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Sociology of marriage and the family

December 22, 2015 0 Comment


(15% of final grade) This paper must be 4-5 pages, typed, 12-point font, single spaced, and deal with your family of origin (the family in which you grew up, whether that was a traditional two-parent family, a single-parent family, a blended family, a foster family–whatever the setting in which you spent the majority of your childhood years). Feel free to interview your parents about some of these areas if you have the opportunity. You must include page numbers. Anything included in your autobiographies will be confidential, and no one will read the paper except me. Papers must also be in Microsoft word format.


You must address the following questions. If one of these issues does not apply to you, state this explicitly. For instance, one question is whether your family ever experienced a major crisis – if your family never has, you should say this in the paper. Your paper should start out with a basic introduction of who is in your family – parents & parents’ current relationship status, siblings’ names and age/relationship to you, etc.


Basic introduction information: Father: Shengli Tian 54 ,Mother: Xiuli Shi 52     Older brother: Kai Tian 28

Two-parent family,

  1. Division of labor. Who contributed what to your family (in terms of everything from economics, housework, and childcare to maintaining family and friendship ties, emotional tone, and spiritual life)? What do you see as the positive and negative effects of the way your family divided up its tasks?
  1. Power. Who had what kinds of power? Did your father dominate your mother or vice versa or were they pretty equal in terms of power? What were their areas of power? Did kids dominate parents or vice versa? Did one of the kids have more power than others? How were key decisions made? Did power relationships reflect cultural expectations about roles, or reflect the individual personalities of those in the family? If you grew up in a single-parent family, do you think that had any consequences for the distribution of power?
  1. Generations. How do you think your family dynamics were affected by your parent(s)’ experiences in their own families of orientation? Were there certain things your grandparents had done that your parents were trying to emulate or to avoid? Are there aspects of your own family experience that you will want to emulate or avoid in the families you create?
  1. How many siblings do you have, and where do you fit in terms of birth order and gender? Do you think your sibling(s), if any, would describe your family the same way you do? Do you think you and your siblings played distinctive roles in your family? 1, my brother : Kai Tian
  1. How old were your parents when their children were born? 31 .

How ready do you think they were to become parents? How would you characterize their parenting style? Did they have specific ideals and values that they tried very hard to inculcate in you? What about religion–were you required to participate? Were there major differences and/or conflicts between your parents about parenting issues? Did they maintain a lot of control over your activities? How did this change (if at all) as you became older?

  1. Discuss patterns of communication in your family. How did people express their feelings? Did you tend to all get together for certain meals, and if so, what was the pattern of conversation at those meals? How did the children in the family learn about relationships and sexuality?
  1. Major crises. Was your family affected by illness, unemployment, alcoholism, death, family violence, etc. and in what ways?
  1. Are there aspects of your family experience with which it has taken you a long time to come to terms or with which you are still struggling? What do you think it would take to achieve a resolution of those issues?
  1. Are you currently in a relationship and/or have children of your own? How do you think your experiences with your parents affect your romantic relationships or your attitudes toward cohabitation/marriage/divorce? Do your parents directly influence who you date? If you have children, are there things that you’re trying to do differently? Do your parents directly influence your parenting?
  1. Are there any qualities or factors about yourself and your personality, good or bad, that you attribute to your family’s and/or parent’s influence? Are you like your parents in terms of personality? Or have you developed attitudes in opposition to your experience with your family, like wanting to stay home with your kids because your parents worked too much?
  1. What are your present relations with your family of origin?
  1. Tell me anything else that is important to include for an understanding of your family experience. In addition to discussing all of the aforementioned questions/areas, your paper must be free of grammatical, spelling, and sentence structure errors. It is your responsibility to proofread your paper and make certain that it flows well before you turn it in for a grade. I am also willing to read drafts of papers IF they are turned in at least two weeks prior to the due date to allow me sufficient time to read them and get them back to you and for you to have time to correct mistakes or rewrite portions of the paper.
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  • 12 point font size
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  • Over 275 words/page
  • Text aligned left
  • One inch margin

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