This anthology from scholarly literature about children explores the ways society makes meaning of the period called childhood, the social forces that shape children, and the strategies children use to influence each other, their familes, and the larger adult world. The thirty four readings in Childhood in American Society examine how how definitions of "normal" and "ideal" childhood change across place and time, and vary with differences of race, class, and gender. They challenge traditional development and socialization approaches to studying childhood, and provide many examples based on ethnographies with children.
Karen Sternheimer is a member of the Sociology Department at the University of Southern California. She is also the author of Kids These Days: Facts and Fictions About Today's Youth (Rowman & Littlefield) and It's not the Media: The Truth About Pop Culture's Influence on Children (Westview Press).