| The Sociology of Childhood
S344 | 3643 | Corsaro
S344 The Sociology of Childhood Corsaro 2:30-3:45 TR 3643
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 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, pre-adolescent, 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 also
examine the social problems of children and the future of
There will be three in-class short answer essay exams, several
short written assignments, and one 6-8 page paper. The books
required for the course are:
Cindy Dell Clark, Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith: Children's
Myths in Contemporary America.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.
William A. Corsaro (1997). The Sociology of Childhood.
Thousands Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
Donna Eder (1995). School Talk: Gender and Adolescent Culture.
New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
Judith Harris, (1998). The Nurture Assumption. New York: Free