Fall 2016 - SA 332 D100

The Anthropology of Childhood (A) (4)

Class Number: 6777

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2016: Thu, 8:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Jenny Shaw
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 201W.



A cross-cultural examination of the social and cultural relations that shape childhood in different settings. Topics to be considered could include: the social definition of childhood and child rearing; the institutional arrangements established for children and youth and the impact that these have on children, families, and society; the social construction of child and youth cultures.


Children and youths often play a central role in many societies yet the ways in which childhood and youth is constructed, practiced, and experienced ranges broadly according to different cultural contexts. In this course, we will examine the social, political, and economic aspects of "childhood" and "youth" in the contemporary world. Drawing on a range of theoretical and methodological literature, we will explore issues of kinship, socialization, power, mobility, identity, consumption, inequality, and more. We will also examine tensions in terms of how childhood is structured for young people as well as how young people are social actors and agents who creatively take up, push against, and reconfigure the world around them.


  • Participation 15%
  • Reading Responses (3 x 10% each) 30%
  • In-Class Presentation 25%
  • Final Paper 30%


Where a final exam is scheduled and you do not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, you will be assigned an N grade. Unless otherwise specified on the course outline, all other graded assignments in this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned.

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy:
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01-­‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style. It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student.html.



Mead, Margaret. 2001 [1930]. Growing Up in New Guinea. New York: Harper Collins.

Other required readings include journal articles and book chapters available through the SFU

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html