Dr. Patrick Ryan

Course Calendar

Week 1 - Jan. 9 - Course Introduction

Reading: NA 
Discussion Moderators: NA

Lecture Resources

Photograph Exercise


Week 2 - Jan. 16 - Discourses of Childhood

Reading: McNamee - Introduction, Chapter 1

Prompt: While reading media news reports, or viewing advertising and TV shows, gather together some contemporary examples of images, key phrases (etc.) of childhood.  What discourses might have fostered these representations?  What consequences might these ideas have for the practice of childhood?

DL 114 - A. Alsindi, J. Fichter, M. Fisher
BH 107 - S. George, S. LeMay, J. Liambotis
LH 220 - C. Macdonald, J. Misk, B. Reeve
W178 - A, Spencer and A. Wouda
Lecture Resources

Text-Discourse Dynamic

Vermeer's The Milkmaid (1658)

John Locke, excerpt from Some Thoughts par. 42-46 (1693)

Key Family Portrait (L16C)

The Peale Family
(L 18C)


L1 Keywords
discursive positioning
child-adult dualism
master-servant childhood
puritan child
John Locke
tabula rasa
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
amour-propre (vs) amour de soi
childhood conditioning

Week 3 - Jan. 23 - Theories of Childhood

Reading: McNamee - Chapters 2-3

Prompt: How does the idea that children 'become' adults shape the relationships between generations?

DL 114 - N. Amaya and S. Dunleavy
BH 107 - S. Goodison and J. Leis
LH 220 - S. Macdonald and K. Ragbeer
W178 - J. Romphf and E. Williams

Lecture Resources

Arnold Gesell, "Yale Clinic" (1947)

L2 Keywords
scientific method
Arnold Gesell
developmental theories
B.F. Skinner
Margaret Mead
nature-nurture couplet

Week 4 - Jan. 30 - Social Actor Approaches

Reading: McNamee - Chapter 4

Prompt: Read the news articles on Cassandra C and Leah Beth Richards (see lecture resources) and pay attention to how the articles (and those quoted in them) portray the young people at the center of these controversies.  How might these ideas be related to their rights to care and rights to participation?

DL 114 - Z. Bala and P. Doyle
BH 107 - H. Gunn and K. Lee
LH 220 - E. Maharaj and S. Quaite
W178 - C. Rooke and N. Smith

Lecture Resources

Leah Beth Richards

Cassandra C

L3 Keywords
social actors
social subjects
types of agency
agency v. power
age groups
generational relations
participant observation
strange situation
child-friendly methods
the problem of "voice"
participatory action research
co-participant research
authenticity-politics couplet


Week 5 - Feb. 6 - Childhood & Rights

Reading: Bluebond-Langner Chapters 1-2

In Lecture: Short Quiz (10%)

Prompt: While reading Chapter 2 of BL, mark passages where children positioned themselves or were positioned by others as (1) social actors, (2) innocent of their situation, (3) products of environment, (4) developing organisms. 

DL 114 - C. Baruth, K. Chung, E. Dowd
BH 107 - K. Hamilton, M. Sanchez, M. Lapointe
LH 220 - C. Mathies and M. Pietrobon
W178 - V. Sams, B. Rodriquez, and L. Stone
Lecture Resources


Croteau Case

Unicef Chile
L4 Keywords
negative rights
positive rights
participatory rights
rights of care
United Nations
UNCRC 12,13, 18, 28

- African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Week 7 - Feb 13 - Agency, Structure, and Institutions - Part 1

Reading: Bluebond-Langner, Chapters 3-5
McNamee, Chapter 10

Prompt: What approach should the government, medical professionals, and educators take (if any) toward obesity during childhood?  Does the answer change if we switch from obesity to anorexia?  Does what children have to say matter, and if so – in what sense?

DL 114 - M. Bell, B. Donnelly, and S. Earhart
BH 107 - J. Harkness and  J. Lam
LH 220 - T. Mccormick, S. Montes, G. Gomez
W178 - O. Sanusi and K. Wells

Lecture Resources
Piaget's Questions on Children's Concept of Life

Bluebond-Langner's Stages of Children & Death

Susan Carey's Stages of Children's Concept of Death

 L 5/6 Keywords
Jean Piaget
scientific method
developmental stage theory
Bluebond-Langners Theses
Lawrence Kohlberg
Heinz Dilemma


Week 8 - Feb. 27 - Agency, Structure, and Institutions - Part 2

Reading: McNamee, Chapter 5 
Bluebond-Langner, Chapters 6-7

Prompt: The concept of the “mutual pretense” is very important in BL.  Try to think of at least one example of this phenomena from your life; what consequences do you think it has had?

DL 114 - Y. Ahmed, K. Boersma-Vanderheyden, N. Delmage
BH 107 - M. Hendriksen
LH 220 - R. Mccracken, A. Pawlowska, and J. Randall
W178 - Group Discussion
Lecture Resources

Baby in a Box

Identity Formation Models

Rights-Identity Diagram
L5/6 Keywords
Orthodox Theories of Socialization
Secondary Adjustment
Identity Formation
Mutual Pretense
BUPA on Children and Bereavement
Right to Medical Consent

welfare state
helping professions
tutelary complex
best interest of the child
moral panic

Week 9 - Mar. 6 - Poverty & Welfare I

Reading: McNamee, Chapters 6

Due: Review of Bluebond-Langner (35%)

No Prompt - Paper Due

DL 114 - P. Ryan
BH 107 - A. Buzceck
LH 220 - J. Strathearn
W 178 - A. Herrington

Lecture Resources



Campaign2000 Report Card (2015)

Campaign2000 Older data

Homeless Youth data

 L 7/8 Keywords
welfare state
child poverty statistics
Youth homelessness

Children's views on parenting
quality time v. ordinary time
Mennonite patriarchy

Week 10 - Mar. 13 - Poverty & Welfare II

Reading: McNamee, Chapter 7

Prompt: Reflect on your school days.  In what situations (in all aspects of schooling) was your engagement thickest, and thinnest?   What produced this variation in ‘engagement’?

DL 114 - B. Bucci and M. Davidson
BH 107 - K. Kwant, T. Hendrix and S. Fournie
LH 220 - R. McCulloch and K. Parsons
W178 - B. Senczuk-Delgado and A. Verbeem
Lecture Resources

Global Gini Coefficient Map

Canadian Poverty Trends

Taxes & Transfers

Welfare Income

International Comparisons
L 7/8 Keywords
quintile distribution
gini coefficient
poverty levels by family type
poverty reduction figures
Gosslin v. Quebec (2002)
global income inequity
international comparisons

Malal Yousafzi
discipline and resistance
space, time, and bodies
friendship hierarchies

Week 11 - Mar. 20 - Consumer Culture

Reading: McNamee, Chapter 8

Prompt: This week keep an eye open for children working in your midst.  Write it down and bring it for show and tell.

DL 114 - P. Cabral and T. Corcelli
BH 107 - N. Botero and X. Kou
LH 220 - A. McKeown and K. Newton
W178 - E. Watson, and C. Vanderveen
Lecture Resources
Candyland Ad

Numbers Up Ad

Captive Audience

Rafael Casal "My Miller Chill"
consumer culture
features of pre-20C play
features of 20C play
Advertising & Identity

Paidimeta Programme
The Kundapur Declaration

Week 12 - Mar. 27 - Childhood Marketing I

Reading: McNamee, Chapter 9

Prompt: How did you use electronic technologies as a child (social media, video games,  television, etc.), and what concerns or observations do you have about this ways of playing or communicating?

DL 114 - C. Campbell, C. Cavanagh, and S. Cole
BH 107 - E. Giustizia and C. King
LH 220 - K. Mehlenbacher and J. Mount

W178 - M. Snoeys and R. Taylor

Lecture Resources

Mountain Dew (Fuse) Campaign

Merchants of Cool

Institutional Audience
Cultural Presence

play/leisure distinction
the disappearance of childhood
concerns about social media

Week 13 - Apr. 3 - Childhood Marketing II

Reading: McNamee, Chapter 11


Prompt: Pay attention to advertising this week.  Note at least one example and how it positions children and youth (as social actors; as developing, conditioned, or authentic persons.

DL 114 - F. Chau and R. Cliffen
BH 107 - D. Johnson and H. Killing
LH 220 - B. Minifie and T. Moore

W178 - C. Souza and M. Mohammed


Lecture Resources

Merchants of Cool

Omar Khadr
child soldiers
Universalism & Relativism