For Tuesday, 8/7 (SOC 227)

August 3, 2018

Prep

  • Due: Final Exam, 8/7 23:59
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 16 (‘Families in Later Life’), esp. Sections 16.1 (‘Our Aging Society’); 16.2 (‘Health and Ageism’); 16.6 (‘Dying, Death, and Bereavement’); 16.8 (‘Caregiving in Later Life’)

I’ve decided we’ll skip the discussion board this week. Up till now I’ve had about three different ideas for each module, but I’m blanking here. You all have plenty of work to do, in any event, so use this time to finish up strong!

In Class

  • Film: Excerpts from Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)

After

  • Finish the final exam. Don’t forget to submit the Class Participation Self-Evaluation essay; complete the requirements for the ‘Moynihan Report’ discussion board if you haven’t by now!
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Pride and Parenting

August 1, 2018

Pride_and_Prejudice_1940

Benokraitis discusses four main parenting styles identified by the psychologist Diana Baumrind (2015:339-40). Which style best describes that of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice? Or would you attribute a different parenting style to each?

In his letter to Eliza after his failed proposal, Darcy alludes to the impropriety of conduct of, not only Mrs. Bennet and the three younger sisters, but even of her father. What has poor Mr. Bennet done? What flaws in Mr. Bennet’s character does the narrator seem to pick out?

For Thursday, 8/2 (SOC 227)

July 31, 2018

Before

  • Due: Midterm, 8/1 23:59
  • Due: Discussion Board (‘Pride and Parenting’), Thursday 8/2 14:45
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 11 (‘To Be or Not to Be a Parent’): Sections 11.4 (‘Postponing Parenthood’); 11.6 (‘Adoption: The Traditional Solution to Infertility’); 11.7 (‘Abortion’); 11.8 (‘Childless by Choice’)
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 12 (‘Raising Children: Promises and Pitfalls’), esp. Sections 12.3 (‘Parenting Styles and Discipline’); 12.4 (‘Parenting Variations by Race, Ethnicity, and Social Class’); and 12.5 (‘Parenting in Lesbian and Gay Families’)

In Class (CA-342)

  • Scenes from Pride and Prejudice (Robert Z. Leonard, 1940)
    • Introducing Mr. Collins
    • An Offer She Could Refuse
  • Parenting Styles
  • For Next Time: Review for Final Exam

After

  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 16 (‘Families in Later Life’), esp. Sections 16.1 (‘Our Aging Society’); 16.2 (‘Health and Ageism’); 16.6 (‘Dying, Death, and Bereavement’); 16.8 (‘Caregiving in Later Life’)

 

Discussion: Pride and Prejudices

July 27, 2018

In a Bloomberg Op-Ed piece on ‘closeted’ conservatives in academia, an anonymous literature professor reports suggesting that his department teach Jane Austen in order to increase enrollments, to which one colleague, becoming ‘very upset’, retorted that ‘this was just a way of catering to the prejudices that students learned in high school’. To what kind of prejudices might she have been referring?

For Tuesday, 7/31 (SOC 227)

July 27, 2018

Before

  • Due: ‘Pride and Prejudices’ Discussion Board
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813), Vol. III
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 15 (‘Separation, Divorce, Remarriage, and Stepfamilies’): Sections 15.2 (‘Divorce: Process and Rates’); 15.3 (‘Why Do People Divorce?’); 15.4 (‘How Divorce Affects Parents’), 15.5 (‘How Divorce Affects Children’), 15.6 (‘Remarriage: Rates, Process, and Characteristics’)

In Class

  • Scenes from Pride and Prejudice (1940)
    • Review: ‘Pride and Prejudices’ Discussion Board
    • Review: Casting Call Wikis
  • Sex
  • Jealousy
  • Courtship
  • Marriage
  • Cohabitation
  • Divorce
  • Review: Midterm Exam
    • Logistics
    • ASA Style
  • Concluding Thoughts: So, Should the State Recognise Marriage?
    • Review: ‘Up from Marriage’ Discussion Board. I have left this board up, but this module was a fiasco: only one student posted before the due date, whereas the whole point of the board is for you to be working on and discussing course material on those days when we’re not meeting. While I understand that I have assigned a lot of reading (although in class some of you admitted you hadn’t even started the novel[!]), I am a bit puzzled as to what happened with a discussion board that only required the time it takes to listen to and reflect upon an eighteen-minute podcast — I myself found time to review the podcast three times before class: once while eating dumplings in the park, once while shaving my head, and once while in the shower. Although I’ve left the board up, therefore, I can only give partial credit to those who posted after the original deadline.

For Next Time

  • Due Wednesday, 7/31: Midterm Take-Home Essay
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 11 (‘To Be or Not to Be a Parent’)
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 12 (‘Raising Children: Promises and Pitfalls’), esp. Sections 12.3 (‘Parenting Styles and Discipline’); 12.4 (‘Parenting Variations by Race, Ethnicity, and Social Class’); and 12.5 (‘Parenting in Lesbian and Gay Families’

Up from Marriage

July 25, 2018

TolesJane Austen is sometimes criticised for presenting marriage as the highest good that a woman can aspire to. I would say instead that, in Austen’s world, where a woman’s prospects for happiness and security were almost always tied to marriage, her stories derive their drama from the fraught calculations that each of her heroines must make in balancing the dictates of love, livelihood, family welfare, personal happiness, moral responsibility, and so on. But it’s certainly true that marriage is the cause of every happy (or at least satisfying) ending to her novels; nor does she seem to criticise marriage as an institution; nor does she ever seem to conceive of marriage as something more than the union of a man and a woman (how could she have, in her time?).

In a fascinating interview about her recent book, Against Marriage, the political philosopher Clare Chambers challenges some of our most basic assumptions on the subject. After listening to this podcast, please respond to one of the questions posed at the very outset of it:

  1. Should the state give recognition to marriage?
  2. Is it a sexist instituion? Women report less satisfaction in marriage, and they do more of the housework even if (especially if) they earn more than their husbands. Are feminists right when they portray marriage as a tool for the oppression/immiseration of women?
  3. And even if we do not take some of the outdated parts of the ceremony at face value, should the state take any view on how people ought to live their lives?
  4. And how have civil partnerships and “gay marriages” changed our ideas of marriage?

For Thursday, 7/26 (SOC 227)

July 25, 2018

Before

  • Due: Discussion Board: Should the state recognise your marriage? Should it recognise any marriage?
  • Due: Wiki: Pride and Prejudice Casting Call
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 8 (‘Dating and Mate Selection’): Sections 8.4 (‘Why We Choose Each Other: Some Mate-Selection Theories’), 8.5 (‘A Multicultural View of Mate Selection’)
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 9 (‘Singlehood, Cohabitation, Civil Unions, and Other Options’); focus on Sections 9.1 (‘The Single Option’), 9.4 (‘Why More People Are Single’), and 9.6 (‘Cohabitation’), and 9.7 (‘Gay and Lesbian Couples’)
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 10 (‘Marriage and Communication in Intimate Relationships’), esp. Sections 10.2 (specifically the subsections on ‘Wedding and Pre-Wedding Rituals’, ‘Engagement’, ‘Bridal Showers and Other Pre-Wedding Festivities’,  ‘Prenuptial Agreements’, ‘The Wedding’); 10.3 (‘Contemporary Marriages’), 10.7 (‘Communication: A Key to Successful Relationships’); 10.8 (‘What Couples Fight About and How They Deal with Conflict’); and 10.9 (‘Effective Communication Strategies’)
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice(1813), Vol. II

Skim the textbook if you have to: our main focus will be on Jane Austen’s great novel. I really want you all to have Volumes I and II under your belts by the time we start class on Thursday (in CA-342, remember!), and I’ll move the midterm due date back to Wednesday to try to ensure this.

In Class

  • TBA

For Next Time

  • Due: Midterm Take-Home Essay
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice(1813), Vol. III
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 15 (‘Separation, Divorce, Remarriage, and Stepfamilies’): Sections 15.2 (‘Divorce: Process and Rates’); 15.3 (‘Why Do People Divorce?’); 15.4 (‘How Divorce Affects Parents’), 15.5 (‘How Divorce Affects Children’), 15.6 (‘Remarriage: Rates, Process, and Characteristics’

‘Sex at Dawn’ Viewing Exercise: Reflecting on the Argument As a Whole

July 21, 2018

SOC 227 Folks: You all can ignore this; I’m just posting a version that is not hostage to Blackboard bullshit for future reference.

What if all of our assumptions about human nature and the evolution of our sexuality are simply prejudices based on the way we live now? And what if the last 10,000 years of our existence and our way of living in it, as long as that sounds, are just a drop in the ocean of our existence as a species? These are some of the important questions raised by Christopher Ryan’s brief talk below.

  1. Watch the video above.
  2. What one question would you like me to answer in class about Ryan’s claims? Create a thread in which you state this question, then explain why this is an important question for you. (One way to come up with a question might be to ask yourself what you find wrong, outrageous, or incomprehensible in the reasoning and evidence he presents.)

For Tuesday, 7/24 (SOC 227)

July 20, 2018

Before

  • Due 7/21: ‘Three Perspectives on the Family’ Essay HW
  • Due 7/24: Discussion Board posts (Week 3, Module 4)
  • Due 7/24: ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Casting Call Wiki
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 6 (‘Love and Loving Relationships’); Sections 6.4 (‘Some Theories about Love and Loving’; primarily ‘The Biochemistry of Love’), 6.7 (‘Jealousy: Trying to Control Love’), 6.8 (‘Love in Long-Term Relationships’), and 6.9 (‘Love Across Cultures’)
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 7 (‘Sexuality and Sexual Expression Throughout Life’); Sects. 7.1 (‘Sexualiy and Human Development’), 7.5 (‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Sex’), and 7.7 (‘Sexual Infidelity’)
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813), Vol. I. This is widely available on the web if you choose not to purchase the book, and I have linked to one place where you might read for free.

What do we look for in a mate? What should we look for? What makes for a good match? The social scientific literature suggests one set of answers; our great literature suggests another. This coming week, we’ll get a chance to compare them. I have prepared a brief reading exercise for our novel, which you should complete for homework before Tuesday’s class. You can collaborate with your classmates on this one (see the Blackboard announcement for links).

In Class

  • Debriefing: Sex at Dawn Discussion Board
  • On Jealousy and Infidelity
  • Casting Call: Pride and Prejudice

For Next Time

  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 8 (‘Dating and Mate Selection’): Sections 8.4 (‘Why We Choose Each Other: Some Mate-Selection Theories’), 8.5 (‘A Multicultural View of Mate Selection’)
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 9 (‘Singlehood, Cohabitation, Civil Unions, and Other Options’); focus on Sections 9.1 (‘The Single Option’), 9.4 (‘Why More People Are Single’), and 9.6 (‘Cohabitation’), and 9.7 (‘Gay and Lesbian Couples’)
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 10 (‘Marriage and Communication in Intimate Relationships’), esp. Sections 10.2 (specifically the subsections on ‘Wedding and Pre-Wedding Rituals’, ‘Engagement’, ‘Bridal Showers and Other Pre-Wedding Festivities’,  ‘Prenuptial Agreements’, ‘The Wedding’); 10.3 (‘Contemporary Marriages’), 10.7 (‘Communication: A Key to Successful Relationships’); 10.8 (‘What Couples Fight About and How They Deal with Conflict’); and 10.9 (‘Effective Communication Strategies’)
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813), Vol. II

 

For Thursday, 7/19 (SOC 227)

July 17, 2018

Prep

  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch.3 (‘The Family in Historical Perspective’): Sections 3.2 (on the African-American family) and 3.5 (‘The Golden Fifties’)
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 4 (‘Racial & Ethnic Families’), Sections 4.2 (‘Race and Ethnicity Still Matter’), 4.3 (‘African American Families’), and 4.8 (‘Interracial and Interethnic Relationships and Marriages’)
  • Daniel Patrick Moynihan, ‘The Negro Family’

This is a lot of reading; the sections from the textbook are short, though. As for ‘The Negro Family’ (a.k.a. the Moynihan Report), focus on getting the basic idea, and pay special attention to the section devoted to the legacy of slavery in America. (You might also find some helpful tips for reading sociology here.)

In Class

  • Introductions for New Students
  • Google Docs: Mechanics (Word Count, etc.)
  • Catching Up
    • Some Historical Perspective
    • Theories of the Family
    • Research Methods
  • The Moynihan Report & Its Critics

After

  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 6 (‘Love and Loving Relationships’); Sections 6.4 (‘Some Theories about Love and Loving’; primarily ‘The Biochemistry of Love’), 6.7 (‘Jealousy: Trying to Control Love’), 6.8 (‘Love in Long-Term Relationships’), and 6.9 (‘Love Across Cultures’)
  • Benokraitis (2015), Ch. 7 (‘Sexuality and Sexual Expression Throughout Life’); Sects. 7.1 (‘Sexualiy and Human Development’), 7.5 (‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Sex’), and 7.7 (‘Sexual Infidelity’)
  • Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813), Vol. I