Childhood in Culture

Term: Fall 2010

Subject Code: GANT

Course Number: 5501

Children don't speak, think, or behave like adults, and are as distinct from adults as the French are from the English; and the English are from North Americans. This course explores the lives of children, the lifespaces they inhabit, and commonly held ideas about children and parenting from a cultural perspective. It treats childhood both as a cultural construction and as a distinctly constructed culture. Topics include: how children in different cultures and historical epochs resemble each other; how children acquire knowledge of the cultures they live in and the knowledge needed to participate in these cultures; the importance of parents in shaping their children�s development; how different notions of childhood affect their developmental pathways. Focus is on representations of children and childhood in American culture.

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