This course examines the range and diversity of male social roles assumed by boys, adolescent males, and adult men within U.S. families, communities and society. As a nation of immigrants, political and religious refugees and descendants of African slaves, nativity and cultural origins of families residing in the United States often influence and potentially clash with historical and evolving American ideals and notions about normative male social roles within an evolving multi-racial and multi-cultural society. With respect to male social roles in families residing in the United States, particular attention is given to how race and/or ethnicity, citizenship and generational status, residence duration and stability, social class status and cultural expectations affect the assumption and performance of expected male social roles.
Definitions of family and an overview of family structures are initially examined, followed by a developmental examination on male social roles within families and how boyhood, adolescent and adult male social roles are affected by family structure, socio-economic status, historical and cultural family origins, citizenship status, and individual/family engagement with the broader society. The succeeding component of the course examines male social roles within neighborhood and community contexts and how boyhood, adolescent and adult male social roles external to the family are influenced by engagement within these contexts. The final component of the course examines civic engagement and societal male social roles assumed by boys, adolescent and adult males.