A number of my readers have reached out to me to ask that I share the experience of this post-graduate class, and I am MORE than happy to do that; I’m all about the collaboration, and having all of you smart people out there as my homework buddies is going to make this a much more effective and productive experience for me. Here, then, is the first of what I expect will be many Mrs. Chili as Student posts. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you all think about the work that I’m being asked to do.
The two texts for my Race, Class, Gender, and Families class are Shifting the Center: Understanding Contemporary Families by Susan J. Ferguson and The Social Construction of Difference and Inequality: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality by Tracy E. Ore (please, don’t go out and buy them; the cheapest copies I could score were about $73 bucks each. Yikes!). I haven’t done any of the readings yet (I’m planning to get down to them after I finish a brief burst of housekeeping), but here’s the critical thinking question the professor posted to encourage our digging into some of the big ideas:
In reading #1, Diana Gittins asks “what is a family and is it universal?” Based on all of the Ferguson readings for 9/7/12, how would you answer Gittins’ questions? Finally, define traditional notions of “the family” and discuss why we cling to traditional notions of family if, in reality, they represent such a small percentage of families today in the US?
I’d love to hear what you think about the ideas of “traditional” families, and what you think it is that makes us hold up those notions as a cultural touchstone. I’ll post my response to this question as soon as I’ve finished composing it.