Ethics, gender and the family

Subject EDUC30065 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: Attendance at all classes (tutorial/seminars/practical classes/lectures/labs) is obligatory. Failure to attend 80% of classes will normally result in failure in the subject.


Dr Kylie Smith


Education Student Centre
Subject Overview: The family continues to be regarded as a private institution that should be immune to public scrutiny, despite the increasing intervention in the family by public institutions - notably, the law, education, medicine and social services. Towards the end of the 20th century, feminist thinkers challenged the view that the family is a private domain and there is now a growing tradition of using alternative perspectives, such as gender studies and childhood studies to examine the family as a site of contestation over members’ rights and responsibilities.

An indicative list of topics in this subject is as follows: the public/private divide; feminist perspectives on families; men’s contemporary roles and power in families in diverse cultural contexts; the roles and power in families of the ‘helping professions’; globalization, family diversity and the normalization of family life; the state regulation of families; the compatibility of parents’ and children’s rights.
Objectives: On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  • Identify and understand different historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives on the study of family life;
  • Analyse the role of specific public institutions in family life in 21st century;
  • Explore and understand alternative perspectives on studying families in different cultural and political contexts;
  • Present case studies of the changing roles and power of men in families in diverse cultural contexts;
  • Develop awareness of the intersections and tensions between children’s rights and parents’ rights in current debates about the family.
Assessment: Assignments totalling 4,000 words or equivalent. Case study mid-semester, Essay (2,500 words) end of Semester.
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completing this subject, students should be able to:
  • Sharpen their analytical skills by identifying and analysing diverse contemporary and historical theoretical perspectives in family studies;
  • Enhance their skills of scholarly critique through reading widely in diverse journals and texts;
  • Gain improved written and oral communication skills through developing and presenting case studies of changing role and power of men in families;
  • Demonstrate skills in critical reflection on the role of public institutions in family life;
  • Gain reflective knowledge and understanding of cross-cultural concepts in the study of family life.
Related Breadth Track(s): Youth, Citizenship and Identity

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