Traditional two-parent family

 This class will be an exercise in exploring diversity in American families. Below is a list of various types of families within our culture. Students are asked to select one of the following family types: (I recommend choosing one that is different from your own.) o Traditional two-parent family o Single-parent family o Couple without children o Gay or lesbian couple with a child o Culturally-unique family (newly immigrated) o Mixed race family o Family with a disabled child o One parent with a disability such as serious illness or other handicap, i.e., alcoholism, diabetes, cancer, paralysis o Extended family living with nuclear family Each student researches all of the following as it relates to their “family” as indicated above: o Gender issues of work/roles in family o Influence of social class on the family o Role of race/ethnicity on the family o Religious influence Be sure to include at least three of the following problems that families often face: o Emotional problems/mental illness/learning disabilities o Physical illness (chronic disease, such as heart disease, cancer) o Violence o Other stressors (divorce, money, time, kids) o Discrimination issue (sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc.) o Death or other tragedy o Drug abuse o Aging parent issues (i.e., the sandwich generation) Example: You selected the “family” that consists of a gay or lesbian couple with a child. In the context of that particular family group, research the following: 1) gender roles; 2) social class; 3) role of race/ethnicity and; 4) religious influence. In addition, choose at least three issues that your “family” might face such as a death in the family, domestic violence, and mental illness. You are also free to include other stressors that are not noted in this handout. One example is relocation to a part of the country (or world) where you are far from support systems (family friends, etc.). Be creative! Some students have conducted personal interviews with individuals whose family constellation is similar to the one they are researching for this class – another great idea! The paper: • Five pages; double spaced; 12 pt. font; cover and reference pages not included in the 5 pages • References: In-text citations and separate “Works Cited” page • College level writing – no “cutting and pasting” (paraphrase references and cite in-text); proper use of grammar; formal English (no slang)

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