Marriage and the Family

FCS 320 or SOC 310 (same course)

Required Textbook:
Marriages and Families:
Changes, Choices, and Constraints

Image of Marriage & Family text.

Author:  Benokraitis
Edition: 8th*
ISBN-13: 978-0205918195
ISBN-10: 0205918190

The text is available for:



New editions of the text are at the following Reserve Desks, (2-hour Maximum)

*If you choose to use a different edition of the text, it is your responsibility to compare the older text with the current text for updated information and reorganization of the material.

Video Series Enhanced Online-Class
Our Families, Ourselves

Photo of the video series of Our Families, Ourselves

The VIDEO SERIES “Our Families, Ourselves” accompanies this course. You will view 18 professionally produced half-hour programs introducing key concepts and facts. Selected experts provide commentary.

Where to View Course Videos: Students should be able to view the videos through our D2L Website for FREE. You will need to use Safari as your web browser.

The programs can also be accessed and viewed at the Instructional Media Center, on the 1st Floor of the library. They are listed under the course number, SOC 310 or FCS 320.

Online Class Mandatory Orientation

ONLINE-CLASS Mandatory Orientation:
Click on the ORIENTATION link for the meeting dates and times.

  • You are welcome to attend ANY of my orientations.

Prior to our Orientation:

In addition to the course orientation, students will complete the assigned reading, video series, discussions, activities, exams, and participate online using Desire-2-Learn (D2L).

CAN’T ATTEND the specific orientation for your class?
You can attend an orientation for one of my other courses.
Let me know and remember to sign in.

D2L Access Link:
D2L Student Resources:

Course Information & Syllabus

Week 1 Assignment

ASSIGNMENT: Week 1 – The Changing Family

  • Your first assignment is to update your City College Gmail (and/or forward your City College Gmail to an account you use regularly)
  • Take our MnF Class Orientation Quiz
  • Complete the D2L Free Sample Class and take it’s Final Exam.
  • Submit the D2L Sample Class- Certificate of Completion to our HSN Class Dropbox, after it is emailed to you.
  • READ Chapters 1 & 2

    Watch Episodes 1 & 2 of  the Our Families, Ourselves Program (Use Safari to view the videos in D2L)
  • Marriage and Family Essay
    Based on the videos, the readings, and your experience write an essay addressing the following questions/comments:

    • Discuss the various definitions of the family.
    • Describe the basic functions of the family.
    • Explain why a cross-cultural focus is helpful in understanding the American family.
    • It is important to view marriage and family from a cross-cultural and global perspective. Examine three families presented in the videos and consider how the meaning and functions of family changes from each of the viewpoints.
    • In what kind of family environment were you raised? What is the meaning and function of family from your perspective?
    • What kinds of biases did you develop growing up? What steps might you take to optimize your objectivity?
    • Format of the essay? 1-2 pages (minimum). Double-spaced is fine. Left alignment. At the top of page 1 type your name plus the name of the assignment.
      Cite your sources. Separate citation pages and title pages are not necessary.
      Remember to save your paper as an rtf, doc or docx file before submitting it to the Dropbox.
    • Class Introduction
    • Overview
    • Powerpoints
    • Chapter Review Questions