This course has three objectives:
- to introduce key areas of research and theory about the socialization and development of African American children
- to facilitate critical thinking about this body of literature
- to consider research and theory about the socialization and development of African American children in the context of social policy and current issues in public discourse.
The course focuses on the influence of economic, cultural, family, peer, and school contexts on various domains of development in poor and middle-class African American children (e.g., racial identity, self-esteem, psychosocial development, academic motivation and achievement, delinquency, physical health). It reflects an emphasis on both problematic development and resilience, and gives attention to social policy and interventions that can potentially improve the lives of African American children and their families.
Readings consist of review/conceptual papers (to provide a broad overview of the current knowledge base, issues, constructs, and research traditions characterizing a particular field of study) and data-based articles (to provide a sense of how a research investigation is actually conducted and written up). The authors of most readings are psychologists and sociologists.
Students are required to take three exams. Each exam will be in two parts. One part (in-class) will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions. The other part (take-home) will consist of one or two essay questions (to be answered in roughly four double-spaced typed pages). Students are also required to participate in a point/counterpoint presentation in which two groups present alternative or opposing points of view about a specific issue. Student evaluation is based on performance on the three exams and the group presentation. Readings available through CTools.