SCFF 5005 Interdisciplinary Study of the Family

Syllabus and Required Readings


9/7 Productivity, improvisation, history. The many voices of "family." The nature of culture.

[recommended: You may also want to read through Chapter 7.]

The Problem of "Family"

9/14 The sociological sense.

Eastman, Moira "Myths of marriage and family" in Promises to keep, ed. by D. Popenoe, J. Elshtain, and D. Blankenhorn. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. 1996. pp. 35-68. ]

9/21 The anthropological sense.

9/28 The historical sense.

10/5 The psychodynamic sense

Constraints on possibility: structure in culture

10/12Productive constraints: hoes vs. plows.

10/19 More on reproductive constraints: plows vs. machines.

10/26 Understanding the conditions of familial improvisation.



Possibility in constraints: culture in structure

11/9 Slave productions in a minor center of the United States.
Gutman, Herbert The Black family in slavery and freedom, 1750-1925. New York: Pantheon Books, 1976 (Chap. 1 to 4)

11/16 Women at work in India
Derne, Steve Culture in action Albany,NY: State University of New York Press, 1995

11/23 Constructions in poverty
Holloman, Regina, and Fannie Lewis "The 'Clan': Case study of a Black extended family in Chicago." in The extended family in Black societies. Ed. by D. Shimkin, E. Shimkin and D. Frate, 201-238. The Hague: Mouton. 1978

Shimkin, Demitri, G. Louie and D. Frate "The Black extended family: A basic rural institution and a mechanism of urban adaptation." in The extended family in Black societies. Ed. by D. Shimkin, E. Shimkin and D. Frate, 25-147. The Hague: Mouton. 1978

11/30 Middle class productions at the center of the United States: culture, mediation and bricolage

The family and the state: issues for the polis

12/7 Education, Schooling and families

12/14 The perennial Family conversation: marriage (divorce policies) and children (parental vs. state controls)

September 6, 1999