Subject: Cultural and Psychological Family Perspectives

Scientific Area:

Scientific, Cultural, Social and Ethical Formation


80 Hours

Number of ECTS:

7,5 ECTS



Overall objectives:

1 - To identify the main concepts of the family and the problems related to notions of gender and sex;
2 - To analyse the creation myths and the philosophical texts about women and family, noticing the differences and similarities between them;
3 - Being able to distinguish between the notions of oikos, gens, familia and domus;
4 - Knowing the main features of the legal and social configuration of family and marriage;
5 - Being able to interpret the more important ancient medical texts about conception, pregnancy, birth and childhood;
6 - To recognize the fundamental influences of Christianity in the family;
7 - Critically analyse definitions and settings family's;
8 - Understand the main challenges facing the family in the century XXI;
9 - Identify the transformations that the family goes through during its evolutionary process;
10 - Discuss and reflect on current themes of family psychology.


1 - Introduction to the study of the family in the West;
1.1 - The notion of family;
1.2 - The notion of gender and of sex;
2 - The mythological and philosophical texts about the creation of women and family;
3 - Family in ancient societies (from Ancient Greece to the Early modern period):
3.1 - The notions of oikos, gens, familia and domus;
3.2 - Legal and social perspectives about marriage and family;
3.3 - Conception, pregnancy, birth and childhood in ancient medical texts;
3.4 - the influence of Christianity in the family.
4 - The family today;
4.1 - Definitions and settings;
4.2 - Family structure and functions;
4.3 - New forms of family;
5 - The evolutionary process of the family. Life cycle concept and its phases;
6 - The family and aging.


Flemming, R. , 2000 , Medicine and the making of Roman women: gender, nature, and authority from Celsus to Galen , Oxford University Press.
King, H. , 1998 , Hippocrates' woman: reading the female body in ancient Greece , Routledge.
Neils, J., J. H. Oakley, et al. , 2003 , Coming of age in ancient Greece: images of childhood from the classical past , Yale University Press
Rawson, B. , 2011 , A companion to families in the Greek and Roman worlds , Wiley-Blackwell
Alarcão, M. , 2000 , (Des)Equilíbrios familiares: Uma visão sistémica. , Coimbra, Quarteto Editora
Relvas, A. P. , 2006 , O ciclo vital da família , Porto, Edições Afrontamento
Vieira, C. , 2006 , É menino ou menina? Género e Educação em Contexto Familiar , Coimbra: Almedina.
Silva, M. L. , 2012 , A crise, a família e a crise da família , Lisboa: FFMS
Rosa, M. J. , 2012 , O envelhecimento da sociedade portuguesa , Lisboa: FFMS
Fernandes, O.T., & Maia, C. (Eds.) , 2005 , A família portuguesa no ano séc. XXI , Porto: Parsifal

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
- Lectures: oral presentations, occasionally using support material (anthology of texts or ensays) employing mainly the analytical method. - Evaluation methods: Written tests (2, 50% each): as a written test allows assessing the knowledge and comprehension of the syllabus. Aditionally it allows assessing the written expression, and the competencies to describe, summarize and relate different concepts of the syllabus.