Course Description

Course Name

Families and Society

Session: VDNS3122

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

(SOCI 101 or SOCI 102 or SOCI 103) or 54 points

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


The form and function of families, and major issues and forces shaping families in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

This paper introduces key ideas and concepts about the family, as well as considering how issues like poverty and disability impact upon the family. This paper will help students consider multiple perspectives on the family; engage in key debates about the family and its construction; and reflect on their own personal experiences and reactions to the family in all its forms in the broader structural contexts of Aotearoa/New Zealand society.

Course Structure
Key topics will include:
-Historical perspectives on the family
-Theories of family
-Multiple answers to the question, 'What is family?'
-Family policy and the 'politics' of the family
-Roles, functions and forms of family
-Family belief systems
-Disability and families
-Gender, ethnicity and class perspectives on family
-Parenting, children and families

Learning Outcomes
-This course will enable students to critically evaluate knowledge and theory about families and the structure and history of 'the family' with relevance to contemporary Aotearoa/New Zealand
-It will also enable students to demonstrate an awareness of the forces shaping the contemporary context of family life, including an exploration of intersecting issues of gender, power, ethnicity and class
-It will encourage students to debate and engage in issues regarding families and society

Text books are not required for this paper, but readings will be listed in study outlines and will be available on Blackboard.

*Course content subject to change