SOC214 Family Patterns Syllabus

University of Toronto, Fall 2016

About This Course

We live in a time of change in family life. Far fewer Canadians marry than married decades ago, cohabitation is more common than marriage for first live-in relationships, divorce rates are high, blended and single-parent families are common, and many adults live alone. Couples are also having fewer children and those who have young children are facing the challenge of juggling employment and family responsibilities. Meanwhile, unquestioned divisions of work by gender in heterosexual couples have given way to ideals of sharing, and same-sex couples are increasingly raising children. Families assume many different shapes today. This diversity of family patterns is a product of increases in the choices that women and men have about how they live their lives, but it is also due to entrenched obstacles to the realization of people’s ideals.