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Childhood Socialization and Development

The Social Construction of Childhood

1.  What is meant by the phrase “Childhood is socially constructed?”

2.  Discuss how childhood socialization is based both “biologically” and “culturally”.

3.  Compare and contrast “means based social programs” and “age based social programs”. Give an example of each, and discuss how these programs impact children in the U.S.

4.  List some of the reasons why studying children is more challenging than studying adults.  What techniques have researchers used to address these challenges? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the macro vs. micro level methods described in the text?

5.  Discuss the factors that have contributed to the rise in grandparents raising their grandchildren. What are some of the issues these grandparents face?  How can this family structure be positive for both the grandparents and children? 

6.  How might each of the socioeconomic changes impacting the family as discussed in class make the experience of childhood qualitatively different today from what it was like in the 1950’s and 1960’s? 

7.  Children are exposed to many factors which influence their attitudes and behaviors regarding gender roles. Discuss why the strongest influence on gender role development occurs within the family. 

8.  Describe and discuss the challenges immigrant children face and how they contribute to their families as “language brokers.”

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