Unit Seven Introduction We have traversed a considerable amount of theoretical territory. Because no single framework or theory exists that is capable of encompassing this vast complexity that is a family, there are many different theoretical frameworks that focus on specific elements of reality. With some of our theorists glasses, therefore, we have a wide-angled view; with others we focus more narrowly. There is so much to look at, from so many perspectives, that it is no wonder that each theory focuses on a different dimension, and that all of them are needed to help understand relationships in our familial and societal world. A tool analogy may help you to appreciate our point here. Imagine you have a screwdriver. You can hold it up and examine it from different angles, note the color, the type of point, and so on. In this sense, you are examining the screwdriver as a product and a human construction. But your image of the screwdriver changes when you use it to screw in a screw, pry open a paint can, weed the garden and so on. You might even find other new and helpful ways to use the screwdriver. Your appreciation changes when you use this tool to do things. The same is true for theories. Any of the family theories we have studied can be used for a myriad of tasks. They can be used to predict, to interpret, to explain, to formulate questions, to integrate research, to make deductions, and to lead us into novel areas of research. It is possible to compare the theories we have studied to gain some idea as to which ones might be best applied to particular family phenomena and particular questions about those phenomena. There are some elements of different theories that are compatible, and these can be combined and synthesized if such synthesis is useful. When synthesizing from different theories, care must be taken not to employ pieces of the theories that are contradictory or incompatible. The hope now is that the theories and ideas you have encountered in the course will become integrated with the knowledge you have from other sources. As these ideas come together for you, forming a more complete picture or your world, your family, and especially other families, you should experience the same intrinsic rewards that reside in the life of ideas. ————————————————————————————————————————————- 7.1 Text/Media Textbook: Exploring Family Theories Instructions 1. Read the Epilogue in Exploring Family Theories. Assignments 7.3 Unit Assignment: Synthesis Paper Introduction Synthesis means putting ideas from many sources together in one presentation. After reading your text, watching movies and participating in a variety of threaded discussions, your task is to organize some of the information around a theme or a question, make generalizations, and then present information (statistics, quotes, examples) in a logical way to support your argument. Remind yourself that a synthesis is NOT a summary, a comparison or a review. Rather a synthesis is a result of an integration of what you heard/read and your ability to use this learning to develop and support a key thesis or argument. Learning to write a synthesis paper is a critical skill, crucial to organizing and presenting information is academic and non-academic settings. Instructions 1. Content Pick a topic from the following list. o ? Why do Good People Have Extramarital Affairs? ? Why do Alcoholics and their Families Resist Change? ? Why are increasing numbers of People Delaying Marriage? ? Why do people remain in unhealthy relationships? 1. o Develop a thesis. Begin your paper with the thesis, clearly outlining the ideas you will develop. o Identify at least three theories, which we studied in this course and address the theme and/or question you chose to focus on using these theories o Gather current statistics from research focusing on marriage and/or families that inform you about your topic and illustrate certain concepts from the theories you choose to use. o Whenever possible, make an effort to pepper your paper with real-world examples, which support your overall argument. o In conclusion you should summarize your main thesis and outline questions, which remain open or issues that ought to be further explored. 2. Format o The length of your paper should be 5 typed double-spaced pages with reasonable margins. It should be written following APA guidelines. o Be consistent in your use of bibliographic references; include page numbers for quotes. List all works you cited at the end of your paper. o As you use quotations to support your ideas, make sure you do not produce a paper of lengthy quotes strung together. If you quote three lines or fewer, the quote should not be set off or indented but integrated into the text of your paper. o Do not use first person. o Connect ideas using linking devices and transitions. o Spend time outlining, organizing and editing your paper. Ideally, you can find someone else to proof-read your paper. o When you are done editing, think of a title, which best captures your thesis. 3. Submit your synthesis paper as a Word document.