Family Theories

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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FAMILY THEORIES (HDFS 865)
Fall 2010
Tuesdays, 2:25-4:55 pm
1339 Sterling
Professor Lynet Uttal
Office: 338 Old Middleton Building, 1305 Linden Drive luttal@wisc.edu 306 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive (corner of Charter) 608-263-4026
Office hours: By appointment. Send me an email with 2-3 times you are available.

Course Overview

HDFS 865 Family Theories is a survey course that examines the interdisciplinary study of families. The course content is organized into two sections: a) theories, ideologies and definitions of families and b) applications of family theories in practice, family programs, and policies. This course will examine “what is theorizing in family studies?”

Family theories are explanatory frameworks for different ways of understanding families. Theorizing about families involves conceptualizing the lived experiences of people in relation to their own families as well as developing explanations of the social role of families in society, tracking demographic changes over time, and identifying ideologies and social forces that influence and are influenced by family life. Some theories look at how individuals develop over the life span in the context of families; others define the forms and functions of families as a social unit in society. Some look at “the family” as a unit and focus in on the internal dynamics of relationships between family members, while others look at “the family” as a subsystem or institution in the larger scope of society. Some theories identify factors that predict family behaviors. Other theories are used to develop programs and interventions. The field of family studies is an interdisciplinary one, meaning that it has liberally borrowed from sociological and psychological theories as well as other disciplines, and has used variable analysis, anthropological, historical, philosophical, and interpretive…...

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