Exams

Information for Final Exam

Open book. You may bring notes as well.

None of the actual study questions handed out will be on the exam. They are intended to help you prepare for the exam by giving you examples of what the questions will be like.

It's an inefficient use of your time to write out answers to all the questions. Rather, use the questions to prepare by noting topics and the readings you are asked to discuss. Concentrate on those.

If you can, get together with one or two members of the class and review together. A very efficient use of your time.

You will notice that some of the readings on the syllabus do not appear in the questions. You will not be asked about any reading that isn't mentioned in the study questions.

We know that there are a lot of authors. You can bring the syllabus with you. The way the study (and exam) questions are phrased - they ask for specific authors - is the only way to design an exam for this kind of course. The readings represent a range of topics, and certainly a range of opinions. The readings for the course more or less represent the opposite of a course that relies on the information contained in a textbook. You cannot answer with "the right" information (except for some demographic statistics) because, as has been indicated many times, there is no definitively "right" information; it is all embedded in a political and often moral, context. So indicating who said what when you're writing about a given issue is crucial. And the only way you can indicate who is saying what is by referring to the author.

The exam will consist of 3 essay questions, an hour a piece.

It's fine to review your notes on class lectures, but bear in mind when preparing that the exam focuses on the readings.

We will not be looking for well-written papers, so don't spend time constructing elegant sentences. Your essay should have a structure, but it will probably be a very simple one: answering the question by discussing the readings one after the other, or choosing topics and discussing what each reading has to say about each topic.

Ink required. Don't waste time whiting out mistakes, just cross them out and continue.

Write on one side of the page.

We will provide the blue books.

Study questions for the final exam (PDF)

Final Exam

One Hour Each

  1. Discuss the major ways the institution of marriage has changed in American society over the past 3 centuries. Discuss the major functions marriage served in colonial America; the 19th century; the 20th century's industrialized society; and our present-day, post-industrialized, early 21st century society. You must discuss Morgan, Demos, Cott, Coontz, Hareven, Edin, and one or more of the following: Skolnick and Skolnick (Introduction), Giddens, Jackson, Furstenberg, Kamen, Arendell, Hackstaff, Hochschild.

  2. What role have gender roles played in constituting the American family? What role do they play today? Discuss their role in family structure, division of labor, family power dynamics, and the way the family is embedded in the larger society. You must discuss Welter, Skolnick ("Life Course"), Cancian, Coontz, Giele, and two of the following: Galinsky, Hayes, Cowan and Cowan, Coltrane and Adams, Hayes, Hernandez, Amato, Gerson and Jacobs.

  3. Discuss ways in which present-day American families vary with respect to class, race and ethnicity. What do our readings have to say about historical processes that contributed to this diversity? Economic processes? You must discuss Gutman, Sudarkasa, Kaplan, Collins, Stack, and two or more of the following: Luker, Edin, Rubin, Taylor, Coontz, Kaplan, Newman, Zinn and Wells, Mannis, Pardo, Toro-Morn.

You must write in ink (crossing out mistakes is fine) on one side (Translation: one side) of the paper and leave ample margins. You may answer questions in any order.

Hand in this sheet with your exam.

P.S.: Have a good summer!