Family, Institutions, Relationship and Myth

Final year module

Lecturer: Shelley Budgeon

This module provides an overview of the theoretical trends in studying the family. Through group and individual work, it encourages critical enquiry into the study of the meaning, role and position of the family in contemporary western society.

A range of different theoretical perspectives including feminist theory, queer theory, reflexive modernisation, and postmodernism are applied to areas such as lone motherhood, the family and the state, multiculturalism, same sex relationships and new reproductive technologies. The module is taught through lectures and student led workshops.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to: demonstrate an understanding of some of the major theoretical trends in the sociological study of the family; demonstrate a critical understanding of family change in contemporary Britain (or US or Europe), particularly as it relates to public representations and debates; demonstrate a knowledge of the sociological (or other humanities and/or social science) literature relevant to a specific topic related to the family; critically analyse a specific topic in a suitable academic style; work effectively in groups.


  • 3 hr exam (50%)
  • 1 x 4000 word essay (40%)
  • 1 x group presentation (10%)