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Raising Good Citizens

The condition of children in a society tells us a great deal about its values.  Family structure, relationships, and children's place in the community reflect a society's concerns about what makes a good citizen and a good society.  The seminar extends PACS1's study of family, interpersonal relationships, and civil society by exploring various past and present forms of childhood and family.  Discussions will focus on a range of topics such as education, work, play, violence, sexuality, parents and experts, and media and popular culture.  We pay close attention to the diversity of child and family experiences based on such factors as gender, race, religion, class, and sexuality.

The course examines questions such as: 1) What familial forms are acceptable and how are these determinations made?  2) When are young people viewed as individuals and when are they thought about in terms of their connections to their families, communities, nations, and the world?  3) For what are children "valued," how are they defined, and for what purposes are they educated? 4) How do youth experiences differ across time and place? 5) How do young people shape civil society? 6) What do mothers' and fathers' roles tell us about social values?