Sociology of Family and Lifestyle

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

Classes are theoretical-practical, appealing strongly to the involvement of students, who are expected to present different types of material for discussion in class (scientific texts, news, literary texts, documents, audio-visual, etc.). In classes, there will be a theoretical systemization and presentation of the questioning and underlying themes of the subject, as well as the promotion of debate surrounding the readings selected for each point of the programme.

Learning Outcomes

This course unit aims to promote the study of private life, crossing the historical and sociological approach and using the binomial public-private. Each student must deal with several goals:

a) to understand the role of everyday life, private life and family in the context of sociological analysis; b) to be able to argue the main sociological theories in these areas in a rigorous and critical way, discussing concepts and different approaches; c) to acquire a  historical view of family structures and private life; d) to be able to evaluate the main features of everyday life and of family life in their spatial and temporal structure and interaction; e) to understand the diversity of contemporary family; f) to be able to framing  the analysis of familiar reality in broader social structures.

Work Placement(s)



1. The problematization and conceptualization of everyday life and private life

1.1. What is family?

- Speeches on the family: paradoxes and contradictions

- Past and present: continuity(ies) and diversity(ies)

- Sociological theories about family

1.2. What is everyday life?

- Social interaction and everyday life

- Everyday life and sociological knowledge

2. The family and everyday life past and present: the civilizing process

2.1. Population and power

2.2. Civilization and civility

3. The marriage and the couple

3.1. Romantic love and homogamy

3.2. Domestic relations

3.3. Intimacy and sexuality

3.4. The divorce

4. The children

4.1. Family and Fertility

4.2. Parent-child relationships

4.3. The educational styles

5. The time and space of everyday life

5.1. Rhythms and rituals of everyday life

5.2. Production, consumption and lifestyles

5.3. Domestic work

6. Family and social networks

6.1. Sociability and solidarity

6.2. Intergenerational relationships

Head Lecturer(s)

Carlos André Brito Correia

Assessment Methods

Continuous Assessment
1 - Research work on a subject agree with the teacher 2 - Class work : 100.0%

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%


Almeida, Ana Nunes de (coord.) (2011), História da Vida Privada em Portugal. Os Nossos Dias, Lisboa, Círculo de Leitores.

Bauman, Zygmunt e May, Tim (2001) – “The Business in Everyday Life: Consumption, Technology and Lifestyles”, in idem Thinking sociologically. Malden, Oxford e Carlton: Blackwell Publishing.

Elias, Norbert (1989), O Processo Civilizacional, Lisboa, D. Quixote.

Javeau, Claude (2003) – “Regresso à sociologia da vida quotidiana”, Trajectos – Revista de Comunicação, Cultura e Educação. nº3, pp.89-95.

Kellerhals, Jean, et al. (1989), Microssociologia da família, Mem Martins, Europa-América.

Pais, José Machado (2002), Sociologia da Vida Quotidiana. Lisboa: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais.

Saraceno, Chiara; Naldini, Manuela (2003), Sociologia da família, 2ª ed., Lisboa, Estampa.

Shorter, Edward (1995), A formação da família moderna, Lisboa, Terramar.

Wall, Karin (org.) (2005), Famílias em Portugal, Lisboa, ICS/ Imprensa de Ciências Sociais.