What's Love Got to Do With It?
Last Updated: 01/23/2009
Faculty: Stephanie Coontz family studies
Major areas of study include sociology, family studies, gender studies and American history.
Class Standing: This lower-division program is designed for 50% freshmen and 50% sophomores.
This program examines the history of love, sex, marriage, and male-female relations. For more than 100 years, marriage was the critical marker of the transition to adulthood. Once young people moved out of their parents' home, they generally spent very little time on their own, but instead married and "settled down." Individuals who did not follow this normative path were considered deviant and faced considerable social discrimination. Today, marriage is no longer the critical gateway into adulthood. It is more optional than ever and it no longer has a virtual monopoly over the regulation of sexuality and child-rearing. At the same time, our expectations of married love are higher than ever before in history.
We will discuss the rise and fall of 20th-century courtship, gender, and marriage norms and explore the many controversies associated with the transformations of the last 30 years: the causes and consequences of divorce and remarriage; the changing role of singlehood and cohabitation in America; new gender roles and sexual norms; and the future of male-female relations, same-sex marriage and family life.
This program requires an intense commitment of time and energy, especially in writing and revising papers. It will prepare students for more advanced work in a wide range of disciplines. In addition, it will sharpen skills in critical reading, effective writing, and in-depth analysis and argumentation. A side benefit, but not the main intent of the program, will be a better understanding of our own interpersonal concerns and conflicts, as we learn to put them in context, understand their origins, and see the larger social forces that affect even the supposedly most private, individual aspects of our lives.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in public policy, family law, education, gender studies, social work, American history and sociology.
|January 23rd, 2009||Program now offered in Fall, not in Spring.|