Families and Cultural Diversity

Course code HLSC6107
Available in 2016
2016 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.

ALL STUDENTS should enrol in the SEMESTER offering of this course, with the exception of students enrolled in the specialisation 'International Family Studies'. The TRIMESTER offering of this course is available only to students enrolled in the specialisation 'International Family Studies'. It is delivered by the Global Consortium of International Family Studies (GCIFS), and IFS students will be enrolled in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Blackboard course site.

Please note that GCIFS term dates are earlier than UON: Trimester 1 - Monday 19 January, 2016


WebLearn GradSchool

  • Trimester 1 - 2016
  • Semester 2 - 2016
  • Trimester 2 - 2017

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

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. Preferred course sequence: where possible, take this course after completing HLSC6106.

Assessment Items

Online Learning Activity: Online Learning Activity

Presentation: Presentation

Project: Project

Written Assignment: Written Assignment

Contact Hours

WebLearn GradSchool

Self-Directed Learning

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