Skip to content

Main Navigation

Social & Behavioral Science LEAP

SBS web banner

 Is YOUR family weird...? We certainly hope so!

This class weirds all things normal, and normalizes all things weird.  For this goal, family is a particularly engaging, fascinating topic through which to explore various social science perspectives. All of our families are wildly different. Yet boring, nostalgic ideals of family persist, loudly insisting that families “should” look or behave a certain way. In this class, we don’t “should” on anybody. 

We look at how family is influenced by blood relationships, culture, love, conflict, choice, as well as the norms, values, expectations, traditions, and beliefs about family in a wide variety of different cultural contexts.  Did I say weird...? We will find “weird” but it won’t be weird when we’re done.


The fall course considers how the multiple disciplines in social sciences attempt to explain human behavior and understand the complexities of human societies, analyzed through the lens of family as the primary social institution.

Family diversity will be considered during the spring course through the medium of children’s and young adult literature, film, and biographies. The human family experience, from childhood to family formation, is thoughtfully explored across a range of art and literature.

  1. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (2016)
  2. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (1999)
  3. There’s No Jose Here by Gabriel Thompson (2007)

All the course readings can be accessed on Canvas under “Files,” or through the web link provided on the syllabus. 

General Education Credits

  • Fall Semester Social & Behavioral Sciences (BF) 
  • Spring Humanities (HF) and the University Diversity Requirement (DV.) 
  • These classes will also fulfill allied hours for your major in the College of Social & Behavioral Science.

Coco James, PhD.



 Social and Behavioral Science LEAP Fall 2020

Class # Subject Cat #  Sec Days/Time
7224 LEAP  1100 005 TuTh / 09:10AM-10:30AM
-- LEAP 1100 006 --


Did you know that 20% of the students who graduate from the University of Utah receive a degree in a major from the College of Social & Behavioral Science? Working jointly with the College of Social & Behavioral Science, the LEAP Program has created SBS-LEAP, A two course experience, specifically focused on helping you determine the social science major for you.  

Follow the link for more information on majors in the College of Social and Behavioral Science



Last Updated: 11/19/20