To develop awareness of cultural differences and types of family

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  • To develop awareness of cultural differences and types of family
  • To understand how the family plays a major  role in human social development
  • To locate the family in wider social and political context
  • To place the family in historical and changing times 

and Learning Outcomes

  • Show critical understanding of  the ‘family’, being able to reflect on the family as a social and historical construct and as a culturally variable phenomena.
  • Developing awareness of the family in its wider social and political context.
  • Critically evaluating the psychosocial nature of the family, in regards to mental health and psycho-socio ‘pathology’ in a given social context.
  • Opening the definition of the family, the impact  of adoption and foster
  • Be able to differentiate and evaluate different psycho-social perspectives on the family 
  • Demonstrate an ability to reflect on their own families intergenerationally and to be able to link theory to experience.

Main text book on Kortext   Baca Zinn, M, Eitzen, S, Rupert,F,Wells, P    (2013) Diversity in Families Pearson Education LTD  

Assessment in detail 

Up to 2,500 words Choose a Topic we have studied and discuss the impact this issue has had on family life

Examples of essay tittle

Explore how food impacts on family life

Explore how trauma impacts on Family Life

Explore how mental health impacts on Family life

I want you to use this sentence and insert the chosen topic – Explore how ……..impacts on family life

In place of the dots you can choose -cultural differences, trauma, food, sexuality, adoption, mental distress, mental health, attachment, criminality, intergenerational transmission of trauma, old age, politics, and any other topic but check it out with me)

Model outline for the essay on the module:

For the model essay I am choosing the topic trauma so

1) intro-I would say/ argue  that studying trauma has shown how the environment and interpersonal upheaval can have determining impact on family life, break up the family habitual way of life, shared meaning and sense of belonging, create mental disturbance and is therefore key to understanding emotional disturbances in familial relations

2) In the next paragraph after the into, you need to define the Family and  define trauma –For a definition of the family I would say there are different kinds of family and historically the family has changed, I would question there is an ideal family and challenge conventional stereotypes of the family, however choose a definition you can work with.

3) I choose a general intro to trauma, then a Freud and then Attachment definition and say I go with attachment and why I chose this. So I have chosen a genera definition, then Freud and then Bowlby and attachment.

3 ) then I give examples of how trauma impacts on family life

4) examples from natural disaster  –arguably are different from let us say a war crisis, because from an attachment perspective the crisis in human relations that war brings is potentially more disturbing because it relates to a breakdown of affiliative relations altogether and define why this is more traumatic .

I take an example of a war zone trauma -the Nazi and Jewish onslaught

5) Refer to intergenerational transmission and impact family life and future generations

6)  Refer to effects on individual development

7) sum up and conclude how helped understand disruption and family breakdown and by understanding can address ways of dealing with crisis and developing preventive measures



  • Knowledge from a wide range of relevant sources, you are encouarged to use recent journals as much as possible
  • Logical structure with introduction and conclusion
  • An ability to answer the question using suitably chosen material
  • An ability to critically analyse material
  • A clear and succinct argument of your own (without resorting to uninformed opinion)
  • Suitable language and grammer, with appropriate referencing and bibiography (will references from the Internet at an absolute minimum).


The  essay must be typed or word-processed, double-spaced, and accompanied by a full bibliography in the correct form. Students who fail to adhere to these requirements will be penalised by loss of  marks.


Toby Grainger (Module Specification

Module Title:                                  

Family Studies

Module Code: Level: 6




ECTS credit:

Module Leader:

Dr Nicola Diamond



Pre-cursor: None




Excluded combinations :


Location of delivery:  UEL/              - learning (please delete as appropriate)

If ‘Other’  please insert location here:


Main aim(s) of the module:


The aim of the module is to explore the question What is the Family? Are families universals and constant or are they culturally and historically variable? What has happened to the family in Western Post-Modernity? Are families central to our lives-should they live up to an ideal or be debunked? Do families both make us and break us. Are they necessary?


In examining and answering these questions we will be exploring ‘family’ as a social and historical phenomenon, in cultural difference and specificity. How does the family define gender, sexuality, parenting, children and ageing? What is the relation between the family and mental health? We will be looking at approaches to the family and in particular the psychoanalytic model. This module is a Psychosocial approach to the family which explores the psychic and social together?




Main topics of study:

  • Cultural Differences and the Family 
  • The Family a historical perspective and contemporary times
  • Different Theoretical approaches to the family
  • Families and mental health

Learning Outcomes for the module






  •  To grasp complexity in  defining the family


  • To understand the cultural variety of families.


  • Gain Knowledge of different theoretical models for understanding the family


  • To understand the importance of the family in shaping the direction of our lives 


               Thinking skills


  • Show critical understanding of  the ‘family’
  • Be able to differentiate and evaluate different psycho-social perspectives on the family 
  • Being able to reflect on the family as a social and historical construct and as a culturally variable phenomena



               Subject-based practical skills


  • To link one’s own culturally specific family to a theoretical study of the family


  • To develop a more informed understanding of family life that will provide a more open perspective in everyday life



Skills for life and work (general skills)


  • To acquire a capacity to reflect on families that can be  used in the work context
  • To gain a better understanding of career options involving work with families





Teaching/ learning methods/strategies used to enable the achievement of learning outcomes:

For on campus students:



Power point

Student Presentations of family of origin

Group work

Visual material-film /other media



Assessment methods which enable students to demonstrate the learning outcomes for the module; please define as necessary:









Learning Outcomes demonstrated



Reading and resources for the module:

These must be up to date and  presented  in correct Harvard format unless a Professional Body specifically requires a different format

Core Text    Main text book on Kortext   Baca Zinn, M, Eitzen, S, Rupert,F,Wells, P    (2013) Diversity in Families Pearson Education LTD




White, J ,Klein, D Family Theories (2007)  Sage Publications, USA UK

Trask, B S, Hamon, RR (2007)  Cultural Diversity and Families Sage Publications, USA, London

Marrone,M, Diamond,N (1998) Attachment And Interaction Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London


 Mason, P, Barnes M, (2009). Children, Families and Social Exclusion - Developing New Understandings for Prevention. Policy Press,Bristol USA



Indicative learning and teaching time

(10 hrs per credit):



Activity (e.g. lectures/seminars/tutorials/workshops/studio work/moderated online discussions, online chat etc):


Lectures: 24 Hours

Seminars/Workshops: 12 Hours


1. Student/tutor interaction:







Activity and hours (Defined as lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervision, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, supervised time in studio/workshop, fieldwork, external visits, work based learning (not placements), formative assessment) See further descriptions in guidance





Price: £129

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