Faculty of Arts


Family, Gender and the State


This course examines the relationship between contemporary families and the late modern state. It does so, first, through reading and discussing theoretical literature on the family-state nexus. We explore the historical and contemporary nature of this relationship; consider the characteristics of the modern neoliberal state and the interests it serves.

The introduction to this theoretical literature sets the stage for an examination of the family-state nexus through a critical reading of state policies, programmes and laws that take family relationships and family members as their object.

Examples of the latter include provisions that support integrating work and family (e.g., parental leave provisions and flexible work entitlements), laws and policies related to the "post separation family", and family violence laws, policies and interventions.

Course delivery

This course is taught through a weekly three hour discussion and other activities, including writing. Weekly attendance at the seminars is essential and you will need to come having read and prepared to discuss the assigned readings for the week.

Learning goals

By the time you’ve completed this course you should:

  • Be familiar with a range of ways in which the family-state relationship has been theorised
  • Be able to draw on this literature to theorise the impact of state policies, programmes and laws on different family members and their relationships to each other
  • Be able to draw on these literatures to independently develop and execute a research agenda of your own choice that is appropriate to postgraduate level study
  • Be able to present this research in written and oral formats

View the course syllabus

Availability 2020

Semester 2


Coordinator(s) Dr Vivienne Elizabeth


There is no textbook for this course; all mandatory readings will be available via Canvas.


SOCIOL 728: 30.0 points

Contact details | Search | Accessibility | Copyright | Privacy | Disclaimer | 1