Children and Youth in Society, Fall,
: 116 Armory
Tues., Thurs., 12:20-2:15 PM
: Professor Steven Yussen
Room 104C ICD;
Office hours: By appointment
This course will consider the development of children in contemporary society, in
particular, how that development is influenced by social institutions and structure and the
social contexts in which children live and develop.
The basic premise of the course is
that all development- biological, physical, social, emotional, and cognitive- is influenced
by society and social context.
Society is a broad term, of course.
But for our purposes
we’ll consider the many social institutions and structures that, in a sense, define society
such as political and economic systems, medical and legal systems, family, school, and
media, and culture, race, and class.
These structures and institutions influence child
development in myriad ways, large and small.
Although we often describe aspects of children’s development in normative terms (most
children develop this way) and regard development as universal (most children all over
the world develop this way), we know these claims often are wrong or prove to be
The major focus of the class will be on children growing up in the
contemporary United States, to gain a sense of the wide range of social circumstances