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Sociological Theories of the Family

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr Vicki Harman (University of Surrey) explores the sociology of the family. In the first lecture, we think about the different ways in which we might define the word 'family', as well as considering some of the alternative concepts that have found currency in recent sociological research, e.g. 'household', 'personal life'. In the second lecture, we look at functionalist approaches to the family. In the third lecture, we explore Marxist theories of the family. Next, we think about feminist approaches to the family. In the fifth lecture, we consider how the nature of the family and of family life has changed over time. In the sixth and final lecture, we think about the concepts of 'family practices' and 'family display', including the work of David Morgan and Janet Finch.

About the Lecturer

Dr Vicki Harman is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Surrey. Her research interests include family life, motherhood and gender. She is co-editor of Feeding Children Inside and Outside the Home (2019) and Mothering, Mixed Families and Racialised Boundaries (2015), and author of The Sexual Politics of Ballroom Dancing (2018).

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