Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Oss0212, Sociology
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0
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Give examples of differences in definitions and variations of family across societies over time

Module Overview

OER Text Materials

Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World, Section: 15.1
The chapter starts with a definition of family and other definition of key terms related to family arrangements such as nuclear and extended family. Family arrangements across cultures are briefly presented. Considerable attention is given to changes in the American family over time and is organized into key periods such as during and after industrialization. This is a great historical overview of American families.

Section 2: Data

U.S. Census
Census data on living arrangements in the U.S. This site provides several great tables and charts to illustrate trends related to family. For example, there are a series of charts that illustrate the living arrangements of children. Instructors could use this data to challenge the idea of a “normal” family and discuss myths and realities related to how family structure has changed over time. Additionally, an instructor could use this data to show how median age of marriage has changed over time .