COM 310 Family Communication

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Family Research Projects

Each class "family" should determine a particular question they wish to answer about family communication/interaction. Then design a method (observation, interviews, library research, surveys etc.) by which to answer that question. Some possibilities include, but are not limited to:

Have families really changed (and, if so in what ways) over time?

Interview multiple (at least three) generations from several families discussing topics such as roles, rituals, taboo topics, rules, power structure etc.

What is parenting like today?

Interview a diverse set of parents (at least four) and ask them about what it takes to be an effective parent, communication skills, values, challenges etc.

Are rituals different in different families and on what does that seem to depend (i.e., socioeconomics, education, culture, race)?

Observe a specific ritual in multiple families and then interview family members to see why the ritual occurs as it does.

How accurately does the media reflect roles, rules, conflict etc. in families?

Choose two to three family oriented (about families, not necessarily for them) shows and analyze what messages they send about family issues and concepts. If you do this, choose specific aspects/concepts to analyze in each show.

The list can go on and on - please have your research question and method approved in advance. No two families may choose the same topic - so don't confine yourself to these examples. Exploration of any topics we have discussed in the course is fine, even if we have not discussed that topic in detail.

Presentations: Each family member should be included in the presentation. Presentations should be a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes. Please do NOT do talking heads (five or six individual speeches which are minimally related to each other) - try to be a bit more creative and interactive than that. Interaction with the audience is encouraged.

Grading Rubric for Family Research Projects