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EDO2104 Families and Society

Semester 2, 2012 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Nicole Green
Moderator: Michelle Turner


As the primary socialising institution, families are an essential focus of study in any program designed to prepare professionals working with children and families for the roles they play in today's society. An understanding of the role played by the family in mediating between the individual and society, as well as the outcomes of this mediation process is central to working with young children. The family is considered as a site of both socialisation and resistance to prevailing hegemony. In coming to understand children, families, and child-rearing, professionals need a sound knowledge of the ways in which families act to promote and support prevailing societal expectations, as well as their function in leading and responding to societal change.


This course introduces students to the changing nature of the form, structure and function of the family in contemporary society. Opportunities for cross-cultural comparisons and explorations will be provided. The course will also examine the nature and effect of social policies as they impact on socialisation. The implications of gender, class and ethnicity dimensions on families will be addressed. Social institutions such as education, religion, economy and government will be examined insofar as they impinge on and reflect changes in the role and form of contemporary family structures. Particular attention will be paid to the impact of government and economic policies and directions on services for young children and their families.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the sociology of the family and family life, and the varying expressions of "family" in other cultures (Assessment 1 & 2)
  2. demonstrate understanding of the role of major societal institutions as they impact on the family (Assessment 1 & 2)
  3. demonstrate understanding of the socialisaiton process, across cultures in particular the development of perceptions, attitudes and values (Assessment 2)
  4. clearly articulate the meaning of "diversity", and identify implications of this for professionals in fields relevant to each student (Assessment 1)
  5. demonstrate an ability to analyse the effects of social change on family and social institutions (Assessment 1 & 2).
  6. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing (Assessment 1).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Socialisation processes 10.00
2. The family in Australian society, societal issues and family across cultures 30.00
3. Social supports and their impact on families 15.00
4. Diversity and its implications for children and families 15.00
5. The effects of social change 30.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Cheal, D 2002, Sociology of family life, Palgrave, New York.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Berger, H. E 2004, Parents as partners in education: families and schools working together, 6th edn, Merrill, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  • Bowes, J. M., & Hayes, A. (eds) 2004, Children, families and communities: contexts and consequences, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
  • Denman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J. O 2010, Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves, Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, D.C.
  • Giddens, A 2006, Sociology, 5th edn, Polity Press, Cambridge.
  • Jureidini, R., Poole, M., & Kenny, S 2000, Sociology: Australian connections, 2nd edn, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW.
  • Skolnick, A., & Skolnick, J 2007, Family in transition, 14th edn, Pearson Education, Boston.
    (Pages 1-10.)

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 70.00
Independent Study 70.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 27 Aug 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 15 Oct 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them including discussion fora scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assignments satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assignment.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Closed Examination: Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the examination period at the end of the semester of the next offering of this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and Internet access to UConnect for this course.

  2. Students are to use a recognised referencing system as specified by the examiner.