Socio – Antropology of the Family

We make assumptions and claims about families that are not always true or false based on a number of factors including our world view (social location) and understandings of families (including their form and function) other than our own. Below are a series of possible statements for this assignment. Please choose one (1) and prove it true or false.

Criteria: The length for this assignment is seven to ten (7-10) pages of text (your bibliography doesn’t count as part of your text), double spaced. You are to use a minimum of five (5) peer reviewed sources to help prove your claim. Textbook does count as a source, You need to go beyond the survey text and find some sort of evidence for your claims and looking at research will give you that.

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While you don’t have to contextualize your answers in Canadian society, wherever you choose to should be consistent. Any data and other research should be about the place you are studying.
You will be evaluated on your ability to create and prove your argument using reliable sources from the sociology and anthropology of the family discipline.

1. The “nuclear family” is a universal (ie. something that occurs throughout the world and in all societies).
2. “Family breakdown” is the primary contributor to the rise in societal problems.
3. Families are always harmonious and operate according to consensus.
4. Family members experience the family in the same way – families function together as a unit and the individuals within have common needs, experiences and understandings (of the family).
5. Childcare becomes easier for working parents once their children start school.
6. It is now possible to look after children or elders while holding a fulltime, paid job through policies such as flextime and working at home.
7. Unequal division of housework is no longer an issue because men are taking a more active role in the home.
8. LGBTQ families are less “effective” (ie. less stable in the primary relationship, if there’s kids then they are not socialized “properly”, etc.) than heterosexual families.
9. Families who participate in faith based activities regularly are more stable and effective than families who do not.
10. Children of lone parent families are more likely to be less successful (ie. learning difficulties, socialization, academic issues) than children raised with two parents living in the same home.

Using first person can be problematic. If you are using it to say what you have found then okay. If you are using it to detail your experience, please don’t include your experience. I find it very difficult to assign a grade to something you have experienced – even if we agree that the sociological/anthropological elements are what is being assessed you may feel that I have not validated your experience and that is simply not the case.

A few other tips:
If you are using data from other countries, do not assume that it reflects Canadian trends (or other trends occurring in other countries). Use materials related to the region of which you are writing.
Define your terms – this aids in clarity of your thinking and logic. This also makes clear what you are and are not analysing and using to make your argument.
Be clear about the direction of your paper – include a thesis statement to help guide your reader (and yourself).
Avoid generalizations (using “all” to indicate the widespread occurrence of a phenomenon that may not be so widespread).
Don’t forget to proofread your work – just because your computer says it is correct doesn’t make it so. Proofreading ensures that both you and your reader understand your argument and that you can communicate it effectively.

Lastly, internet sources are to be carefully selected and scrutinized before you consider using them. There are a number of problems with using internet sources, such as accuracy and it is important to consider where the information has come from, the sources they use, etc.; therefore use of internet sites should be limited to organizations that are reputable and have a peer – review system in place such as federal and international agencies (Statistics Canada, etc). Blogs, rants, online dictionaries, media references or other sites that are not academically sound are not acceptable sources and will result in a penalty of 2 (two) marks per inappropriate source. If you are unsure of your sources please ask.

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