What Makes a Family?
You will be responsible for three Wrestling With Sociology (WWS) papers during the course of this semester. These assignments require more than one page to complete, but the length will vary depending on the guidelines (prompt) for each reflection. You should make sure to fully develop your thoughts so at a minimum you should be prepared to write about three full pages (1” margins/12 point Arial font/double-spaced and appropriate heading).
As you think about writing your narrative consider your audience to be someone who is not familiar with sociology, as such you will need to make sure to define terms, as appropriate, and strive to provide more detail, rather than less.
Also, keep in mind you need to use your sociological imagination in this assignment and not just offer up opinion. One way to do this is to back up your thoughts and provide evidence with material from the textbook, from class discussions, or other course materials.
Be sure to open with an introduction where you define any terms you will be discussing and close with a conclusion of at least 3 sentences where you wrap up your narrative. You should be detailed in describing any observations and reference any information you use from other authors or other sources. Provide references where appropriate.
Each reflection is worth 25 points and together all three make up 15% of your overall grade. A grading rubric is available on Folio in the “Course Assignments” module and accompanying the Dropbox Folder for each assignment. Look over the grading rubric to see how the reflections will be assessed.
What Makes a Family?
After reading Chapter Twelve, Family, conduct an informal survey of four people (not family members) on your dorm floor or in an organization to which you belong, about the structure of their family of origin. Ask them:
Whom do they consider to be in their family?
What relation do these people have to them?
Did all of those people live in the same house?
Who had primary responsibility for caring for them as children?
Who was primarily responsible for the financial well-being of the family?
Who was primarily responsible for the emotional well-being of the family?
Was the family closely connected to extended family?
Which extended family members and in what ways?
Answer the above questions regarding the family you grew up in and compare your findings from your interviewees with the family you grew up in.
Analyze your results discussing:
How closely your family and the families of your interviewees resemble the dominant notion of the nuclear family—the Standard North American Family (SNAF)—as discussed in class?
Analyze your findings considering concepts from class. Concepts to consider (but, not limited to) include: breadwinner/caregiver, endogamy/ exogamy, private sphere/public sphere, media presentations, verstehen, OR gender.
What do your findings lead you to surmise about what makes a family?
Be sure to include a sociological definition of family early in your narrative.
You do not need to include the interview guide with results from individual interviews in your narrative. You should simply provide summaries of your results.