CHDV/FACS 154 (03)
Issues in Parenting - Fall, 2012
Hembree 

 

Book Club

Two discussion assignments are based on the book: How Eskimos keep their babies warm: And other adventures in parenting. These book club assignments involve reading a portion of the text and responding to a series of reflection questions. As with other discussion assignments, responses to questions should be word-processed and ready to turn in at the beginning of the class session. Late assignments are not accepted and you must be present to receive full credit for the discussion assignment.

The Book

We'll be discussing the following book.

Hopgood, M. . (2012). How Eskimos keep their babies warm: And other adventures in parenting (from

Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between). Algonquin Books.

There are many sources for this book (including the public library). Here is one:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Eskimos-Keep-Their-Babies-Warm/dp/156512958X

Book Description from Publisher:

A tour of global practices that will inspire American parents to expand their horizons (and geographical borders) and learn that there’s more than one way to diaper a baby.
 
Mei-Ling Hopgood, a first-time mom from suburban Michigan—now living in Buenos Aires—was shocked that Argentine parents allow their children to stay up until all hours of the night. Could there really be social and developmental advantages to this custom? Driven by a journalist’s curiosity and a new mother’s desperation for answers, Hopgood embarked on a journey to learn how other cultures approach the challenges all parents face: bedtimes, potty training, feeding, teaching, and more.
 
Observing parents around the globe and interviewing anthropologists, educators, and child-care experts, she discovered a world of new ideas. The Chinese excel at potty training, teaching their wee ones as young as six months old. Kenyans wear their babies in colorful cloth slings—not only is it part of their cultural heritage, but strollers seem outright silly on Nairobi’s chaotic sidewalks. And the French are experts at turning their babies into healthy, adventurous eaters. Hopgood tested her discoveries on her spirited toddler, Sofia, with some enlightening results.
 
This intimate and surprising look at the ways other cultures raise children offers parents the option of experimenting with tried and true methods from around the world and shows that there are many ways to be a good parent.

 

Book Club Assignments

We will discuss How Eskimos keep their babies warm: And other adventures in parenting  as a class on two occasions in "book club" groups. In preparation for the discussion, you will need to (a) read the assigned portion of the book and (b) complete a series of reflection questions. Responses must be word processed and completed and turned in at the beginning of class on the day they are due. No late assignments will be accepted. You must be present during discussion to receive full credit.

Book Club Assignment #1

Read pp. 1-149 and respond to the following questions.

1. What do you think about incorporating the practices portrayed in the first half of the book?  Are there any you think you'd like to try? Why? Are there some you think would not work? Why not?

2. Hopgood often mentions that other parents she meets strictly adhere to their parenting practices, and sometimes think she is "crazy" to go against the accepted practice in a community. What are some of the accepted practices in your community? Do you think it would be difficult to go against these practices? What response might you have to another parent who questions your practice?

3. Of what value (if any) is it to consider parenting in other cultures?

4. Develop TWO discussion questions for your book club group - two things you are wondering about and would like to discuss in the group, not factual questions. Be prepared to present and discuss these questions in your group.
 

Book Club Assignment #2

Read pp. 150-258 and respond to the following questions.

1. Describe a practice from the second half of the book that surprises you. Is there a practice that you would like to try? Is there a practice that you think would NOT work here?

2. What does this book have to say about the influence of culture and cultural values on parenting practice? Provide examples.

3. Identify a theme (or "take home" message) from this book. What do you think the author is trying to convey by writing about  parental practice in these different cultures? Do you think this is a worthwhile message? Why or why not?

4. Develop TWO discussion questions for your book club group - two things you are wondering about and would like to discuss in the group, not factual questions. Be prepared to present and discuss these questions in your group.
 

 

Send problems, comments or suggestions to: hembrees@csus.edu

California State University, Sacramento

College of Education

Department of Child Development

Updated: January 20, 2012

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