HIST 365
Winter 2004
CRN 22262

Course Information

Course Calendar





week 1

What Is Childhood: What does it mean? When does it begin and end? Why does it matter as a social category and “problem”?

Tuesday, January 6 / Introduction

Thursday, January 8 / Theorizing Childhood: Development, Dependency, Social Context

Question / Can we study childhood without also studying adulthood, parenthood, families, and communities?

Reading /

Lisa Belkin, “Your Kids Are Their Problem,” New York Times Magazine, July 23 2000, 30-. [CP]

Erica Goode, “Young Killer: Bad Seed or Work in Progress?” New York Times, November 25, 2003. [CP]

Melissa Fay Greene, “What Will Become of Africa’s AIDS Orphans?New York Times Magazine, December 22, 2002.

Christina Hoff Sommers, “The War Against Boys,” Atlantic Monthly, May 2000, 59-74. [CP]

Matthew Speier, “The Adult Ideological Viewpoint in Studies of Childhood,” in Rethinking Childhood: Perspectives on Development and Society, ed. Arlene Skolnick (Boston: Little, Brown, 1976), 168-186. [CP]

Reading and Discussion Questions for Week 1


week 2

Historical Childhood: The Case of the United States

Tuesday, January 13

Thursday, January 15

Reading / Paula S. Fass and Mary Ann Mason, eds., Childhood in America

Please read at least the following selections. I have listed them in the order in which they appear in the book and have included the page number on which they begin. They total approximately 100 pages.

Children’s Voices from the Civil War, 129
Adolescence in Historical Perspective, 132
Families Started by Teenagers, 169
Family Life in Plymouth Colony, 201
The Life of a Slave Child, 221
Managing Young Children, 223
Cracking Down in Kids, 229
Father/Masters: Children/Servants, 237
Apprentices, Servants, and Child Labor, 244
Choosing a Trade, 249
A Child Worker in the Garment Industry, 256
The Changing Social Value of Children, 260
Child Labor and the Law, 272
Education and the Concept of Childhood, 283
The Child and the Curriculum, 303
School Desegregation, 318
Orphans’ Court, 352
Placing Orphan Children With Farm Families, 359
Shadow of the Plantation: Separation and Adoption, 371
Fit to Be a Parent?, 387
Lesbian Parents in Custody Disputes, 391
Teenage Voices from Foster Care, 399
Waifs of the City’s Slums, 417
Infant Mortality, 427
By Silence Betrayed: The Sexual Abuse of Children in America, 449
Media Violence and Children, 469
Polymorphous Perversity, 491
Lolita, 511
The Disappearance of Childhood: The Total Disclosure Medium, 515
The Politics of Parental Notification, 530
The State as Superparent, 549
The Children’s Charter, 570
The Right to Vote, 591

Outline and Key Terms for Week 2


week 3

Week 3: Scientific Childhood: Conceptualizing Development

Tuesday, January 20

Assignment / Book Review statement due before class, including title and one-paragraph explanation.

Thursday, January 22

Reading / Significant statements by modern developmental theorists, considered in chronological order:

Charles Darwin, “A Biographical Sketch of an Infant,” Mind 2 (1877):285-294. [CP]

Sigmund Freud, “The Sexual Life of Human Beings” in Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis, trans. James Strachey, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (New York: W.W. Norton, 1966), 303-319. [CP]

Sigmund Freud, “The Development of the Libido and the Sexual Organizations” in A General Introduction to Psycho-Analysis, trans. Joan Riviere (New York: Liveright Publishing Corp., 1935), 281-296. [CP]

John B. Watson, “How the Behaviorist Studies Infants and Children,” in Psychological Care of Infant and Child (New York: W.W. Norton, 1928), 11-44. [CP]

Arnold Gesell, “Growth Potency and Infant Personality” in Infancy and Human Growth (New York: Macmillan, 1928), 355-378. [CP]

Kenneth B. Clark and Mamie P. C lark, “Emotional Factors in Racial Identification and Preference in Negro Children,” Journal of Negro Education 19, no. 3 (Summer 1950): 341-350. [CP]

Erik Erikson, “Eight Ages of Man,” in Childhood and Society (New York: W.W. Norton, 1950), 219-234. [CP]

Jerome Kagan, The Nature of the Child (New York: Basic Books, 1984), chap. 7, 240-276 (“The Role of the Family”) [CP]

Outline and Key Terms for Week 3

Reading and Discussion Questions for Week 3

week 4

Cultural Childhood: Their Children and Our Children

Tuesday, January 27

Thursday, January 29

Reading / Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa

Outline and Key Terms for Week 4

Reading and Discussion Questions for Week 4

week 5

Cultural Childhood: The Notion of Innocence

Tuesday, February 3

Thursday, February 5

Reading / Anne Higonnet, Pictures of Innocence

Outline for Week 5

Reading and Discussion Questions for Week 5

week 6

Begin 4-Week Unit on Child Welfare and Adoption

Historical Adoption: Legal and Social Arrangements

This 4-week unit has two goals: 1) to have students explore a single issue in some depth, and 2) to expose students to a major research project in the field as it evolves. I will share some of my own work with the class and, in particular, would like to involve students in making suggestions for The Adoption History Project, a website that was recently launched and is still very much under development.

Tuesday, February 10

Assignment / Book review due before class

Introduction to The Adoption History Project: Origins, Goals, Future Development

Thursday, February 12

Reading / The Adoption History Project

Begin by looking at the timeline on the website. Read the page called Adoption History in Brief. Then choose at least three other topics, two people, and one organization to read about. Be sure to read the documents that are associated with each of the pages you choose. They are listed and linked at the bottom of each page, in a box titled "Document Excerpts."

Make a short list of topics, organizations, people, or other subjects that you think should be added to the website and bring it with you to class.

Outline and Key Terms for Week 6

week 7

Scientific Adoption: Adoption Technology and Research

Tuesday, February 17

Thursday, February 19

Reading / The Adoption History Project

In the section of the website titled Adoption Studies/Adoption Science and read the brief descriptions of field, outcome, nature-nuture, and psychopathology studies. Then select one study in each category (nature-nurture and psychopathology studies each currently contain descriptions of only one study) and read that page, along with the associated excerpts from the studies themselves.

Begin Barbara Kingsolver, Pigs in Heaven

Outline and Key Terms for Week 7

week 8

Cultural Adoption: Matching Controversies and Native Children

Tuesday, February 24

Thursday, February 26

Reading /

Finish Barbara Kingsolver, Pigs in Heaven

from The Adoption History Project

Read the following pages and associated document excerpts:

The Indian Adoption Project

The Indian Child Welfare Act

film: “First Person Plural”

week 9

Cultural Adoption: Matching Controversies and African-American Children

Tuesday, March 2

Thursday, March 4

Assignment / Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood assignment due before class

Reading / Dorothy Roberts, Shattered Bonds: Introduction, 103-172, 223-276.

Reading and Discussion Questions for Week 9

Outline and Key Terms for Week 9

from The Adoption History Project

Read the following pages and associated document excerpts:

African-American Adoptions

Transracial Adoptions

week 10


Tuesday, March 9

Thursday, March 11

Assignment / Final exam to be handed out in class on Thursday, March 11. Due Tuesday, March 16 by 5 pm in 321 McKenzie Hall.