JCU Australia logo

Subject Search

SY2022 - Family, Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Society

[Offered in odd-numbered years]

Credit points: 3
Year: 2019
Student Contribution Band: Band 1
Administered by: College of Arts, Society & Education

Family life, gender relations and sexual orientations have been significant sites of concern, activism and contestation over recent decades in Australia and other advanced societies. For some, a greater diversity of family forms, changing relations between women and men and an increased tolerance of minority sexual orientations have been signs of socio-cultural enlightenment. For others, the decline of the family, the erosion of traditional gender roles and sexual permissiveness have been at the forefront of a more general unravelling of socio-cultural order. The subject places these differing perspectives in a sociological context as the nature and scope of changes to family life, gender relations and attitudes to sexuality in Australia from the 1960s to the present are examined. Particular attention is paid to three issues. Firstly, differences of practice and attitude in relation to family, gender and sexuality are related to other principles of difference such as class, ethnicity and urbanity-rurality. Secondly, contests about what is appropriate in relation to family, gender and sexuality are linked to shifting and intersecting patterns of visual and textual representation. Thirdly, an attempt is made to trace the main lines of division and main sites of conflict in the cultural politics of family, gender and sexuality in contemporary society.

Learning Outcomes

  • interpret the major changes to family life, gender relations, and sexuality, including how society understands these concepts, in Australia;
  • appraise the sociological concepts and arguments that are used in the field of families, gender and sexualities;
  • employ sociological concepts and be able to critique real life representations of families, gender, and sexualities.
To undertake this subject, students must have successfully completed 12 credit points (four subjects) of level 1 study at tertiary level
AN2111 AN3111 SY3022


Study Period 2, External
Census Date 29-Aug-2019
Coord/Lect: Assoc. Professor Theresa Petray.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 1 hours
  • assessment and self-directed study
Assessment: other exams (40%); multidraft Essays (40%); assignments (20%).

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.