I disagree with the review below. I took the class because it looked interesting, and it very rapidly became my least favorite class of the semester. Professor Aidala was completely unorganized, and it was difficult to follow her thought processes- more often than not, she would go on tangents and rants about very small facts or concepts. The reading was kinda ridiculous, and we rarely (if ever) addressed them in class- in fact, often we would never talk about the readings at all, but then facts from them would show up on a quiz or the midterm. The number of students attending class dropped with every class there was (which is saying a lot, because there was an attendance sheet), and everyone who had a computer was either on facebook or doing online shopping. If you don't mind doing a huge amount of reading (much of which is repetitive, and obvious knowledge), and you don't mind sitting through hour and a half long tangents about how how the woman's role in the home hasn't changed, take the class. If you're looking at it because it looks mildly interesting, STAY AWAY!
This class is PITIFUL. The previous reviewer who calls this class a mockery of academia is right on target. It's a mere recital of statistics with virtually no sociological theory argued, and with a constant undertow of the "downtrodden black family in the white-elitist American society" sentiment being advanced. Moreover, the three TA's couldn't be any more useless if they were in a coma. I just graduated 'magna' as a Sociology major, so trust me.......you will feel ripped off of tuition money (as I did) if you enroll in this.
This was, by far, the WORST class I have ever taken at Columbia. It was a complete and utter mockery of academia. Sessions consisted almost entirely of self-absorbed students babbling about their own family problems. Professor Moore made hardly any attempt to guide the discussion, letting it meander where it may. On top of it, her lectures were insipid and boring. I've learned more about American families from watching reruns of "Full House" than I did from this class. Shameful, utterly shameful.
Prof. Moore is great. She's interesting, funny, and has a great command of the subject matter. When we got behind because of 9/11 and some difficult readings, she adjusted the syllabus and extended the deadline for a paper--basically, she doesn't operate under the illusion that hers is the only class you're taking. The class is straightforward, and her lectures are organized and interesting. Discussion got off-topic sometimes, and she's let it go for awhile, so the class was generally pretty engaging.