Jul 13, 2024  
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2024-25 
OHIO University Undergraduate Catalog 2024-25
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AAS 4400 - The Black Child

What does it mean to be a black child in America at the beginning of the 21st century? We will consider how the meaning of childhood changes over time, place, and social context for African Americans. By moving children to the center of focus, we will see that there is no singular definition of African American childhood, but instead many different ways in which African Americans experience childhood and adolescence. Typically African American children are only studied as victims or perpetrators of social problems, but in this course we will consider African American children in many additional contexts. We will begin by examining the meaning(s) of childhood and adolescence and how they have changed over time. Throughout the course we will see how African American children’s lives are shaped by broader systems of inequality. We will also examine how African American children are active in the construction of their own peer cultures and popular culture, as well as why the relationship between Black youth and popular culture is routinely viewed as problematic, and how African American children are discussed within the popular press. Finally, we will examine how public policies shaping African Americans children and adolescents’ lives are formulated and how they sometimes serve to replicate various inequalities.

Requisites: Soph or Jr or Sr
Credit Hours: 3
Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.
Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture
Grades: Eligible Grades: A-F,WP,WF,WN,FN,AU,I
Learning Outcomes:
  • Students should be able to apply a child-centered approach to an analysis of the political and economic policies shaping African American childhood.
  • Students should be able to apply social constructivist frameworks to any analysis of children’s everyday life and the public policy designed to regulate their behavior.
  • Students should be able to discuss and assess the various social constructions of childhood and adolescence in the African American community.

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