Gates, “Diversity Among Same-Sex Couples and Their Children” (American Families 28) Stacey, “Gay and Lesbian Families Are Here”
Carrington, No Place Like Home (excerpts)
Solinger, “Race, Class, and Reproductive Politics” (American Families chapter 8)
Raley, “Avenue to Adulthood: Teenage Pregnancy” (American Families chapter 23)
Garey, “Constructing Motherhood on the Night Shift “
Hondagneu-Sotelo & Avila, “I’m Here, but I’m There”
Roy and Burton, “ Mothering Through Recruitment” (American Families chapter 24)
Coltrane, “Family Man: Fatherhood, Housework, and Gender Equity”
Townsend, “Father’s and Sons: Men’s Experience and Reproduction of Fatherhood”
Book: “American Families” by Stephanie Coontz Second Edition 2008
The aim of the reflection papers is to have you read the material closely, think about it critically, and present your own ideas through a rigorous process of analysis and re-examination. Reflection essays are designed to help you develop your critical thinking and writing skills. Here are some suggestions toward accomplishing these goals.
1) Lay out the main ideas in the text you read. The author could make several different points but not all of them deserve your equal attention. You should try to isolate the ones that you think are the most significant ones and summarize them in your own words.
If using direct quotes use quotation marks and indicate the page number.
2) After identifying the major themes and summarizing them, you should look at the piece as a whole and think about it for a while. Does the author have a coherent perspective? Are there any inherent contradictions in the argument? Relate this piece to another one that discusses similar issues: what are the similarities/differences between the pieces with respect to issues under examination? Do they argue different aspects of the same question? Or do they argue entirely different points of view? Try to articulate these differences/similarities into a cohesive essay.
3) The exercise of critically engaging with the texts will lead to the formulation of your own unique position vis-a-vis these works. In other words, as you discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the analyses, you will naturally present your own understanding of the issues under study. Your own position will emerge as a result of this close textual study.
Your starting point should be the text itself. Always ground your analysis in the given text.
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