Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Course Description

GLS 514: Post-Modern Childhood

Instructor: Donna King

songs of innocence

In his classic study Centuries of Childhood, French cultural historian, Phillipe Aries, makes the bold assertion that "in medieval society the idea of childhood did not exist" (1962:125). Aries' discovery that the seemingly immutable bio-developmental event we call childhood is in large measure a social construction opens a world of possibilities for analyzing and understanding the meaning and experience of contemporary childhood. What does it mean to be a child today? What influences have the media and marketing to children had on the experience of childhood. Are Americans ambivalent about children? What about street children or children who kill? Through the study of scholarly sources, literature, film, television, and advertisements, we will analyze the social worlds of children in postmodern and increasingly global consumer culture.

Last Update: February 3, 2012