Marriage & Family

Western Texas College
Department of Social Sciences

  1. Basic Course Information
    1. This course offers sociological analyses of marriage in covering a variety of topics including romantic love, sexual patterns, courtship and dating, intimate relationships, remarriage, impact on happiness, financial concerns, changes, and trends for the future. Students are challenged to employ critical thinking defined as “a willingness to ask any question, no matter how difficult; to be open to any answer that is supported by reason and evidence; and to openly confront one’s own biases and prejudices when they get in the way.” (Appelbaum and Chambliss 1997).
    2. Prerequisites: none
  2. Student Learning Outcomes - Upon successful completion of this course, students will:
    1. Demonstrate understanding of the family and marriage as social institutions through theoretical perspectives.
    2. Examine the diversity and complexity of contemporary families.
    3. Explore changing cultural attitudes about marriage and alternatives to marriage.
    4. Critically evaluate such issues as sexuality, partner choice, resolving marital issues, having and raising children, and combining work with family.
    5. Demonstrate understanding of the relationship between theories and research methods used in the scientific study of marriage and family.
    6. Describe some of the historical changes and current trends regarding the structural nature of the American family including the role of gender in relationships.
    7. Identify causes and consequences of relevant problems within contemporary families. and how these methods prevent conception.
  3. Major Requirements
    1. There will several writing assignments.
    2. There will be written discussion including peer review on a regular basis.
    3. There will be several quizzes spaced throughout the semester.
  4. Information on Books and Other Course Material
    1. MyFamilyLab for Williams' Marriages, Families, and Intimate Relationships 2/e Williams, Brian K, Sawyer, Stacey C  and Wahlstrom, Carl M  ISBN-10: 0205521452
  5. Other Policies:Please refer to the WTC Course Catalog for the following:  
    1. Campus Calendar
    2. Final Exam schedule
    3. How to drop a class
    4. Withdrawal information
    5. Student Conduct/Academic Integrity
    6. Students with disabilities
    7. Policy on late work: Late work accepted at the discretion of the instrutor and only under rare circumstances. 
  1. Course Organization & Tentative Schedule*                       



Reading Assignments

Week 1

Chapter 1

SEEKING: Finding Happiness in Relationships in a Complex World

Week 2

Chapter 2

UNDERSTANDING: Learning about Intimate Behavior

Week 3

Chapter 3

GENDER: The Meanings of Masculinity & Femininity

Week 4

Chapter 4

LOVE: The Many Faces

Week 5

Chapter 5

INVOLVEMENT: Dating, Pairing, Courtship, & Cohabitation Chapter

Week 6

Chapter 6

COMMUNICATION: Realizing Effective Intimacy

Week 7

Chapter 7

SEXUALITY: Interpersonal Sexuality, Sexual Values, & Behavior

Week 8

Chapter 8

MARRIAGE: The Ultimate Commitment?

Week 9

Chapter 9

VARIATIONS Nonmarital Families & Households

Week 10

Chapter 10

REPRODUCTION: Decisions about Having or Not Having Children

Week 11

Chapter 11

PARENTING: Children, Families, & Generations

Week 12

Chapter 12

WORK: Economics, Jobs, & Balancing Family Demands

Week 13

Chapter 13

CRISES: Managing Stress, Disaster, Violence, & Abuse

Week 14

Chapter 14

UNCOUPLING: Separation & Divorce

Week 15

Chapter 15

REMARRIAGE: Reinvented, Renewed, & Blended Families

Week 16:


*The above schedule, policies, procedures, and assignments in this course are subject to change.



Last Modified: August 19, 2015