Spring 2011 not offered
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.
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.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PSYC)
This course will rely on a wide range of readings including: excerpts from classic ethnographies, recent and classic theoretical essays on the study of child development, primary research literature and selections from popular periodicals.
Benedict, R. (2008). Continuities and discontinuities in cultural conditioning. In Anthropology and Child Development: A Cross-Cultural Reader. Ed., LeVine, R.A. & New, R.S., Blackwell Publishing: Malden, MA.
Best, D.L. (2000). Gender roles in childhood and adolescence. In Childhood and Adolescence: Cross-Cultural Perspectives and Applications. Ed., Gielen, U.P & Roopnarine, J., Paeger: Westport, CT.
Boas, F. (2008). Plasticity in child development. In Anthropology and Child Development: A Cross-Cultural Reader. Ed., LeVine, R.A. & New, R.S., Blackwell Publishing: Malden, MA.
Bornstein, M.H. & Cheah, C.S.L. (2006). The place of ┐culture and parting┐ in the ecological contextual perspective on developmental science. In Parenting Beliefs, Behaviors, and Parent-Child Relations. Ed. Rubin, K. & Chung, O.B., Psychology Press: New York, NY.
Fouts, H.N. (2000). Social contexts of weaning: The importance of cross-cultural studies. In Childhood and Adolescence: Cross-Cultural Perspectives and Applications. Ed., Gielen, U.P & Roopnarine, J., Paeger: Westport, CT.
Hewlett, B.S. (1989). Multiple caretaking among the African Pygmies. American Anthropologist, 91, 186-191.
Harkness, S. & Super, C.M. (2006). Themes and variations: Parental ethnotheories in Western cultures. In Parenting Beliefs, Behaviors, and Parent-Child Relations. Ed. Rubin, K. & Chung, O.B., Psychology Press: New York, NY.
Hrdy, S. (2000). Who cared? in Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species, Ballantine Books.
Jones, N.B. (1996). Bushman birth spacing: A test for optimal interbirth intervals. In Human Nature: A Critical Reader. Ed., Betzig, L., Oxford University Press: London.
Malinowski, B. (2008). Childhood in the Trobriand Islands, Melanesia. In Anthropology and Child Development: A Cross-Cultural Reader. Ed., LeVine, R.A. & New, R.S., Blackwell Publishing: Malden, MA.
Mead, M. (1928). The girl in conflict. In Coming of Age in Samoa. Harper Collins Publishers Inc.: New York, NY.
Whiting, W.M. & Whiting, B.B. (1994). Altruistic and egoistic behavior of children in six cultures. In Culture and Human Development: The Selected Papers of John Whiting. Ed., Chasidi, E.H. & D'Andrade, R., Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
The course will include several short quizzes, exams (consisting of multiple choice, short answer and essay questions) and a final paper. Students will also be given credit for class participation.
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