faced with choices to always take the ethical path. Students enrolling in UNLV assume the obligation to conduct themselves in a manner compatible with UNLV’s function as an educational institution. An example of academic misconduct is plagiarism. Plagiarism is using the words or ideas of another, from the Internet or any source, without proper citation of the sources. See the Student Academic Misconduct Policy (approved December 9, 2005) located at: http://studentconduct.unlv.edu/misconduct/policy.html.
Incomplete Grades - The grade of I – Incomplete – can be granted when a student has satisfactorily completed all course work up to the withdrawal date of that semester/session but for reason(s) beyond the student’s control, and acceptable to the instructor, cannot complete the last part of the course, and the instructor believes that the student can finish the course without repeating it. A student who receives an I is responsible for making up whatever work was lacking at the end of the semester. If course requirements are not completed within the time indicated, a grade of F will be recorded and the GPA will be adjusted accordingly. Students who are fulfilling an Incomplete do not register for the course but make individual arrangements with the instructor who assigned the I grade.
Copyright – The University requires all members of the University Community to familiarize themselves and to follow copyright and fair use requirements. You are individually and solely responsible for violations of copyright and fair use laws. The university will neither protect nor defend you nor assume any responsibility for employee or student violations of fair use laws. Violations of copyright laws could subject you to federal and state civil penalties and criminal liability, as well as disciplinary action under University policies. Additional information can be found at: http://provost.unlv.edu/copyright/statements.html.
Religious Holidays Policy – Any student missing class quizzes, examinations, or any other class or lab work because of observance of religious holidays shall be given an opportunity during that semester to make up missed work. The make-up will apply to the religious holiday absence only. It shall be the responsibility of the student to notify the instructor of his or her intention to participate in religious holidays which do not fall on state holidays or periods of class recess. For additional information, please visit: http://catalog.unlv.edu/content.php?catoid=4&navoid=164.
Tutoring – The Academic Success Center (ASC) provides tutoring and academic assistance for all UNLV students taking UNLV courses. Students are encouraged to stop by the ASC to learn more about subjects offered, tutoring times and other academic resources. The ASC is located across from the Student Services Complex (SSC). Students may learn more about tutoring services by calling (702) 895-3177 or visiting the tutoring web site at: http://academicsuccess.unlv.edu/tutoring/.
UNLV Writing Center – One-on-one or small group assistance with writing is available free of charge to UNLV students at the Writing Center, located in CDC-3-301. Although walk-in consultations are sometimes available, students with appointments will receive priority assistance. Appointments may be made in person or by calling 895-3908. The student’s Rebel ID Card, a copy of the assignment (if possible), and two copies of any writing to be reviewed are requested for the consultation. More information can be found at: http://writingcenter.unlv.edu/
Rebelmail – By policy, faculty and staff should e-mail students’ Rebelmail accounts only. Rebelmail is UNLV’s official e-mail system for students. It is one of the primary ways students receive official university communication such as information about deadlines, major campus events, and announcements. All UNLV students receive a Rebelmail account after they have been admitted to the university. Students’ e-mail prefixes are listed on class rosters. The suffix is always @unlv.nevada.edu.