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Cross-Cultural Childhoods
PSYC 339
Spring 2009
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: ANTH 239

The course will begin by examining different attitudes and practices during prenatal development and continue through early adulthood. We will consider the perspectives of the child, parents, other family members and larger society. Developmental experiences will be examined in traditional societies and developing nations, as well as in modern industrialized societies. A wide range of developmental topics will be considered. Examples of topics in child development include: weaning practices, sleep patterns, paternal contribution, education, sibling relationships and childcare practices. Examples of topics in adolescence and early adulthood include: anxiety in adolescence and the age of economic independence, sexual activity and marriage. Some disturbing and controversial material will be discussed in a respectful atmosphere (e.g., cultural relativism and severe neglect). Students will have the opportunity to opt out of potentially disturbing discussions. The strengths and weaknesses of multiple theoretical approaches to development will be addressed and debated. A few examples of these theories include: cultural relativism, universal learning mechanisms, evolutionary ecology and evolutionary psychology.

Essential Capabilities: Ethical Reasoning, Intercultural Literacy
This course will develop students' intercultural literacy by presenting them with the practices and values of numerous cultures. This material will be discussed in such as way that students are encouraged to develop an appreciation and respect for the variation observed in human cultures.

While much of this course will deal with gaining respect for the other cultures, in some instances practices that would be considered unethical in our culture will be discussed. Students will be challenged to conceptualize how these practices, and some of our own, would look to individuals from these cultures. Further, students will be asked to consider if and when our system of ethics is relevant in the study of other societies.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS PSYC
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PSYC)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUL-16-2024
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