History of the Modern Family (HIST*2800) | College of Arts

History of the Modern Family (HIST*2800)

Code and section: HIST*2800*01

Term: Winter 2016

Instructor: Linda Mahood


Course Synopsis:

In the early 1970s, psychotherapist, Lloyd DeMause stated, “childhood is a nightmare from which we are just awakening.” Around the same time, comedian Woody Allen asked, “how can I be normal when my parent’s beliefs were God and Carpeting?” What is family? What is childhood? This course deals with the major themes in the history of childhood, the transition to adulthood and the social construction of family life in the institutions of education, social work, social policy, health sciences and the media. While the focus is on the Western world, Europe, the United States and Canada will be emphasized. This is an interdisciplinary course. Lectures will focus on: fairy tales, early and modern adolescence, parenthood, the domestic economy, familial survival strategies, the historical construction of sexualities and the media. The historical periods covered include: the Early Modern (1500-1700), The Victorians (1837-1901), the Roaring ‘20s, Dirty ‘30s, Functional ‘50s, the 60’s Revolution and the 1970s. We will explore theories of childhood, youth subculture, the family, feminisms and education and the emergence of children’s rights.

Course Assessment and Weights:

Mid-term #1 (20%)
Mid-term #2 (25%)
Written or Visual Assignment (20%)
Cumulative Final Exam (35%)

Required Texts:

John D'Emilio, Estelle B. Freedman, Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012. (Third Edition).

Hugh Cunningham, Children & Childhood in Western Society since 1500. London: Routledge, 2004. (Second Edition)

Additional required readings are available on Courselink.


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