Families & Social Change

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
SOCI 2250
Families & Social Change
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

Lecture: 2 hours/week

Seminar: 2 hours/week

Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lectures, small group discussions, audio-visual presentations, essay research discussions and specialist guest speakers.

Course Description
This course introduces students to sociological theories and research related to families in society, with emphasis on the dynamic and diverse nature of family forms. The course examines the relationship of families to other social, economic and political institutions, and considers the impact of societal ideologies and social policies on family life.
Course Content
  1. Introduction to the sociological study of families
  2. Sociological theories and the study of families
  3. Historical influences on contemporary Canadian family structures and family policies
  4. Cross-cultural variations in family structure and practices: Impacts on immigrant families in Canadian society
  5. Colonial policies and their impact on indigenous families: Oppression and resilience
  6. Partnering/marriage
  7. Paid and unpaid labour in families, including the influence of gendered ideologies and impact on work-life balance
  8. Childrearing/parenting
  9. Issues for families in mid-life
  10. Issues for families in later life
  11. Family poverty
  12. Family violence
  13. The impact of state policy on family life
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course, the successful student will be able to:


  1. Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical and methodological approaches to studying diverse families from a sociological perspective;

  2. Distinguish perspectives on families that are based on sociological theory and research from those based on personal experiences and ideologies;

  3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the diversity of families in Canadian society throughout history and across cultures;

  4. Critically analyze the impact of social structures on individuals’ family experiences;

  5. Critically analyze how gender, class, sexuality, race, and ethnicity influence family forms and practices;

  6. Demonstrate a critical awareness of current issues for Canadian families.


Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy.

The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

Course evaluation will include some of the following: examinations requiring paragraph and short essay answers, participation in class discussions, and essay research or other written assignments.  An example of one such evaluation scheme might be:

First in-class examination  15%
Second in-class examination  15%
Essay assignment  30%
Class Participation  15%
Final Examination  25%
Total  100%

Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.

Textbook Materials

Texts will be updated periodically. The following is an example of a typical text for this course:

Mitchell, Barbara A. (2017). Family Matters: An Introduction to Family Sociology in Canada. Toronto: Canadian Scholars.