Social & Legal Construction of Childhood

Course Description:

This interdisciplinary seminar explores the evolution of protections children are afforded in the United States and how issues of inequality affect a child’s experience of childhood. Course content includes a review of the socio-cultural and historical context of the passage of public policies to protect children (such as child labor, compulsory schooling, and protection from child abuse). Then students apply what they have learned about public policy and inequality to fictional or nonfictional (memoir) accounts of childhoods. Students read and write fiction or creative non-fiction with an analysis of the policy impacts on a child’s social and historical context.

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