Country Profiles

Activity Description:


Describe and analyze work-family issues in the focal country.

Write a report that synthesizes multiple sources (from the annotated bibliographies and additional references as needed) into a coherent line of argument about the nature of work-family linkages in the focal country.

Use the broad themes of the course (social structure, agency, and diversity) and the following questions to generate a country profile:

  • What are the demographic trends related to work-family issues?
  • How do national policies address work-family issues?
  • What are the hot topics in research on work-family issues?
  • What do people think about work-family issues?
  • How do work-family issues vary for different social groups (e.g., women/men, adults/children, one-parent/two-parent families, natives/immigrants)?


Create a title page for your informative title, name, course number/name, and the date. For the text of the report, use one-inch margins, double spacing, and a regular font. Place page numbers at the bottom center of each page. The first page of text, not the title page, should be labeled as “1.” Please limit your report to approximately ten pages. A seamless narrative is better than an abundance of disjointed or rambling pieces of information. Use ASA guidelines for citation formats within the body of your report as well as your list of references. Put your list of references at the end of the report on a separate page.

Copies: Turn in one paper copy to the professor, and post one electronic copy to Blackboard. To do so, click on “Groups,” then your country, then “File Exchange,” and then “Add File.”

Evaluation Criteria:

Sociological Content

  • All content explicitly relates to work-family issues in the focal country, not just general country “facts.”
  • Describes national demographic trends related to work-family issues
  • Identifies relevant cultural values and describes public opinion as it pertains to work-family issues
  • Identifies and explains several hot research topics on work-family issues in the focal country
  • Describes national work-family policies, including benefits and regulations
  • Describes the national system of childcare
  • Explains how work-family linkages differ by gender, social class, family structure, region, and so forth
  • Reasonable amount of high-quality, reputable references. ___ # academic ___ # pop press ___ # web

Quality of Writing

  • Supports all assertions with appropriate illustrations or data
  • Sociological jargon is clear, effective, and appropriate.
  • The report has a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • The introduction specifies the purpose and central thesis of the report.
  • The introduction grabs the readers’ attention in an engaging way.
  • Author uses transitions and/or headings to guide the reader through the report.
  • Each paragraph concentrates on one central idea (unity) and is easy to follow (coherence).
  • The body of the report develops the central thesis in an effective and convincing fashion.
  • Author integrates information from various sources to support assertions; the report is not merely a linear narrative about each separate reference.
  • Author appropriately and effectively cites and paraphrases other writers in the body of the report.
  • The conclusion provides a sense of completion without merely restating the introduction.
  • Author followed all technical instructions, including ASA citation format.

Activity Source:

Sweet, Stephen, Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Joshua Mumm, Judith Casey, and Christina Matz. 2006. Teaching Work and Family: Strategies, Activities, and Syllabi. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.