Diversity in Family and Household Patterns


Richard Bulcroft
Western Washington University

This module is designed to illustrate differences in family and household composition patterns for different groups based on race/ethnicity and social class. It also serves as a review of key methodological concepts introduced in the first part of the course.

Learning Goals

Review the Following Methodological Concept:
Relationships and Group Differences
Percentage Comparisons
Representativeness and Generalizability
Causality, Independent and Dependent Variables
Spuriousness, Control
Conditional Effects

Review Substantive Material:
Institutional vs. Analytical Definitions of the Family
Trends in Family and Household Formation in the United States
Sources of Race and Ethnic Differences
Originating Culture vs. Historical Experiences vs. Current Ecological Context
The Significance of Social Class
Feminization of Poverty

Context for Use

This activity is used in a Sociology class for undergraduate students. This activity explores topics of marriage, divorce, cohabitation, race/ethnicity, and income and poverty to look at diversity family trends over in the United States.

Description and Teaching Materials

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses three customized data sets; one made from combining census information from 1970-1990, one from the combining census information from 1950-1990 and one from the 1990 Census. It guides students through data manipulation using WebCHIP software found at DataCounts!. To open WebCHIP with the datasest for the activity, see links in the exercise documents under teaching materials. For more information on how to use WebCHIP see instructions here.


References and Resources