Family, Institutions, Relationship and Myth

Final year module

Lecturer: Dr Shelley Budgeon

This module provides comprehensive study of theories and substantive debates concerning the family, personal life and social change. Through group and individual activities students will undertake critical inquiry into the meaning and position of personal relationships and family life in contemporary western societies.

Topics include gender and the household; the social construction of motherhood; men, fatherhood and masculinity; the family and state regulation; post-divorce relationships; multiculturalism and family life; same sex partnerships; and new reproductive technologies.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate in depth understanding of some of the major theoretical trends in the sociological study of the family;
  • demonstrate a critical appreciation of family change in the contemporary context, particularly as it relates to public representations and debates;
  • demonstrate in depth knowledge of the sociological literature relevant to a specific topic related to the family;
  • critically analyse a specific topic in a suitable academic style; and work effectively in groups.


  • Term One/Two: Presentation (15%)
  • Term One: 1 x 3,000 word assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (35%)