Sociology | The Sociology of Childhood
S344 | 21639 | Corsaro


This course recognizes and examines childhood as a structural form
and children as social agents who contribute to societal reproduction
and change through their negotiations with adults and through their
creative production of a series of peer cultures with other
children.  The course considers the relation of childhood to other
social forms or institutions and examines children=s participation in
and contributions to society historically and cross-culturally.  The
course will discuss research methods for studying childhood and
compare the importance of family and peer experiences for children=s
social development and the quality of their childhoods.  There will
be a special focus on the importance of peer interaction and culture
for childhood.  We will examine experiences in the family that play a
key role in children=s transition to an initial peer culture.  We
will then describe and consider central themes and features of
children=s preschool, preadolescent, and early adolescent peer
cultures.  The course also examines how cultural values and social
policies in the areas of education, family, and work affect
children=s lives.  Finally, the course will examine the social
problems of children and the future of childhood.
There will be a mid-term exam, two (6-7 page) paper related to
preadolescent and adolescent peer culture, a final paper (7-8 pages)
related to the social problems of children, and weekly paragraphs
discussing readings and class lectures.  There will be a packet of
assigned readings and three books for course.  The books required for
the course are :

Patricia A. Adler and Peter Adler (1998).  Peer Power: Preadolescent
Culture and Identitiy.  New Bruswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press

William A. Corsaro (2005). The Sociology of Childhood. 2nd edition.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Donna Eder (1995).  School Talk: Gender and Adolescent Culture.  New
Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.