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Sociology: A Brief Introduction, 4/e
Richard T. Schaefer, DePaul University

The Family And Intimate Relationships

Internet Exercises

  1. The Internet is fast becoming a place for families to share information with relatives and the general public. For a virtual look at real families, log onto ( Choose three families that have uploaded their home pages and answer the following questions:
    1. What family composition or variety does each represent (nuclear, extended, single-parent, dual-career, domestic partnerships)?
    2. Do any of the families fall into more than one of these categories?
    3. What social functions do the three family structures serve?
    4. What demographic characteristics (race/ethnicity, religion, gender, age, and social class) do you notice?
    5. How do your chosen families compare with the demographic patterns mentioned in this chapter?
  2. Sociologists who study families examine both the positive and negative aspects of family life. Domestic violence is an example of the dark side of relationships, an issue that, as this chapter demonstrates, is a worldwide problem. To learn more about this social problem, log onto, designed by Gary Templeton. Visit the section on "Facts & Stats'' to gain an appreciation of the general issues. Visit the sections on "Comments" and "Writings" to understand how family violence affects the individual.
    1. What myths about family violence does the site address?
    2. What five statistics from the site reveal the most about the extent of the problem? Why did you choose these facts over others? What general themes do your selections show about violence in the family?
    3. Which poems and stories had the greatest impact on you? What lessons about violence do the "Writings" give?
    4. Describe the logo used by Engage your interactionist skills to discuss what this logo symbolizes. What message does it convey?
  3. The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse at ( represents a joint effort of various administrations and government departments to provide online information. Imagine that you have been assigned to write an article for your college newspaper on adoption and answer the following questions:
    1. Which agencies and departments helped create the site? What services do these agencies provide?
    2. What new laws, programs, and policies have been created regarding adoption? What are the goals of these new initiatives?
    3. After examining the statistics on "Single Adoptive Parents," summarize your findings. Has the number of single-parent adoptions increased or decreased in recent decades? What social and economic trends might account for this change?
    4. Summarize the data presented in the "Intercountry Adoption" link. From which other nations do most U.S. citizens adopt? Why do you think so many adoptions currently come from Russia and China?
    5. Are more male or female children adopted from other nations? Why might this be so?
    6. What rights do adopted persons have to records in your state? Do you agree with the current policies and laws regarding this matter? Why or why not?
    7. Considering all you have learned in the book and from the site, what are some of the most important challenges facing both adoptees and the adopted?