Spring 2019

Unequal Childhoods:  Race, Class and Gender in the United States

Listed in: American Studies, as AMST-265  |  Anthropology and Sociology, as SOCI-265


Leah C. Schmalzbauer (Section 01)


(Offered as SOCI 265 and AMST 265) This class explores the ways in which race, class, gender and immigration status shape children’s lives. We begin by conceptualizing childhood as a social construct whose meaning has changed over time and that varies across context; for class privileged individuals, for example, childhood or adolescence may extend into the third decade of life, whereas for “others,” poverty and/or family responsibilities and community struggles may mean it scarcely exists at all. The bulk of the course draws from ethnographic scholarship focused on the relationship between childhood and inequality in key institutional contexts including school, family and the legal system. Through ethnography, we will critically examine the ways in which inequalities among and between groups of children shape their daily life experiences, aspirations and opportunities, and what this means for overall trends of inequality in the United States.

Limited to 35 students. Spring semester. Professor Schmalzbauer.

If Overenrolled: Priority given to sociology majors then first and second year students


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Spring 2019