Body of Knowledge

The foundation of our profession

Family and Consumer Sciences is the “science of living well” and represents the essence of our being. It is integrative, synergistic, and holistic, driven by a deep commitment to individuals, families, and communities. Plus, it is important across the lifespan and through environmental contexts. To make sense of our Body of Knowledge, we’ll take it apart and put it back together again. Watch the video below to learn about our Body of Knowledge. As you watch, reflect on the following guiding questions.  

  • How do you see the Body of Knowledge in your everyday life? 
  • Why is the Body of Knowledge important to well-being? 
  • In what ways is the Body of Knowledge impacting the world around you?  

Our Body of Knowledge consists of three main categories: core concepts, integrative elements, and cross cutting themes, each of which includes items that help define the different categories. 

Diagram with circles. Outer circle text: Resource Development and Sustainability, Capacity Building, Appropriate Use of Technology, Global Interdependence, Wellness. Next circle: Life Course Development, Human Ecosystems. Next circle: Individual Well-being, Family Strengths, Community Vitality. Innermost circle: Basic Human NeedsCore Concepts  

  • Basic Human Needs 
  • Individual Well-Being 
  • Family Strengths 
  • Community Vitality 

Integrative Elements 

  • Life Course Development 
  • Human Ecosystems   

Cross Cutting Themes 

  • Capacity Building  
  • Global Interdependence  
  • Resource Development and Sustainability  
  • Appropriate Use of Technology 
  • Wellness 

The Body of Knowledge will help you better understand the interconnectedness of your major or future career’s relationship to family and consumer sciences. By recognizing environmental context and its influence on you, the community, and globally, you will be able to analyze problems, understand processes, and serve as a resource and expert to address and solve grand challenges locally and beyond.  

Nickols, S. Y., Ralston, P. A., Anderson, C. L., Browne, L., Schroedor, G., Thomas, S., Wild, P. (2009). The Family and Consumer Sciences Body of Knowledge and the Cultural Kaleidoscope: Research Opportunities and Challenges. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 37 (3), 266-283. DOI: 10.1177/1077727X08329561

Body of Knowledge Video

Next: Body of Knowledge and Me

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