The course will examine theoretical frameworks that explain dating, marriage and family forms, from a cross-cultural perspective. The Symbolic Interaction Theory, The Systems Theory, The Structural-Functional Theory, The Exchange Theory, and the Family Strengths Model will be addressed and discussed throughout the course. Differences and similarities in relation to: desired qualities in a potential mate, dating practices, engagement ceremonies, marriage and marriage celebrations, the importance and changing trends in the giving of dowry, the importance of having children, family life cycle stages, divorce, child custody issues, spousal support, remarriage, choice of being single, and widowhood will be explained. Dating, courtship, and marriage in specific cultures that we will be visiting during the voyage, will be highlighted. The countries that we will visit on the voyage, will serve as the platform and vehicle that will be used to examine the customs, cultural variations, traditions, norms, and mores that have dictated, shaped, and influenced dating, marriage and family life for people in specific cultures. In addition, specific contemporary changes that are occurring in relation to dating, marriage and family life, i.e. laws affecting women’s issues, divorce, polygamy, child support, and dowry, will be discussed with specific examples from experts from the region when students attend the Field Classes.
Field WorkCountry: China
Date: February 5, 2017
A guest speaker will be invited to discuss Changes in Dating, Marriage, Family Life and Parenting in Contemporary China. The speaker will address the issue on some of the recent changes occurring in marriage customs and regulations, the changing roles of women, and the importance or diminishing value of the extended family. The class may also discuss the One-Child Policy that China implemented in 1979 and the changes it has undergone.
After the lecture, the students will be taken to a Chinese bazaar, where they will go shopping for groceries for lunch with the hostess and guide. Then, the students will be broken up into groups of 5-7 students and each group will assist the hostess in preparing lunch at the hostesses’ residence. The students will then eat lunch with the hostess and discuss key family issues with her with the help of the interpreter. As part of this field class, the students will be taken to a Confucian temple and a Buddhist temple to see and learn how the Chinese worship.
1. Discuss the changes that are occurring in the Chinese society with regard to dating, marriage
2. Understand the one-child policy
3. Participate in a field trip to visit a local Chinese market to shop for groceries.