Mating and Marrying: Families In America
This course focuses on changing patterns in courtship and marriage as well as changing attitudes and expectations toward dating, marriage and family life among Americans as we move into the 21st century. The course is organized around several key questions. For example, how varied are patterns of marriage and family life today? Although most Americans marry, how has dating and mating changed over time? What factors (social and psychological) shape our choices of mate, our decision to marry, and our decisions to uncouple? How has the changing world of work altered the way we construct and maintain our sense of family? How have changing gender roles altered marital expectations and family life? How are these issues reflected in popular culture today? How is the "dating game" portrayed in contemporary fiction and films? How do popular fiction and film portray American families today? This course draws upon the sociological literature in the areas of gender, marriage and the family incorporating current fiction and films to address fundamental questions. Most Bucknell students rate love, marriage, and family among their priorities for life after college. This seminar gives students a chance to explore these issues for themselves while considering the broader societal context of continuity and change.