The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


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.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 1 - 2017.

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): SOCA3165. Students who have successfully completed SOCA3165 are not eligible to enrol in SOCA1040.

Learning outcomes

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

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.


  1. 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.


This course replaces SOCA3165. If you have successfully completed SOCA3165 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assessment items

Essay: Minor Essay

Formal Examination: Examination

Participation: Tutorial Participation and Contribution

Presentation: Presentations