Course code Soci2014

Credit points 2

Sociology of Family

Total Hours in Course80

Number of hours for lectures16

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes16

Independent study hours48

Date of course confirmation09.11.2021

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developers

author Sociālo un humanitāro zinātņu institūts

Līga Paula

Dr. sc. soc.

author doc.

Anda Grīnfelde

Dr. oec.

Prior knowledge

Psih2007, Social Psychology

Soci1014, General Sociological Theory

Soci2023, Contemporary Sociological Theories

Course abstract

The aim of the study course is to provide students with knowledge about family and marriage social institutions from the theoretical perspectives and empirical analysis of family sociology. Within the study course, family and marriage are considered as one of the most important social institutes, which place, tasks and role in society can be analyzed in terms of history, traditions and culture as well as gender and age structure. Particular attention is paid to the view of different sociological theories on family and marriage in the context of different cultures and societal changes.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge. Understands the emergence and development of family sociology (presentation); knows and understands the theoretical paradigms of family research (presentation, essay); knows and understands the diversity of family models and functions in the context of different cultures (individual tasks, essay).
Skills. Ability to analyse and interpret the social processes of the family institution (individual tasks, essay); ability to compare different family and alternative childcare models (individual task, case study); ability to identify and analyse factors affecting the quality of family life (individual task); ability to perform tasks responsibly and on time (individual tasks, essay); ability to explain and justify their choices (presentation, essay and its presentation).
Competence. Ability to critically evaluate transformation processes of the family social institution (individual tasks, essay); ability to reasonably justify the most topical challenges of family research (presentation, individual tasks, essay).

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Family sociology and its place among the sub-branches of sociology. - 1 hour
2. Conceptualization of the family and research approaches. - 1 hour
3. The family from the point of view of classical and modern theories. - 1 hour
4. Family structure: diversity of family forms and types. - 1 hour
5. Family functions. - 1 hour
6. Family life cycle. - 1 hour
7. Distribution of roles in the family. - 1 hour
8. Social institution of marriage. - 2 hours
9. Causes of conflicts in partnership, consequences of their termination. - 1 hour
10. Conflicts in marriage, consequences of the divorce. - 1 hour
11. Quality of family life. - 1 hour
12. The concept of social risk family and related problems. - 1 hour
13. The state and municipal support for families. - 1 hour
14. Changes in family and marriage institutions. - 2 hours

List of seminar topics (16 hours)

1. Research on family and marriage in Latvia. - 1 hour
2. The role of the family as a social institution in society. - 1 hour
3. Presentation. Current directions of family research. - 1 hour
4. Diversity of family forms in different societies and cultures. - 1 hour
5. Interaction of the family and other social institutions in the context of the performance of its functions. - 1 hour
6. Family life cycle. - 1 hour
7. Individual task. Distribution of roles in the family. - 1 hour
8. Marriage traditions and rituals. - 1 hour
9. Individual task. Forms of marriage. - 1 hour
10. Cohabitation without marriage registration: trends in Latvia and elsewhere in the world. - 1 hour
11. Causes of divorce and consequences of divorce. - 1 hour
12. Reconciliation of family and working life. - 1 hour
13. Protection of children’s rights in Latvia. - 1 hour
14. Case study. Municipal support for families in Latvia. - 1 hour
15. Individual task. Changes in the family and marriage institutions. - 1 hour
16. Essay presentations. Essay on a topic previously agreed with the course instructor. - 1 hour

Requirements for awarding credit points

Formal test with a grade. The final assessment is cumulative on the following topics and tasks: 1) Current directions of family research (presentation - 10%); 2) Distribution of roles in the family (individual task - 10%); 3) Forms of marriage (individual task - 10%); 4) Municipal support for families in Latvia (case study - 10%), 5) Changes in the family and marriage institutions (individual task – 10%); 6) Essay on a topic previously agreed with the course instructor (essay and its presentation – 50%).

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Literature studies, preparation of presentation and the essay on the topic agreed with the course instructor.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Students must prepare one presentation (10%), three individual tasks (30%), one case study (10%), write and present the essay on the topic agreed with the course instructor (50%). 10% corresponds to one point on the 10-point assessment scale.

Compulsory reading

1. Bernardes J. Family Studies: An introduction. London and New York: Routledge, 2001. 229 p.
2. Blair S.L., Obradović J. The Work-Family Interface: Spillover, Complications, and Challenges. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited, 2018. 417 p. eBook. Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē:
3. Golombok S. Modern Families: Parents and Children in New Family Forms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 268.p.
4. Ponzetti J.J. Jr. (sast.) International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family. NewYork: Macmillan Reference, 2003. 1499 p.
5. Schneider N.F., Kreyenfeld M. Handbook on the Sociology of the Family. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2021. Pieejams:
6. Chambers D. A Sociology of Family Life: Change and Diversity in Intimate Relations. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012. 240 p.
7. Gianesini G., Blair S.L. Divorce, Separation, and Remarriage: The Transformation of Family. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2016. 428 p. eBook. Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē:
8. Graham A. (ed). The Sociology of the Family: A Reader. United Kingdom Blackwell Publishing, 2004. 376 p.

Further reading

1. Castrén A.M., Cesnuityte V., Crespi I., Gauthier J.A., Gouveia R., Martin C., Moreno Mínguez A., Suwada K. (Eds.). The Palgrave Handbook of Family Sociology in Europe, Palgrave: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021. 660 p.
2. Lindemann D. Commuter Spouses: New Families in a Changing World. Ithaca [New York]: ILR Press, 2019. 180 p. eBook. Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē:
3. Drake M. (ed.). Time, Family and Community. Perspectives on Family and Community History. Oxford: The Open University, 1994. 302 p.
4. Giddens, A. The Transformation of Intimacy. Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies. Cambridge, Oxford: Polity Press, 2002. 216 p.
5. Karpova Ā. Ģimenes psiholoģija. Rīga: RaKa, 2006. 445 lpp.
6. Moses J. Marriage, Law and Modernity: Global Histories. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. 276 p. eBook. Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē:
7. Wimbauer C. Co-Parenting und die Zukunft der Liebe: Über post-romantische Elternschaft. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2021. 298 p. eBook. Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē:

Periodicals and other sources

1. Journal of Marriage and Family. Minneapolis: Wiley-Blackwel. ISSN 0022-2445 Pieejams:
2. Journal of Comparative Family Studies ISSN: 0047-2328; eISSN: 1929-9850 Pieejams:
3. Journal of Family Studies. Teylor & Francis, Pieejams:
4. Journal of Marriage and Family. Online ISSN:1741-3737
5. Eurostat. Household composition statistics. Pieejams:
6. Eurostat. Reconciliation of work and family life – statistics. Pieejams:


Elective study course in the ESAF academic bachelor study programme “Sociology of Organizations and Public Administration”