Dating and Mate Selection                                   Dr. Hardt

Sociology 351                                               MSU-Billings

TTh 10:30-12:00                                             Fall, 2009



PHONE:  657-2991

OFFICE HOURS: MWF 11:45-12:45

              TTh 12:15-1:15 and by appointment



web page:


TEXT:       Lauer, Robert H. and Jeanette C. Lauer.  The Quest for Intimacy.   7th edition.  Brown & Benchmark.  2009.


      This course is designed to provide you with a broad-based and intensive understanding of dating, mate selection, and marriage.  Each of these institutionalized processes has undergone tremendous change as society has evolved through the  industrial stage of development into a post-industrial stage.  We will examine these historical evolutions to gain an understanding of how they have contributed to--and contrast with--contemporary dating, mate selection, and marriage processes.  The principal focus, however will be on contemporary trends.  There are two thematic sections to the course.  In the first we will examine the filtering processes of dating and mate selection.  Particular issues tended to will involve those factors which shape how individuals transpire from multiple acquaintances to long-term relationship.  The second theme considers the marital process as one involving both unity and conflict.


      The course is composed of reading assignments, lecture, a combination of in-class and out-of-class assignments, and exams.  The following reading schedule is a guide to the arrangement of the course.  Specific dates for topics may vary, since class assignments and discussion may utilize more time than is initially foreseen.  Since the course deals with subject matter that are pertinent to your own every day life and experiences, you are strongly encouraged to bring your encounters and affairs into the class, both as objects of illustration and as objects that may benefit from critical analysis.  Consider lecture to be a dialogue not a monologue.  Students who require accommodations for disabilities are requested to make arrangements to discuss these with me during my office hours.


      To provide you with an applied understanding of the dating, mate selection, and marriage processes, several exercises have been developed.  Some of these will be conducted in-class; others will be out of class; still others will be a combination of both.  Exercises requiring outside activity will be allotted class time.  It is imperative that outside assignments be brought to class on scheduled dates (to be provided when exercises are assigned).  These assignments will constitute 30 percent of your final grade. No credit will be given for failure to participate in these assignments, or when information is not submitted when scheduled.  The remaining 70 percent of your grade will be derived from (three) exams.  Grading is derived on a percentile basis.  Each exam is worth 100 points, with an A receiving 90 to 100 points, a B receiving 80 to 89 points, et cetera.  Assignments are worth 30 points, applying the 90th percentile for the cut off for an A, the 80th percentile the cut off, et cetera.  Failure to participate in class discussion will mean a loss of as much as 25 percent of the total points toward your final grade.  Exams can be accessed on my web page:  Click on courses, then follow the link for this course.  This will take you to the syllabus.  Click the appropriate exam.


         To minimize disruptions to the class, and to allow students who may be delayed getting to class, I often arrive within five minutes following the beginning of class.  After that time the door will be closed and locked.  You may not be able to enter the class after the door is closed.







         10  Introduction to the course.

      14-23  Dating and Mate Selection:  Why bother?  Ch. 5.

         28  Marriage and Family in History.  Ch. 1.






          1  Marriage and Family in History, continued.

          6  Exam 1.

       9-15  Gender Roles.  Ch. 3.

      20-27  Love and Sex:  What does love got to do with it?

             Ch. 4 & Ch. 7.

         29  Courtship vs. Dating.  Ch. 6 & Ch. 8.






      3-5  Courtship vs. Dating.  Ch. 6 & Ch. 8.

       10  Exam 2.

    12-19  Marriage as Union.  Ch. 9.

       19  Union as Conflict.  Ch. 10 & Ch. 15.

       27  ThanksgivingClasses canceled.




      1-3  Union as Conflict.  Ch. 10 & Ch. 15.

     8-10  Dis-union and Re-union.  Ch. 16 & Ch. 17.

       15  Final Exam2:00-3:50.Dating and Mate Selection, Final Exam 2008