SOS2402 – Family, gender equality and the welfare state

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course gives an introduction to the Scandinavian/Norwegian welfare state focusing on family policies, gender equality and family change. Theoretically, the course is informed by gender perspectives on the welfare state and on families/personal relationships. Among the questions addressed are: What typifies the Scandinavian/Norwegian welfare state approach to family, gender and work?

What are the links between gender roles, family policy, paid and unpaid work, family formation, fertility and union dissolution?


To what extent are family forms and practices characterized by change and diversity, in particular in relation to gender and social inequality? How can personal relationships in families be conceptualized and studied from a gender equality perspective in a Scandinavian/Norwegian context?

The course examines a wide range of family policies (e.g. parental leave, daddy quotas, publicly subsidised childcare services, cash for care benefits). The course literature highlights the Scandinavian/Norwegian experience through analyses of comparative statistical data and national case studies, and by contrasting the Scandinavian experience with that of other European countries.

This course is intended for both Norwegian and international students.

Learning outcome


You shall:

  • Obtain knowledge about main changes in gender roles and family behavior
  • Obtain knowledge about main features of Scandinavian/Norwegian family policies
  • Acquire understanding of the importance of institutional contexts for changes in family and gender relations


You will:

  • Develop skills in using sociological concepts and theories to analyse the relationships between family change and gender equality in the Scandinavian/Norwegian welfare states
  • Discuss and make use of central sociological theories to discuss concrete political reforms, institutions and processes

General competence

  • Awareness of the highly complex relationships between family change, gender equality and welfare state policies


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


The course will consist of lectures as well as self organised study groups. 

Study groups are optional, but we strongly recommend that you attend a study group. Study groups can be organised by the students in Canvas, teams etc. 



  •  4-hour written school exam.

In order to receive a passing grade on the exam, candidates must pass all parts of the exam.

Digital examination

The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.

Read more about written examinations using Inspera.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Resitting an exam

As of spring semester 2019, the examination model for this course was changed. Students who wish to resit the exam, must complete the new examination model.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language