FYS 101 Childhood

Childhood is a changing social phenomenon, of continual fascination and concern. This course will examine childhood from a cross-cultural perspective. Every cultural community provides developmental pathways for children. We will explore how the behavior and psychological functioning of children are shaped by culture and how different cultures tend to produce children with characteristic personalities, selves, thought patterns, and behaviors. The course will focus on how human knowledge is transmitted through multiple cultural channels in both informal and formal contexts. We will learn about the wide variety of childhoods/families that exist across the world and caution against interfering in or criticizing people whose lives, and understandings of the world, are very different from our own. An analysis of how childhood has changed across time will also be discussed.