Families and Cultural Diversity

Course code HLSC6107
Available in 2015
2015 Course Timetables


This course will enable students to develop a critical understanding of the diversity of family forms in their cultural contexts. Families all over the world have diverse forms and culture plays an important role in enabling a nurturing environment for its members. Culture is often interpreted, understood and fostered through practice of oral traditions, norms, rituals, rites, and ceremonies. Every community develops a culture based on the geography, and socio-political and economic situations with which it is continuously engaging, interacting and also shaping. Families within specific cultural contexts develop norms of behaviour, dress, language and script, which often change with interaction with others from different cultures.

Students will be introduced to theoretical framings of the complexity of family cultural situations whereby cultures can both reinforce power to some thereby privileging them and oppressing others, as well as be creative expressions of freedom, joy, tolerance and togetherness, providing comfort, security and identity.

The course will explore global trends and the impact of globalisation on families. Students will develop the capacity to recognise, accept and work with diversity of culture and family form.


WebLearn GradSchool

  • Semester 2 - 2015
  • Trimester 1 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate an understanding of concepts and meanings of culture.

2. Demonstrate a capacity to recognise, accept and work with diversity of culture and family form

3. Demonstrate capacity to analyse the strengths and challenges of different family forms in their cultural and global contexts.

4. Demonstrate understanding of the intersection of class, race, caste, ethnicity, region, religion, sexuality and gender.

5. Demonstrate capacity to make international comparisons of different family patterns and their implications for policy, research and inclusive practice.

6. Demonstrate capacity to facilitate cross-cultural networks.


  • Concepts of culture, race, caste, ethnicity, transculture and diversity e.g. role of kinship and networks
  • Understanding differing contexts (socio-cultural, economic and political) of families.
  • Locating convergence and diversity between diverse cultures and family forms- local to international
  • Understanding of power, disempowerment and empowerment within select families through critical analysis of age, sexuality and gender.
  • Multi-cultural families and their unique experiences.
  • Globalisation, its impact on families in different parts of the world and the implications for family research policy and practice

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate degree in relevant discipline or equivalent professional experience in the field.

Assessment Items

Presentation: Multi-media blog presentation

Online Learning Activity: Discussion Board posting

Project: Group Project

Written Assignment: Individual Written Assignment

Contact Hours

WebLearn GradSchool

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 10 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Over the whole term students are required to spend on average 120-140 hours of effort for this course.