Singapore University of Social Sciences

Sociology of Family

Sociology of Family (SOC315)


SOC315 Sociology of Family aims to provide a comprehensive survey of population and family changes and patterns with an area focus on Singapore, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. We will learn about major theoretical perspectives and debates about changing family forms and family variation. We will examine the interactions between the family and other societal institutions and forces. Specific topics include an overview of population transitions and family changes; theories aiming to explain these changes; rising singlehood and sustaining low fertility rates in Singapore and East Asian societies; ageing; intergenerational relations, kinship patterns, and adoptive families; divorced and never-married parents; inter-ethnic families; transnational families; same-sex families; and the state and family policy.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JAN


  • A sociology of the family
  • Population and families: changes and continuities
  • Theories of population transition and family change
  • Marriage as an institution and rising singlehood
  • Mate selection and assortative mating
  • Social class and parenting
  • Intergenerational support
  • Divorce and remarriage
  • Inter-ethnic families and transnational families
  • Same-sex families
  • The state and family policy (1)
  • The state and family policy (2)

Learning Outcome

  • Explain the concepts and theories of population transition and family change
  • Analyse the trends and patterns of population and family changes in Asia
  • Examine the association between individuals’ family lives and social structures
  • Apply course material to personal experiences and family changes and variation in societies
  • Appraise the theories that explain family changes and variation
  • Demonstrate skills of sociological thinking in written or oral forms
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