SOC 320 Discussion Questions with Answers Week 1 to 8
SOC 320 Topic 1 Discussion Question 1
Describe at least two of the ways in which families in America have changed and are changing. For each change you describe, give your opinion as to whether this change is positive or negative (helpful or destructive) for American society and your reasons for thinking so.
SOC 320 Topic 1 Discussion Question 2
The Lauer & Lauer text describes various types of families such as families from different cultures, families with a different number of parents, American families whose members are from different ethnic groups, and families where both parents are of the same sex. Explain the differences between two or more of the various types of families. What aspects or characteristics of these families are different from your family or origin or family of orientation?
SOC 320 Topic 2 Discussion Question 1
The Lauer & Lauer text describes sex as both a physical and a social phenomenon (Chapter 4, pp. 78-82). In your own words, explain what is meant by this. Give examples of ways in which this is true. In what ways is this a new concept for you or a new way of thinking about human sexuality?
SOC 320 Topic 2 Discussion Question 2
What are some of the factors (demographic and other) which seem to impact the use of contraceptives by Americans? How would you explain the differences in use of contraceptives by people characterized by these different factors? If you consider your own use of contraceptives – either in the past, presently, or in the foreseeable future, does it or will it fit the patterns that the text describes? Why or why not?
SOC 320 Topic 3 Discussion Question 1
Sociologists suggest that dating has certain functions. That is, it accomplishes certain things for the individuals involved and for the society as a whole.
- What are those functions and how well does the dating process accomplish those functions?
Because dating has these functions, it follows certain patterns which society believes will help it accomplish its functions.
- What are some of the patterns (norms) of dating in American society? (Because norms can change over time, it would help if you identified your approximate age (e.g., 20s, 30s, 50s, etc.)
SOC 320 Topic 3 Discussion Question 2
The Lauer & Lauer text identifies some reasons that people in a relationship break up. Which of these seems most common or likely to you and why? Similarly, the text also describes some responses to a deteriorating or broken relationship. Explain at least two of these.
SOC 320 Topic 4 Discussion Question 1
The Lauer & Lauer text describes some of the ways in which people select a life partner. Name and describe two of the ways the text discusses and compare them with regard to their ability to result in a satisfying marriage for those who use those ways. What are some of the drawbacks to each method of selecting a mate?
SOC 320 Topic 4 Discussion Question 2
Describe the ways that major social factors (not personality traits or physical traits) affect the selection of a life partner in the United States? The Lauer & Lauer text goes into some detail on at least four of these traits. Your answer should include the terms homogamy, hypergamy, and assortative mating. If you are married or in a committed relationship, did these factors seem to have a role in your relationship? If not, why do you think that is the case?
SOC 320 Topic 5 Discussion Question 1
Beginning with a definition of communication, both verbal and nonverbal, discuss ways in which certain communication behaviors can lead to more intimacy, satisfaction, and happiness in a marriage. Give examples of these strategies (behaviors) in action.
SOC 320 Topic 5 Discussion Question 2
We sometimes think of marriage as a romantic adventure in which two people in love are always thinking of the other person and seldom if ever have any fights or arguments. Virtually anyone who is or has been married will tell you that it is not like that. After reading Chapter 10 in the Lauer & Lauer text, think of a marriage with which you are fairly familiar and analyze how power is shared in that marriage and what role conflict plays in that relationship.
SOC 320 Topic 6 Discussion Question 1
If you have children, think back to the time before you had children. If you do not have children, look forward to the time when you may want to decide to have children or not to have children.
If you have children already, was that a conscious choice or was it just assumed that you would have children? If it was a choice, how did your reasons for wanting children compare with the reasons discussed in Chapter 12 of the Lauer & Lauer text? If it was not a thought-out choice, do some of the reasons discussed in the text help explain why you and your spouse did not “choose” to have the children you have? Explain.
If you do not have children, do you hope to have some at some later time or will you be voluntarily childless? Explain your thinking and compare it to the reasons described in the text in either the “Why People Want to Have Children” section or “The Child-Free Option” section.
SOC 320 Topic 6 Discussion Question 2
In your own words, briefly describe each of the three styles of parenting discussed in Chapter 12 of the text. Then analyze the likely effect of each style of parenting on the lives of the children. Which of these three styles comes closest to the style used by your parents in raising you? Did the predicted effect of that style occur in your case? In retrospect, what are your thoughts about this style of parenting? Are you likely to use it if and when you are a parent? Or, if you are already a parent, are you using this style or did you use this style when your children were younger?
SOC 320 Topic 7 Discussion Question 1
While we must be careful not to confuse correlation with causation, it is clear that some characteristics (sociodemographic factors) such as socioeconomic status, age, race, social integration, and changing norms can have a negative impact on marriages and are correlated with divorce. On the other hand, it is also the case that it is the interaction between people that leads to the actual disruption in a relationship. Briefly list and describe the interpersonal factors that the Lauer & Lauer text identifies as the more immediate types of complaints, conflicts, feelings, and problems that lead to divorce. Then choose one as an example that you have seen and heard in a particular relationship that ended in divorce. Can you identify any sociodemographic factors that may have had a bearing on the type of interactions that led to the breakup of the relationship?
SOC 320 Topic 7 Discussion Question 2
Discuss the positive and negative effects of divorce for adults and children in a family.
Chapter 14 of the Lauer & Lauer text begins with the question, “Is divorce ever good for you?” The answer, it seems, is that there will probably be short-term negative effects but there could also be long-term positive effects. What are some of the positive and negative effects of divorce? How might a Christian Worldview affect whether a couple going through a divorce treat each other ethically? Describe examples with which you are familiar that illustrate both positive and negative effects. Include in your discussion the impacts – positive and negative – for both children and adults in the family that goes through the divorce.
SOC 320 Topic 8 Discussion Question 1
Sometimes marriage is described as a chronological series of stages that most couples go through. A life-cycle approach uses this type of description. (For example, the engagement, the wedding, the honeymoon period, the childbearing years, the “empty nest,” retirement, death of a partner.) A different type of approach could be called a qualitative approach. This type of description looks at the quality of a relationship rather than the timeline in which things happen.
Which type of approach does Chapman take and why does he take that approach? Do you find his way of describing marriages helpful? Why or why not?
SOC 320 Topic 8 Discussion Question 2
Using the information presented in the The Four Seasons of Marriage text, choose four of the seven strategies for enhancing marriage that were discussed in part II of the book. How is the application of each strategy that you select beneficial to a marital relationship? What is the impact on a marriage when they are absent? Compare your choices with those of your classmates.
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