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Gender Work and Family

Module Details for SOU22032 Gender Work and Family (Part 2 HT)

Module Code


ECTS weighting


Semester/term taught

Hilary Term

Learning Outcomes

Completion of Part 2 (Hilary Term) of this module will result in you being able to:

  • To critically and analytically evaluate the concept of families and gender from a sociological perspective.
  • To understand and critically examine the changes that families and gender relations have experienced in recent decades.
  • To identify and critically assess the key sociological theories and debates on gender and families.
  • To evaluate contemporary quantitative and qualitative studies on gender and work-family topics.
  • To engage in a “real-world” understanding of the complex links between individuals, families, communities, markets and institutions from a cross-cultural perspective.

Module Learning Aims

  • To offer a general introduction of contemporary sociological concepts and theories on gender and families;
  • To provide an understanding of recent demographic trends on families, work and gender relations;
  • To introduce the main debates and evidence on individuals’ life-course development from birth to old age;
  • To discuss the links between families and larger structural inequalities in contemporary societies;
  • To present the key debates on gender and work-family policies in 21st century Europe;
To illustrate the validity of complex theories by using real empirical studies on families and gender.

Module Content

This module examines families, gender and work  from an applied contemporary perspective. The module will provide key theoretical approaches and empirical tools for a better understanding of family life and gender relations in contemporary society. The module will focus on key questions like: (1) what are the weaknesses and strengths of contemporary theories on families and gender?; (2) how does individual development change from birth to old age across demographic groups?; (3) Why do men and women differ in their work attitudes, time use and access to power in society?; (4) What is the role of structural inequalities in family relations across contemporary societies?; (5) How can policies shape, or even transform, family relations and gender roles in contemporary European societies?

Recommended Reading List

  • Chambers, D., (2012). A sociology of family life. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Cohen, P.N., (2015). The family: Diversity, inequality, and social change. WW Norton.
  • Coltrane, S. (2004) Families and Society: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
  • Wharton, A. (2012) The Sociology of Gender: An Introduction to Theory and Research, Second edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Padavic, I. and Reskin, B (2002) Women and Men at Work, Second edition. Pine Forge Press.
  • Scott, J., Treas, J. and Richards, M. eds., (2014). The Blackwell companion to the sociology of families (Vol. 25). Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Assessment Details

Coursework (100%)