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North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • Social & Behavioral Sciences • Sociology

Marriage and Family SOC-220

  • Fall 2012
  • Section 02
  • 3.0 Credits
  • 08/27/2012 to 12/20/2012
  • Modified 09/20/2012

Contact Information

Office Test

Instructor: Maureen Steinel

Office hours:

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM, LKH 222
  • Tuesday, Thursday, 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, LKH 222

Tuesday office hours are internet.

  • Thursday, 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM, LKH 222

Meeting Times


  • Wednesday, 2:30 PM to 3:45 PM, LKH 243


Sociology 220 is designed to help students understand more about marriage and family life processes. Students will examine values, needs, and responsibilities as they relate to intimacy, the selection of partners, cohabitation and marriage, family planning choices, parenting, family economics, and interpersonal communication. Students will also address the issues of family violence, divorce, and the restructuring of new families. This course will be helpful to those who wish to have more knowledge about relationship, marriage, and family issues or those who are entering such fields as counseling and social work. This course fulfills a social science requirement for the A.A. and A.S. degrees. Lecture: 3 hours per week Recommended: College level reading and writing skills


Required Texts for the Course:

Gilbert, Kathleen R. 2011. Annual Editions: The Family 11/12. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Company.

Strong, Bryan, Christine DeVault, and Theodore F. Cohen.  2011. The Marriage & Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society, 11th Edition. Belmont, CA:  Wadsworth.

*Please note there will be supplemental readings assigned periodically throughout the duration of the course. All students are expected to read supplemental readings along with the required text.


Through reading, completing assignments, and participating in our discussion forums, students, upon completion of the course, will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the following outcomes:

(1) Demonstrate a basic understanding of the institutions of marriage and family.
(2) Identify and explain the impact and influence marriage, as a social institution, has on the formation of human relationships.
(3) Recognize the degree of variance in terms of marriage and family life choices, both in this society and cross-culturally.
(4) Discuss the trends and patterns of U.S. marriages, families, fertility, and child-rearing.
(5) Identify and discuss current issues and challenges facing U.S. families.
(6) Identify your attitudes and values in relation to marriage and life choices.
(7) Identify your concerns and needs in relation to marriage and family life choices.
(8) Identify their responsibilities in relation to marriage and family life choices.
(9) Develop personal skills necessary for succeeding in marriage and family relationships.


Methodology: The course design is student-oriented with various pedagogical techniques which include lectures, exams, written work, group work and discussions, films and internet use.

Course Requirements:

              Class participation: All students are required to participate in class and will be graded accordingly. Class participation is necessary in order to create the proper learning environment. Periodically the class will break into groups during the sessions so it is especially important that all students attend class. (This will assist students meeting the fulfillment of course objectives #1, 5, 6, 7 & 9).   

           Critical Thinking Online Discussions: As this is a hybrid course, part of the class time is spent through online engagement and discussion. Therefore, students are required to write responses online in the discussion section to the weekly assigned readings, films and supplemental readings from “Annual Editions 11/12”. In addition to the required postings, students must respond to at least three fellow student postings each week for full credit. Responses should encourage discussion. Comments such as "I agree" or similar brief statements will not count for credit.

           Students will complete the following in each entry to demonstrate critical thinking skills: (1) Students will discuss the topic using sociological terms and concepts while applying statistical information reviewed in class that is relevant; (2) Students will connect the marriage and family topic reviewed to major social institutions in U.S. society (or globally if relevant) by applying their sociological imagination; and (3) Students will develop their own suggestions for resolutions to the social issues presented in the readings. Entries must be related to weekly assigned readings. Incomplete postings or postings with multiple spelling errors will receive a grade of zero. Due dates for discussion posts are posted each week below under the "Reading Schedule". Each response is worth 10 points for a total of 80 points (8 entries required for full credit). Students must select eight out of the ten CTR assignments posted for credit. Late work is not accepted under any circumstances. Two extra CTR assignments (CTR #9 & #10) are posted in case the student misses the assignment or wants to drop the lowest grade. Students must complete the assignment by midnight on the due date. Closed forums will not be reopened. (This will assist students meeting the fulfillment of course objectives #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9).

            Exams: There will be a midterm and final exam for this course. The midterm exam and the final exam are worth 100 points each for a total of 200 points toward the final grade. The final exam is not comprehensive but will cover material subsequent to the midterm exam. Make-up exams are only given under special circumstances. Exams include weekly reading assignments, films, class lectures and supplemental handouts. Exams may be administered in class or online. (This will assist students with the fulfillment of course objectives #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9).

           Group Project:  The group project is divided into two sections. The first section for the hybrid part of the course involves online postings related to the group’s progress throughout the semester. The second part of the assignment is the actual presentation given in class. Students will form groups consisting of four members to work collectively on the group project. Students will select one family-oriented television program to watch regularly and will develop a 15-minute presentation for the class based on the sociological aspects of the program as it relates to marriage and family. Groups are encouraged to be creative with their projects such as using power point, skits, internet, reenactments, film clips and so forth. Groups are expected to answer questions from fellow students during the last 5 minutes of the presentation for a Q & A session. Students are graded as a group for the presentations. Students will present their projects during face-to-face class time meetings toward the end of the semester. Exact dates will be assigned during the second week of class.

           For the hybrid section of the class, group members are required to post responses to the questions presented under the "Team Posting" forum. Groups are encouraged to regularly discuss the sociological phenomena present in their television shows with other groups through the online discussion board. Each individual within the group is required to post their findings a total of 7 times (i.e., seven different episode responses) throughout the semester. In addition to the required postings, team members must respond to at least three fellow student postings each week for full credit. Postings are worth a total of 70 points (10 points each response). Postings should include intelligent use of sociological findings relevant to class. Please do not post anything that may be offensive to others. Incomplete postings or postings with multiple spelling errors will receive a grade of zero. This is the opportunity for each group to share their findings with the class in an ongoing discussion throughout the semester. One additional team posting is offered for students who miss one assignment or want to drop the lowest grade.

            This project is an observational analysis of how marriage and family are represented through television as a major part of American culture. Students will take notes during each program as the method of analysis. Students will record all “field notes” in their journal during observations. Students will then compare/contrast their findings with the course text and supplemental course materials. Detailed instructions concerning the project will be posted online during the first few weeks of the semester. Group project grades are separate from online postings which are worth a total of 70 pts. Group project total points possible: 250 pts. (This will assist students meeting the fulfillment of course objectives #2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, & 9).


Midterm and Final Exams, 100 pts. each = 200 pts.

Group Project = 250 pts.

Group Project Online Postings = 70 pts.

Critical Thinking Online Discussions =80 pts.

Total Points = 600 pts.


Grading Scale: Letter grades will be assigned based upon the following percentage/point breakdown:
92.5-100% (555-600 pts.) = A
90.0-92.4% (540-554 pts.) = A-
87.5-89.9% (525-539 pts.) = B+
82.5-87.4% (495-524 pts.) = B
80.0-82.4% (480-494 pts.) = B-
77.5-79.9% (465-479 pts.) = C+
72.5-77.4% (435-464 pts.) = C
70.0-72.4% (420-434 pts.) = C-
67.5-69.9% (405-419 pts.) = D+
60.0-67.4% (360-404 pts.) = D
Below 60.0% (<360 pts.) = F

Course Policies

Additional Information: All work submitted must be typed, 12 point font, Times New Roman. Late work is not accepted. Supplemental reading assignments/films are required as part of the course material.

                        Internet Accessibility: Students need to have access to the Internet and check their school email regularly. Notifications, announcements and additional supplemental readings are distributed to students via email or through Blackboard. Students are encouraged to engage in online discussions concerning course material. This course is hybrid and students are expected to divide the course time between face-to-face interaction and internet. Exams may be administered online.

                        Attendance: Students are required to attend all class sessions and must follow the standards concerning attendance as stated in the North Idaho College Catalogue. Students are deducted one letter grade after three absences. Please contact me via email if you are unable to attend class. Excused absences are granted for illness, official college activities and immediate family illness or death.

                       Technology in the classroom: Students are encouraged to utilize technology within the classroom. Laptops, iPads, and other computers are acceptable materials in the classroom under the agreement that the computers are only being used for course note-taking or class discussion-related research. Students are not permitted to use cell phones in class unless there is a personal emergency. Distracted students who become disengaged in the class as a result of online activities will be marked absent.

                        Other: Only academically accepted websites should be accessed to retrieve material for course requirements (e.g., Wikipedia is unacceptable). Students are encouraged to meet with me during posted office hours or by appointment. Students should email me through Blackboard to schedule an appointment. 

Online Discussions

Online Discussion Rules:

Please remember this is an academic environment. All online responses need to reflect academic learning and respect. Disrespectful, inappropriate, insulting or harassing comments will not be permitted and postings will immediately be removed with a grade of zero. Students are expected to complete spell check prior to online entries and minimize grammatical errors. Abbreviations or emoticon terms such as "LOL" are not permitted for any required assignments. Please remember to be considerate toward the perspectives held by your fellow students. This is an online space for conversation and engagement of course material.

Division Policies

For a complete explanation of the North Idaho College Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity please ferfer to Policy 5.06 & Procedure 5.06.01: 

Academic Dishonesty
Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College. These violations include the following:

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study in any academic exercise.
Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in an academic exercise.
Violation of Intellectual Property: stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources,materials, or official documents of the college.Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.

Student Responsibility
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities: Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information that pertains to this subject.

North Idaho College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provides both services and accommodations to students who meet the guidelines provided in these acts.  For a complete description, please see:

Please contact the North Idaho College Center for Educational Access in Seiter Hall, Room 100 for assistance.  Phone:  208-769-5947

To withdraw from all courses a student must obtain a college withdrawal form from the Registrar's Office, secure the signatures of those persons indicated on the form, and return the form to the Registrar's office. No student may withdraw from the college after the final date of withdrawal from courses except for compelling and extraordinary reasons. In such circumstances a student must petition the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee for late withdrawal from college using the college withdrawal form available in the Registrar's Office.

For complete information regarding student withdrawals, please see the North Idaho College Policy 5.04.01: 

Institutional Policies

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes for the fall term: November 7, 2011. 

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, ESU, 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

DROP FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  You must attend and participate in the first week of this class. Failure to do so will result in your being dropped from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. For Internet classes, attendance is based on participation in an instructional activity; you must complete the first week’s assignment(s) by the assignment due date. Drop for non-attendance occurs at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on the second Tuesday of the semester.