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Sociology of Work and Family, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Sociologiska perspektiv på arbete och familj

This syllabus is valid: 2020-03-09 and until further notice

Course code: 2SO206

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Sociology: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as 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 introduces several themes at the intersection of family, education, labor and welfare state. The course covers among others changes in family formation patterns and how these are linked to the labor market structures and welfare state design. Moreover, the processes that take place at the micro level within families will be discussed.

Expected learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, the student will have:
  • knowledge about the sociological perspective on work, family, and the welfare state
  • skills to demonstrate a broad understanding of key issues, themes and research areas related to work, family and the welfare state.
On successful completion of the course, the student will have:
  • ability to identify new and important research questions concerning the relationship between work, family and the welfare state
  • ability to find and compile relevant research and distinguish between credible and non-credible information
  • skills to discuss theories, arguments and concepts that are related to work, family and the welfare state, orally and in writing.
On successful completion of the course, the student will have:
  • skills to review and evaluate various theoretical and methodological perspectives to address the relevant research questions.

Required Knowledge

90 credits in a main field of study within the social sciences including a thesis of 15 credits, or equivalent eligibility. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish Upper Secondary course English A. Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Form of instruction

Instruction consists of lectures, seminars and individual work. The course puts great emphasis on active participation. Instruction is given in English.

Examination modes

Examination takes the form of written assignments prepared individually or in group before the seminars and take-home exams (essays) corresponding to the four course themes. Seminar participation, and preparing assignments for the seminars, as well as essays will be the basis for an individual grade. 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 11


Gendered Tradeoffs: Women, Family, and Workplace Inequality in Twenty-One Countries [Elektronisk resurs]
Hook Jennifer Lynn, Pettit Becky
Russell Sage Foundation : 2009 :

The Second Demographic Transition meets globalization: A comprehensive theory to understand changes in family formation in an era of rising uncertainty
Mills M, Blossfeld H. P
In Evans, A., & Baxter, J. (eds.). Negotiating the Life Course (pp. 9-33). Springer Netherlands. : 2013 :

Research papers will be included in the obligatory reading list for the course.