Episode 4: Childhood: those golden years (or are they?)

Ahhh childhood-- those innocent years when kids use their imaginations, play outside, and have experiences that will shape them for life. Timeless, right? Except not. These understandings of childhood are pretty recent and often assume a white, middle-class, heteronormative child. We talk about where these ideas come from and some of the disturbing results when a kid doesn't conform to popular assumptions about what children "should" be like. Get ready to blow the lid off of childhood!

Links to Stuff We Talk About


Robin Bernstein. Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights. NYU Press (2011). http://nyupress.org/books/9780814787083/.

Sigmund Freud. "The Development of Sexual Function." An Outline of Psychoanalysis. (1940). http://www.cla.csulb.edu/departments/hdev/facultyinfo/documents/freud_developmentofsexualfunction.pdf

Viviana A. Zelizer. Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children. Princeton University Press (1994). http://press.princeton.edu/titles/5452.html.


Hugh Cunningham, “Histories of Childhood,” in The American Historical Review 103, no. 4 (October 1998): 1195–1208. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2651207.

Ezra Jack Keats. The Snowy Day. Viking Books for Young Readers (1996). http://www.amazon.com/The-Snowy-Day-Board-Book/dp/0670867330.

Turnette Powell. "Time Out." In Episode 538: "Is This Working?" This American Life. October 17, 2014.


Brit Bennett. "Addy Walker, American Girl." The Paris Review. May 28, 2015. http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/05/28/addy-walker-american-girl/.

Linda Geddes. "Does sharing photos of your children on Facebook put them at risk?" The Guardian. September 21, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/21/children-privacy-online-facebook-photos.

Anna Holmes. "White Until Proven Black: Imagining Race in Hunger Games" The New Yorker. March 30, 2012. http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/white-until-proven-black-imagining-race-in-hunger-games.

"Black Preschoolers Far More Likely To Be Suspended." NPR.org. March 21, 2014. http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/03/21/292456211/black-preschoolers-far-more-likely-to-be-suspended.


More on the Joker's Scar stories in The Dark Knight film (2008) here and here

Musical interludes from Taylor Swift and the Jackson Five.

Posted on July 9, 2015 .