Unequal Childhoods: The Experience of Gender, Class, and Race in the Lives of Young People

Presented by Jessica Collette

Boys and girls play different sports on the field and instruments in band. Upper-class children have full schedules of structured activities, while poor and working class children are offered the freedom to explore their neighborhoods. Black children are warned about racism and discrimination, while White children are inundated with examples of people like them in media, politics, and power. In this class, we will discuss the varied ways that our experiences as children are shaped by our social location, while also considering the importance of childhood as a period of time where dimensions of difference are learned, cultivated, and reinforced.

About Jessica Collette

Jessica L. Collette is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. As a social psychologist, she is particularly interested in the relationship between small groups and identity and how our interactions with others not only shape our behavios, but also how we see ourselves. Most recently, she explores these processes in fathers, asking what men think it means to be a good father, where these standards came from, and how these expectations influence men's involvement in family life and their self-perceptions. She is co-author of Social Psychology (with John DeLamater and Dan Myers), a prominent textbook in her field, and a number of book chapter and journal articles.