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SOCI 2010 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

SOCI 2010 - Marriage and Family

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

An overview of the effects of societal change on marital and non-marital relationships. Topics include premarital dynamics, singles, dual career families, family violence, and divorce.

Course Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

1. Understand theoretical approaches specific to the study of marriage and family.

2. Identify terms and concepts specific to the study of marriage and family.

3. Apply the theoretical approaches, terms, and concepts from the study of marriage and family to everyday life.

4. Understand the stages of family development and sexuality among different groups, cultures, and societies.

5. Analyze the problems and possible solutions related to intimacy, relationships, and family life.

6. Clarify personal values concerning intimacy, relationships, and family life.

Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

 Appropriate entrance scores or completion of Learning Support competencies.

Course Topics:

The specific meanings attached to marriage and family may vary across time, groups, cultures, and societies. Nonetheless, marriage and family remain universal social institutions that affect all of us at some point in time. This course analyzes the structural continuities and changes in marriage and family, particularly in America, over the past century. It uses theory and research as a basis to explore past and present marriage and family issues and to clarify personal values. Particularly, it places an emphasis on: family; intimacy; the meaning of family; gender roles; communication; single life; dating; mate selection; marriage; sexuality; family planning; sexually transmitted diseases; HIV and AIDS; parenthood; family life stages; economic considerations; dual-worker families; family crises; marriage dissolution; remarriage;

Specific Course Requirements:

You must be knowledgeable in the use of the Internet and related browsers, Microsoft Word for word processing, D2L email and attachments for submitting tests and assignments, and Real Player or Media Player for viewing any assigned videos. It is your responsibility to ensure your service provider is capable of allowing adequate connections and connection time in order to complete and submit tests and assignments and to participate in discussion boards.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

The instructor may assign or you may research supplementary reference and learning materials.

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

GETTING STARTED: In order to get started in the course, you will be required to complete several introductory tasks within the first week of the course. First, you will need to read the syllabus thoroughly. When reading the syllabus, you should take notes about any questions, issues, or concerns you might have and email them via D2L to the instructor for clarification. Afterwards, you must send the instructor an email via D2L stating you have read and understand all of the course requirements. Next, you will want to familiarize yourself with the course tools and to inform the instructor about any difficulties you might experience in using these tools. Finally, you will post a message to the Introduction section of the discussion board. In the message, you will tell a little about yourself, your education and course goals, you’re previous experiences with online learning, and the reasons you are taking the course. Your completion of these tasks will not be assigned points but will be required to participate in the course. TESTS: You will be required to complete four tests. They will be listed under the "Assessments" section on D2L. You will have one week to complete each test. However, once you open the exam, you only have 60 minutes to complete the exam. You must also submit a statement, via D2L e-mail, that you, alone, completed the test without any outside collaboration from other persons. Late submissions of completed tests will not be accepted and will be assigned a grade of 0. Tests will include a combination of objective questions such as multiple choice or true/false. Test questions will require you to critically evaluate information from your textbook readings and any other assigned materials. Tests will be worth a possible 100 points each. The point values of questions will be detailed on each test. NOTE: You should not postpone completing textbook readings or other assignments until the time of the test. The tests will require an understanding beyond just looking up answers and the instructor will not clarify the textbook readings or any other assigned materials once the testing period begins. It is recommended you take advantage of the content modules with learning objectives and key terms for each chapter as you read the material and the textbook companion website and its lecture presentations, tutorial quizzes, and other learning activities as you prepare for the tests 

Grading Procedures:

Your progress in this course will evaluated as follows:

  • Four (4) tests worth 100 possible points each or 400 possible points tota
  • l One (1) research paper worth a possible 100 points
  • Five (5) discussion sessions worth 20 possible points each or 100 possible points total
Grading Scale:

The following grading scale will be used to calculate your final grade:

Grade                          Points                         Percentage Scale

 A                               537-600                             90%-100%

 B                               477-536                             80%-89%

 C                               417-476                             70%-79%

 D                              387-416                              65%-69%

 F                             Less than 387                     Below 65%


Assignments and Projects:
Part IWeeks 1-3

Chapter 1: Seeking: Finding Happiness in Relationships in a Complex World

Chapter 2: Understanding: Learning About Intimate Behavior Chapter 3: Gender: The Meanings of Masculinity and Femininity

Chapter 4: Love: The Many Faces Research Paper: Topic Due

Test #1

Part IIWeek 4-8

Chapter 5: Involvement: Dating, Pairing, Courtship and Cohabitation

Chapter 6: Communication: Realizing Effective Intimacy Chapter 7: Sexuality: Interpersonal Sexuality, Sexual Values & Behavior Appendices A-F

Test #2

Part IIIWeek 9-11

Chapter 8: Marriage: The Ultimate Commitment?

Chapter 9: Variations: No marital Families and Households Chapter 10: Reproduction: Decisions about Having or Not Having Children

Chapter 11: Parenting: Children, Families, & Generations Test #3

Part IVWeek 12-15

Chapter 12: Work: Economics, Jobs, & Balancing Family Demands

Chapter 13: Crises: Managing Stress, Disaster, Violence & Abuse

Chapter 14: Uncoupling: Separation & Divorce Chapter 15: Remarriage: Reinvented, Renewed, & Blended Families Test #4Presentation of Research Paper Research Paper Due


Class Participation:

Instruction in this course will be conducted in an independent manner. You are responsible for any readings, videos, tests, discussions, written assignments, papers, or other materials as assigned by the instructor. Timely submission of required work is essential for success in this course. You, not the instructor, are responsible for ensuring that work is submitted on the assigned dates and that regular communication with the instructor is accomplished. Due to the independent nature of this course, you must be responsible for checking course announcements frequently and for requesting help when you need it. Thus, you are encouraged to contact the instructor as often as needed via email, telephone, or any other manner deemed appropriate by the instructor. Furthermore, you are encouraged to interact with other students, taking into careful consideration the parameters of academic dishonesty, as this is considered a valuable component of the learning process. A "Main" discussion board is provided for you to interact casually or to discuss course issues, i.e., readings, assignments, study tips, questions to the instructor that might benefit others in the class.

Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on May 16, 2017