Anthropology 394D: Socialization and Development
Instructor: Mark Moritz
Office HSS 205
Tel. 503 838-8306
Hours of instruction WF 14:00-15:50
Classroom CH 101
Office hours: M 1-2, W 4-5, F 8-11
Are babies divine, or do they have the devil in them? Should parents talk to their infants, or is it a waste of time? What would Dr. Spock have written if he were a healer from Bali, or a diviner from a rural village in West Africa? These and other questions about the nature and nurture of infants will be examined in this survey of cross-cultural diversity in patterns of socialization and child development. The course covers topics such as nursing, sleeping, schooling, attachment, learning, care-taking and parenting, developmental stages, and psychological development. We will explore child development, and the role of culture herein, from different theoretical perspectives, including evolutionary and ecocultural theory.
Students will study the socialization of children in the Willamette Valley from an anthropological perspective in independent research projects. Students will observe children and caretakers in one activity-setting, conduct interviews with caretakers, and critically examine research articles that concern the socialization and development of children.
You will learn about how different ways in which parents raise their children cross-culturally. You will learn how to study the socialization of children using an anthropological approach that involves observations, interviews, and critical analysis of scientific research.
The following books are required readings. They are available in the Book Store.
Small, Meredith F.
1998 Our babies, ourselves: how biology and culture shape the way we parent. New York: Anchor Books.
Lancy, David F.
1996 Playing on the mother-ground: cultural routines for children's development. New York: Guilford Press.
Tobin, Joseph, David Wu, and Dana Davidson
1991 Preschool in Three Cultures: Japan, China and the United States. New Haven (CT): Yale University Press.
Additional required readings will be made available through electronic course reserves (eReserves) on the library web site.
Participation: Students are expected to be actively engaged in class; that is, coming to class prepared, paying attention, and contributing to discussions both by making comments and by facilitating other people’s participation. Please try to share equally in talk so that everyone's voice can be heard. Students’ course performance will be evaluated for their efforts to learn through class participation as well as to contribute to classmates’ learning. Therefore, attendance at every class meeting is required. It is difficult to do well in the course if sessions are missed. Late arrival and early departure are considered poor involvement; they are disruptive to others and make it likely to miss essential information. Please contact me if there is an emergency situation. If you are ill and must miss a class, you are responsible for getting the notes and assignment information from classmates.
Readings: All assigned readings are mandatory. You are expected to have read the assigned readings once or twice before you come to class. As you read, highlight, take notes, summarize, look up new words or concepts, and come with questions for me and/or your classmates. In short, be prepared to discuss the readings in class. I also recommend you to go over the readings once more after class.
Questions: You have to bring at least three written questions to class. These can be questions of clarification (although I expect you always to consult a dictionary, encyclopedia, or the internet when you read the materials for class). But at least one of these questions must be a discussion question, i.e., an open-ended question that we can explore and discuss in class. Write in two or three sentences why you wrote down these questions. The questions must be turned in at the end of class and will be graded. Only 4 of the 14 questions you hand in will count towards your final grade. In other words, I will drop the four lowest scoring ones or you can skip four altogether. (Nota bene: this does not mean that you can come to class unprepared).
Research Project: You will study the socialization of children in the Willamette Valley from an anthropological perspective. You will focus on one activity-setting and explore it from multiple perspectives. The project consists of multiple parts.
Imagined Childcare Guide: You will write one childcare guide for parents in the Willamette Valley that describes the socialization of children in one particular activity setting of your choice.
Observations: You will do two hours of observation of an activity-setting in which children are socialized. You will take detailed notes and write a field report about your observations.
Ethnographic Interviews: You will interview two caretakers about the activity-setting that you observed. You will either record the interviews (of course, with permission from your interviewees) or take detailed notes. You will submit an interview report with your findings.
Critical Review of Research Papers: You will critically review two research papers that are relevant for your research project. The first one is due in week five. The other is due two weeks later.
Ecocultural Description: In week eight a description of the wider ecocultural setting of your activity-setting is due.
Presentation: All students will present their paper at the end of the course in a mini-conference. Both the presenter and the audience will be evaluated. Audience members are expected to be engaged and make critical and constructive comments that help presenters to improve their paper.
Final Paper: You will write up your observations, interview data, literature review, and ecocultural setting in an eight- to ten-page research paper on the socialization of children in your activity-setting.
Evaluation: Course responsibilities will be weighted in the following way:
% of course grade
Imagined child care guide
Critical review of research article (2)
Except in cases of properly documented illness or personal emergency, late assignments will progressively lose value and will be evaluated and returned as time allows.
Class web site: I will use my web site to post assignments and other information for the class ( http://www.wou.edu/~moritzm/teaching.htm ). Check it regularly.
Special notes from the instructor:
WEEK 1: INTRODUCTION
September 28: Introduction
Small (1998:xi-xxii, 43-69)
September 30: Child development in a cross-cultural perspective
☼ Film: Childhood
WEEK 2: EVOLUTIONARY THEORY
October 5: Other parents, other ways
☼ Film: Childhood
October 7: The evolution of babies
► Due imagined childcare guide
WEEK 3: BIOLOGY AND CULTURE
October 12: Sleep and Crying
(Small 1998:109-137, 177-212)
October 14: Breastfeeding
(Small 1998:139-175, 213-232), Nancy Scheper-Hughes (1990: 542-565)*
► Due field report (with fieldnotes)
WEEK 4: CULTURAL ROUTINES
October 19: Ecocultural theory
Lancy (1996: 1-30), Weisner (1997: 177-190)*
October 21: The Kpelle
Lancy (1996: 31-71), Associated Press (2005)*
► Due interview report (with notes)
WEEK 5: LEARNING CULTURE
October 26: The role of play
Lancy (1996: 72-119), Fiske (2000: 1-25)*
☼ Film: The cows of Dolo Ken Paye
October 28: The transition to work
Lancy (1996: 120-162)
☼ Film: That is why I work
► Due critical review of first research article
WEEK 6: FORMAL AND INFORMAL LEARNING
November 2: Apprenticeship
Lancy (1996: 163-178)
November 4: The Kwii way
Lancy (1996: 179-200)
WEEK 7: PRE-SCHOOL IN THREE CULTURES
November 9: Japan
Tobin (1989: 2-11, 12-71)
November 11: China
Tobin (1989: 72-125)
► Due critical review of second research article
WEEK 8: PREE-SCHOOL IN THREE CULTURES
November 16: United States
Tobin (1989: 126-187)
November 18: A comparative perspective
Tobin (1989: 188-221)
☼ Film: Pre-School in Three Cultures
► Due description of ecocultural setting
WEEK 9: CULTURE AND PERSONALITY
November 23: Pastoral personality & honor psychology
November 25: No class because of Thanksgiving
WEEK 10: STUDENT PRESENTATIONS
November 30: student presentations
December 2: No class because of AAA meetings
► Final paper due
1 Please note that his is a tentative schedule and that the instructor reserves the right to make changes.
* Readings marked with an asterisk (*) can be found on eReserves.