The Contemporary American Family OpenCourseWare: MIT's Free Undergraduate Family Studies Class

Published Jan 28, 2009

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Learn about the evolution of the American family in this free OpenCourseWare offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 'The Contemporary American Family' discusses how changing gender roles, sexuality, divorce and other changes affect family relations. This course has no prerequisites, but this free course is helpful to students pursuing their Bachelor of Science in Anthropology.

The Contemporary American Family: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes Yes

The Contemporary American Family: Course Description

This course examines the history of the family and how it's changed over time. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)'s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences in Cambridge, MA, offers this course about how the family unit has changed using examples and assumptions throughout human history. Study includes families in Colonial America, during the 19th century and today across American and within different ethnic groups. The course covers sexuality in different social and cultural contexts, how it has changed over time and its perception. MIT Professor Jean Jackson teaches this course by exploring divorce, marriage, sexuality, poverty, economics and other factors, such as family violence.

Lectures, notes, study materials and assignments are available online. A list of course readings is also available. To learn more, visit the contemporary American family course page.

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