1 Introduction to the study of family, gender and sexuality
Part I: Family And Gender As Social-Economic Institutions
2 Gender acquisition: Learning (and unlearning) the "facts of life"
3 Arranged marriage, ascribed status, inheritance and gendered divisions of labor in pastoral and agrarian societies
4 Gender, agency, and virtue Reader response due
5 Chosen marriage, achieved status, and gendered divisions of labor in wage labor societies

Social reproduction: Reproducing formal and informal class relations

Guest: Brandyn McKinley, Pre-Doctoral Fellow at MIT, Anthropology program

7 The racial and gendered economy of social reproduction
8 Family, class and social mobility in the U.S. (1) Argumentative essay 1 due
9 Family, class and social mobility in the U.S. (2)

Immigration, dislocation and legal limbo


Which Way Home . Directed by Rebecca Cammisa. Color, 90 min. 2009.

11 Consumption and social citizenship Reader response due
12 Rethinking the meaning(s) of love

Searching for a happily ever after?


In The Name of Love . Directed by Shannon O'Rourke. Color, 46 min. 2003.

Part II: Sex, Sexuality, Reproduction And Kinship
14 Marriage and heteronormativity

The history and role of birth control


Tommy Mabry. " American Experience The Pill. "  February 28, 2017. YouTube.

Reader response due
16 Is "the family" a cultural universal?

De-essentializing motherhood

Guest: Emily Xi Lin, Post-Doctoral Fellow at MIT, History program

18 Not all happily ever after: Anger, violence & harm Argumentative essay 2 due
19 Making families, making citizens
20 The problem of childlessness, the problem of 'familylessness' Argumentative essay 3 proposal due (1 paragraph theses statement + bibliography)

Infertility, secrecy and silence

Guest: Burcu Mutlu , MIT Doctoral Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society ( HASTS ) .


Sperm Donor X: A Different Conception . Directed by Deirdre Fishel. Color, 56 min. 2011.

22 The labor of reproduction: Surrogacy
23 Reproductive rights, redux
24 Where to go next: "Having it all," or reframing the question?
25 Student presentations
26 Student presentations (cont.) Argumentative essay 3 due