Each entry should highlight the ways in which various topics
covered in this course have influenced the ways in which you think about the institution of the family,
marriage, relationships and other constructed identities. This assignment is an opportunity for you
to consider the ways in which your individual lived experiences challenge and/or confirm
contemporary scholarship on marriage and the family as discussed in this course.
Journal Entry #1-Why Study Family and Other Close Relationships?
Use research and/or your imagination to write a day in the life story of your mother, father, grandparents or
siblings when they were your current age. What benefit might such a reflection exercise have on how you
view and/or relate to the person(s) you wrote about?
Journal Entry #2 –Social Class
Re-read pgs. 58-62
1) How does your life compare to those of Tommy Johnson and Randall Simmons? Whose life is
closer to yours. Can you think of ways in which income has specifically shaped your personal
choices and behaviors?
2) In a country as “free” and open as the U.S. why does income still shape our choices and behaviors?
Journal Entry #3- Family and Intimate Relationships
In what ways have your intersecting identities of race, gender, class, sex, ethnicity and social class informed
your beliefs about education, parenting, family, expectations of children and discipline style.
Journal Entry #4-Marriage
Imagine or describe your own wedding and the involvement of your family in the planning process. In what
ways did you incorporate family traditions and introduce new ones? In what ways, if any, did you feel
pressure to meet certain expectations (costs, invite lists, location, etc.)? What rituals or acts were performed
to illustrate the coming together of two families? Finally, considering the various types of marriages
discussed in Chapter 7, what do you think makes for a successful marriage?
Journal Entry #5-Thinking about Parenthood & Raising Children
Describe the time around the moment you realized that your mother and father or other parental figures
were in fact not perfect or “normal”. In what ways has this realization impacted your ideals about parenting,
gender norms and raising a family.
Journal Entry #6-Helping Families Flourish
For this entry, I ask that you think about the life lessons you’ve learned thus far in life and draft a letter to
a younger sibling, child or other relative. In the final chapter of our textbook, the author asks the question,
“What do Families need to Flourish?” and in your letter you have the opportunity to share your own words
of wisdom about what the receiver of your letter may need to know in order to flourish. After writing this
entry, I encourage you to share this entry with the intended recipient if you choose.
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