Exploring Society By The Numbers

Race and Changing Household Structure

Jay Teachman, Western Washington University

Summary

The textbook for this course discusses cross-cultural variations in household structure, as well as changes across time in household structure in the United States. The purpose of this exercise is to examine variations in household structure in the United States according to race and historical period. By the end of the exercise students should have a better appreciation of the fact that household structure in the U.S. is very fluid and that changes over time in household structure have not progressed uniformly for all race groups.

Learning Goals

Skill
  • The exercise is intended to provide students with an opportunity to discuss difficulties in defining variables, provide descriptive information, identify testable hypotheses relating independent and dependent variables, and construct a simple test of the identified hypothesis using cross-tabular procedures.
Substance
  • By the end of the exercise students should have a better appreciation of the fact that household structure in the U.S. is very fluid and that changes over time in household structure have not progressed uniformly for all race groups.

Context for Use

Students in this introductory demography course will use this activity to discuss cross-cultural variations in household structure, as well as changes across time in household structure in the United States.

Description and Teaching Materials

Exercises: PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 101kB Mar25 09)
Exercises: DOC (Microsoft Word 57kB Mar25 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses a customized data set made from combining census information from 1950-1990 and guides students through data manipulation using WebCHIP software found at DataCounts!. To open WebCHIP with the dataset for the activity, please see instructions and links in the exercise documents under teaching materials. For more information on how to use WebCHIP, see the How To section on DataCounts!

Assessment

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References and Resources

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