Sociology of the Family

Name: Sociology of the Family
Code: SOC2410L
Duration: 15 weeks/156 hours
Scientific Area: Sociology

Teaching languages: Portuguese
Languages of tutoring support: Portuguese
Regime de Frequência: Presencial


This course presents the fundamentals of the sociological perspective on the family, and critically discusses the key issues stimulating the current debate on the relations between family and society.

Sustainable Development Goals

Learning Goals

Sociology of the Family main goal is to provide students with the fundamentals of the sociological perspective on family and develop questioning, analytical reasoning, critical and reflective attitudes about its place in contemporary society.
Specifically, by the end of the semester students should be able to: a) understand the specificity of the sociological approach on family; b) critically discuss main theories and authors, both classic and contemporary ones in Sociology of the Family field; c) identify and contextualize main drivers of change in the family; d) critically discuss main axes that structure family in its internal dynamics; e) review the relationship between family and society; f) reflect in a critic and sustain way over the main themes that stimulate sociological debate around contemporary family.


I - After all, what is family?
1.1 Definition, definitions and meanings of family
1.2 Obstacles in studying family
1.3 The sociological perspective on family
II - The sociological construction of family
2.1 The sociological thought on family
2.2 From the "family institution" to "family relation"
2.3 Individualism, late modernity and family
III - Family and families
3.1 From traditional family to the modern family
3.2 Unity and diversity of family
3.3 Families in contemporary Portugal
IV - Family Relations
4.1 Partnering: union and dissolution
4.2 Parenthood: contexts of childhood, adolescence, youth and longevity
4.3 Extended family, social networks and family solidarity
V - Family and Society
5.1 Family and economy: the work between the private and public
5.2 Family and education: the child between school and family
5.3 Family, family policy and social policy
VI. Family: contemporary themes & debates

Teaching Methods

Lectures and practical lessons, tutorial follow up and e-learning solutions.
According to internal regulation, students may choose between a continuous assessment process or a final examination.
Continuous assessment: written examination (40%) and written essay with oral presentation and discussion in (60%).
Final examination: written examination (100%).

Teaching Staff