Family sociology for a changing society

Course content

This course will help students to understand family behaviors from a life-course perspective and an ecological system perspective. Each life stage is interrelated. Changes in the public sphere (such as the education system, the labor market etc.) interact changes in the family sphere. An individual family behavior is correlated with the macro social background.

A central theme of family studies is diversity and change.

The course will cover topics such as: dating and mate selection, cohabitation and marriage, sexual life, parenting, work and life balance, gender and domestic work, break-up/divorce, intergenerational relationship, as well as family policies, etc.

It not only introduces recent and hot research topics of family studies, but also provides a historical review on how family behaviors and policies change with the development of a society. The course will introduce theories, empirical research, research design and methods under family sociology. The course will be follow a topic-specific and a case-specific approach.

Throughout the semester, we will explore the diversity of life experience in the family sphere and the determinants of family behaviors.


Courses with oral exams will be held offline. If the case of Covid-19 restrictions, oral exams will be held online. You will be notified of this in Absalon no later than 4 weeks prior to the exam time – with the option of shorter deadline if Covid-19 restrictions are introduced at shorter notice.

Courses with written exams will not experience any changes in relation to the normal exam form.


Elective course

Course Package (KA 2015):

Welfare, inequality and mobility

Knowledge, organisation and policy

Culture, lifestyle and everyday life


Learning outcome


Students have a deeper understanding of family behaviours and how these behaviours are related with the social changes.


Students are equipped with more updated theories and methods in family sociology, and can perform basic empirical research on family issues.


Students are aware of the important impact of social changes and family policies on family behaviours. Students can have multiple perspectives to explore family behaviours and its determinants.

The teaching is lecture and discussion based.
The course will take a discussion-lecture-discussion approach to cover the specific topics: students will have a pre-reading discussion on a specific topic to express their common sense understating; then, a lecture on findings of researchers; finally, students will refer back to the topic and discuss what they know and don’t know after reading literature and the lecture. The students will be asked to pick up a family issue of their interest within a given list. During the course they will then work on this issue with the tools and theories presented in the course. They will present their own work in the later part of the course in a peer- and teacher supervised format.

There is no required textbook for this course. Readings from journal articles, books and internet sources will be assigned on a weekly basis and links will be made available on Absalon

Basic social scientific training, including ability to read and understand quantitative research papers.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Not relevant

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester. Depending on participant numbers we will make use of specific models, hereunder peergrade, classroom presentations and feedback or group based feedback.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, -
Individual/group (max. 4 students).
A written take-home essay is defined as an assignment that addresses one or more questions. The exam is based on the course syllabus, i.e. the literature set by the teacher.
The written take-home essay must be no longer than 10 pages. For group assignments, an extra 5 pages is added per additional student.
Further details for this exam form can be found in the Curriculum and in The General Guide to Examinations at KUnet.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see the learning outcome

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 104
  • Exam
  • 60
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Bachelor choice
Full Degree Master
Full Degree Master choice

1 semester

See Timetable
Vejl. 40 personer
Department of Sociology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Sociology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Jakob Johan Demant   (2-6c6642757165306d7730666d)

Mengni Chen, email:

Saved on the 21-02-2022

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