Sociology | The Sociology of Childhood
S344 | 21535 | 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) papers 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 the course.  The books required
for the course are: