Constructions of Childhood, the Family and Society

Course code SOCA1040Units 10Level 1000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

The course provides an introduction to the study of children and families within a social and political context. The course encourages a critical perspective by examining debates about the historical and sociocultural constructions of childhood in relation to families. The diversity of family forms in contemporary Australia will be examined in the context of class, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity. There will be a particular focus on how those constructions impact upon young children and how young children understand them. An analysis of the role of the family in liberal democracy and the policing of families will form the foundation for a critical understanding of current policy debates.

Available in 2015

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
OurimbahSemester 1
Previously offered in 2014
ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:
1. An understanding of a sociological approach to children in Australian families.
2. Ability to understand the complexity and diversity of family life in Australia.
3. Ability to analyse and deal critically with different viewpoints on family policy, especially concerning child protection issues.
4. Skills in writing an academic essay, reading critically and doing research.
Content1. The history of the family and childhood.
2. Sociological theories of the family.
3. Families in multicultural Australia and Aboriginal families.
4. Family types, sexualities and the construction of gender.
5. Gender, power and the family in Australia.
6. Children, risk and child protection.
7. The family, social policy and the nation state.
Replacing Course(s)Not applicable.
TransitionStudents who have completed SOCA3165 are not eligible to enrol in this course.
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledgenone
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsEssay: due the week following the tutorial presentation and based on the tutorial question. 2000 words, worth 30%
Examination: Formal2 hour formal examination, worth 50%.
Group/tutorial participation and contributionTutorial participation and attendance, worth 10% and based upon evidence of completion of assigned reading tasks, informed conversation on weekly topics, ability to present opinions relevant to critical analysis of the reading set for each week. 500 words equivalent
Presentations - TutorialTutorial presentation: due throughout semester and worth 10%.
A 500 word summary and handout is expected as part of the presentation.
Contact HoursTutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Lecture: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Timetables2015 Course Timetables for SOCA1040