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Ethics, gender and the family (EDUC30065)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeEDUC30065
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The family continues to be regarded as a private institution that should be immune to public scrutiny, despite the increasing intervention in the family by public institutions - notably, the law, education, medicine and social services. Towards the end of the 20th century, feminist thinkers challenged the view that the family is a private domain and there is now a growing tradition of using alternative perspectives, such as gender studies and childhood studies to examine the family as a site of contestation over members’ rights and responsibilities.

An indicative list of topics in this subject is as follows: the public/private divide; feminist perspectives on families; men’s contemporary roles and power in families in diverse cultural contexts; the roles and power in families of the ‘helping professions’; globalization, family diversity and the normalization of family life; the state regulation of families; the compatibility of parents’ and children’s rights.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Identify and understand different historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives on the study of family life;
  • Analyse the role of specific public institutions in family life in 21st century;
  • Explore and understand alternative perspectives on studying families in different cultural and political contexts;
  • Present case studies of the changing roles and power of men in families in diverse cultural contexts;
  • Develop awareness of the intersections and tensions between children’s rights and parents’ rights in current debates about the family.

Generic skills

On completing this subject, students should be able to:

  • Sharpen their analytical skills by identifying and analysing diverse contemporary and historical theoretical perspectives in family studies;
  • Enhance their skills of scholarly critique through reading widely in diverse journals and texts;
  • Gain improved written and oral communication skills through developing and presenting case studies of changing role and power of men in families;
  • Demonstrate skills in critical reflection on the role of public institutions in family life;
  • Gain reflective knowledge and understanding of cross-cultural concepts in the study of family life.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



Assignments totalling 4,000 words or equivalent. Case study mid-semester, Essay (2,500 words) end of Semester.

This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance at all tutorials, seminars and workshops.

Dates & times

  • February
    Principal coordinatorKylie Smith
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours36
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 4 February 2019 to 14 February 2019
    Last self-enrol date 6 February 2019
    Census date22 February 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail22 March 2019
    Assessment period ends15 April 2019

    February contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

Last updated: 18 July 2019