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Family in Focus, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Familj i fokus

This syllabus is valid: 2020-03-16 and until further notice

Course code: 2SO210

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Sociology: First cycle, has only upper-secondary level entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Sociology

Established by: Head of Department of Sociology, 2020-02-24


The course Family in Focus is about family - what it is, what it looks like - a few decades into the 21st century. The course discusses the relationship between family and the social context within which it exists. Family from a Swedish perspective will be the starting point for a discussion of family from an international perspective, with a slight focus on North America and Europe. Family is discussed as a part of the society within which it exists. For this reason, family is defined broadly to include different forms of family. Considerable attention is given to investigating the relationship between family and social context. This is done through the discussion of a number of themes such as: demographic trends, labor market, paid and unpaid work, the role of gender, the organization of families' everyday lives. Family and its relationship to these themes illuminated from different theoretical perspectives, empirical research and from both micro and macro perspectives.

Expected learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, the student will have knowledge and understanding about:
  • the importance of social context for family 
  • relevant research on families 
On successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:
  • demonstrate an understanding of sociological perspectives on family
  • identify and communicate theories, lines of arguments and terminology in relation to family
On successful completion of the course, the student will understand:
  • the importance of different contexts and conditions that frame the lives of families

Required Knowledge

General entry requirements

Form of instruction

The course content is delivered through lectures, seminars and group exercises.

Examination modes

The course is examined through a written paper and attendance at compulsory seminars. 

The assessment must be individual or designed in such a way that individual examination can take place at all courses organized by the department. The Swedish grading system states that the following grades may be awarded: Pass with Distinction (väl godkänd), Pass (godkänd) or Fail (underkänd). For comparison of grades, Umeå University has decided that the ECTS Grading Table (EGT) shall be used. International students' home university is responsible for any translation into their local grading system.

For each examining part of the course is a regular examination given with a second reexamination within two months after the regular examination. For examinations performed in May and June is the first reexamination offered within three months of the regular examination. In addition to this is a third reexamination given within a year after the end of the course. Examination based on the same course plan as the regular examination is guaranteed within two years after the earlier course plan has ceased to be valid or the course is no longer given (see rules for grades and examination on basic and advanced level, Dnr: FS 1.1.2-553-14). A student who has failed two tests for a course or a part of a course is entitled to have another examiner appointed after a written request to the head of department. 

Deviations from the form of examination in the course plan can be made for a student who has pedagogical support due to disabilities. Individual adjustment of the examination form shall be considered based on the student's needs. The examination form is adjusted within the framework of the expected learning outcomes of the course plan. After a request from the student shall the course coordinator, in consultation with the examiner, quickly decide on the adjusted form of examination. The decision is then to be reported to the student.  

Transfer of credits
In order to transfer credits to a corresponding course at Umeå University, students have the right to submit previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in the profession for evaluation. Application for transfer of credits is submitted to the Student Centre / Examinations. More information on transfer of credits is available on Umeå University's student website,, and the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). A refusal for transfer of credits may be appealed against (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 12) to the University Appeals Board. This applies whether the entire application or part of the application for transfer of credits is refused.


Valid from: 2020 week 12

Course literature

Chambers Deborah
A sociology of family life : change and diversity in intimate relations
Cambridge : Polity : 2012 : viii, 240 s. :
ISBN: 9780745647791 (pbk.)
Search the University Library catalogue

Doing better for families
Paris : OECD : c2011. : 275 p. :
Tillgänglig för prenumeranter
ISBN: 978-92-64-09872-5 (print)
Search the University Library catalogue

Esping-Andersen Gøsta
Families in the 21st century
1. uppl. : Stockholm : SNS förlag : 2016 : 113 s. :
ISBN: 9789186949815
Search the University Library catalogue

Scientific articles will also be assigned.