Foto: Matthias Friel
The family is a fundamental building block of social life. Families provides the context in which individual lives unfold, most importantly, birth, life, love, and death. In this sense, families can be considered to be “private institutions.” Families, however, also have consequences for the greater good; they care for children, the sick, and the elderly and are an important element of education. They can cushion, generate, and perpetuate social inequalities. In this sense, families can therefore also be considered to be “public institutions”. This class examines the role of the family both as private and as public institutions from the perspectives of family sociology and social demography. A major goal of this course is to learn about differences in family structure throughout history and across countries. The class, moreover, aims to provide students with the opportunity to practise their English language skills in a very friendly, relaxed and constructive environment—no fluency required.
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