Inquiry:

Coming of Age:

Images of Maturity and Fulfillment

 

Professor: Daniel Meckel

Office: Anne Arundel 110C

Office: 4464

Email: djmeckel@smcm.edu

Office hours: 9:39-10:30 MW

 

Course Summary

This course invites you to articulate and explore your assumptions about coming of age, that is to say, about becoming an “adult.”  You are encouraged to think deeply, critically, and comparatively about adulthood as both a universal feature of human development and as an historical and culturally variable set of ideals.  In doing so together, we will focus on the topics of fulfillment, self, intimacy, and responsibility (family, work, finances); asking ourselves throughout what it is that we assume to be a “healthy” or “mature” adult in these respects, and what we take to be an unhealthy or immature one.  As these assumptions come clear, we will consider some of their sources – e.g., the economy, popular media, religious life and values, Western democracy and cultures.  Further, we will compare our notions of adulthood compare to those found in non-Western settings. 

Throughout the course we will use as a critical reference point the life-cycle theory of psychoanalyst Erik Erikson. Erikson gives us a way of thinking about the stages of life, as well as the human strengths or virtues that develop in each stage.  We may not agree with Erikson but his influential ideas will serve as a point of comparison for our own thoughts.  Finally, in our pursuit of the meanings of “coming of age” we will also consider Swedish film, adolescent bedrooms, excessive thumb sucking, heavy metal parking lots, arranged marriage, debt, impending death, and other things.

 

Required Text:  Kamenetz, Anya  Generation Debt: Why Now is a Terrible Time to Be Young

All other readings will be available through e-reserve.  The password is sdmmc6.

 

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Course Schedule
QUESTIONS OF ADULTHOOD

Week I

M Aug. 28:  Introductions

 

Readings and Assignments:

 Readings are due for the day on

which they are listed 

 

 Exploratory writing assignment 1

 

W Aug. 30:  Questioning “Adulthood”

What you can change, what you can’t change, and everything (is) in between.

 


(write)

F Sept. 1: Discussion:

Letter to your children

 

Exploratory writing Assignment 2

Writing assignment 1 due

 

Week II

M Sept. 4: No Class

 

(write)

W Sept. 6: “Fulfillment”

 

Writing assignment 2 due

Suggestion:

Start reading Wild Strawberries (WS)

 

F Sept. 8: No Class



 


LIFE AS A WHOLE

Images of Fulfillment and Despair in Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries

Week III

M Sept 11:  Dream Analysis 1:

                   Dr. Borg’s First Dream

 

Self

Read:

WS, pp. 21-55

Discussion Questions for Today

 

W Sept. 13: Dream Analysis 2:

                   The Examination

Intimacy

Read:

WS, pp. 55-81

Discussion Questions for Today

 

W Sept. 13 at 8:00 PM:

 

Screening of Bergman’s Wild Strawberries

 

 

 

In

Library 321

F Sept. 15:  Tucking Up

 

Fulfillment

 

Read:

WS, pp. 81-95

Discussion Questions for Today

 

 

Life Stages and Human Virtues: Erikson’s Theory

Week IV

M Sept. 18:  Life Cycles, Crises, and Virtues

 

Read:

Erikson, The Human Life Cycle, from E A Way of Looking at Things: Selected Papers, W. W. Norton & Co., 1996.

Discussion Questions for Today

 

W Sept. 20:  Basic Trust Vs. Basic Mistrust

 

Hope

Read:

Erikson, A Schedule of Virtues, from Insight and responsibility, Norton & Co., 1989,  pp. 111-118.

 

Discussion Questions for Today

 

Integrative Essay 1

 

F Sept. 22:  Integrity Vs. Despair

 

Wisdom

 

Read:

Erikson, A Schedule of Virtues,
pp. 132-134

 

Discussion Questions for Today

 

 

SELF
Week V

M Sept. 25:  No Afternoon Class but…

 

Meet at 8:00 PM in Cole Cinema to watch:

Thumbsucker

 

 

W Sept. 27:  Discussion of Thumbsucker

 

 

Integrative essay 1 due in class

 

Discussion Questions for Today

 

F Sept. 29:  Identity and Moratorium

 

Presentation: A History of Adolescence

Section 09: Bill Lummis

Section 10: Ashley Meadows

Read:

Erikson, The Life Cycle: Epigenesis of Identity (“5. Adolescence”)
from  Identity, Youth and Crisis, Norton & Co. Reissue edition, 1994, pp. 128-135.

Erikson, Identity Confusion in Life History and Case History, Ibid., pp. 142-158

 

Discussion Questions for Today

 

 

Week VI

M Oct. 2:  Moratorium

 

 

W Oct. 4:  Identity vs. Identity Confusion

 

Fidelity

 

Presentation: Storm and Stress

Section 09: Rowena Conway

Section 10: Emily Crosson

Erikson, Identity Confusion in Life History and Case History, pp. 165 (bottom)-176 (bottom).

Erikson, Human Strength and the Cycle of Generations, from Insight and responsibility, Norton & Co., 1989, pp. 124-127 (bottom).

Exploratory writing Assignment 3

 

F Oct. 6: Social Identity in High School

 

Presentation: Adolescent Room Culture

Section 09:  Emily Bzdyk

Section 10: Boyer Katie

 

Writing assignment 3 due

Exploratory writing Assignment 4

 


”Emerging Adulthood”

Week VII

M Oct. 9  No Class (Fall reading day)

 



 

W Oct. 11:  Media and Identity


Presentation: The Mosque and the Satellite

Section 09:  Mimi Edwards

Section 10:  Mandy Foster

Writing assignment 4 due




 

F Oct. 13:  Emerging Adulthood



 

Read:

Arnett, The Concept of Emerging Adulthood


Exploratory writing Assignment  5

 

 

Culture and Identity

Week VIII

M Oct. 16:  No Class


Integrative Essay 2

W Oct. 18: Religion and Adulthood


Presentation: A Congregation of One

Section 09: Mary Huang

Section 10: Alex Arguello

Writing assignment 5 due

 

 



 

F Oct. 20: Independent and
                 Interdependent Selves

 

Presentation: Independent and Interdependent Selves
Section 09: Tyler Sinclair
Section 10: Mike Rohrs

 

Read:
Markus & Kitayama, “Culture and the Self”



INTIMACY

Sexuality

Week IX

M Oct. 23: Sex, Friendship,

                        and Commitment

 

Presentation: Friends with Benefits
 
Section 09: Shea Frazier

Section 10: Casey Marshall

 

Integrative essay 2 due in class

Read:

“Friends, Friends with Benefits”

 

 

W Oct. 25:  Duties Toward the Body?

Presentation: Love and Sex
Section 09:  Karen Farrell

Section 10: Kenny Salau

Read:

Kant, Duties Toward the Body in Respect to Sexual Impulse.

Discussion Questions for Today

 

Exploratory writing Assignment  6

 

F Oct. 27:  Intimacy vs. Isolation

 

Love

Presentations: Sexual Betrayal

Section 09:  Tom Conkwright

Section 10: Jacob Smith

Read:

Erikson, The Life Cycle: Epigenesis of Identity, pp. 135-138 (top) (“6. Beyond Identity”)

Erikson, Human Strength and the Cycle of Generations, pp. 127-130 (top)


 

Culture, Marriage, and Love

Week X

M Oct. 30:  Arranged Marriage / Love

                   Marriage

 

Presentation:
Family Relationships in India

Section 9: Erin Troxell

Section 10: Cali Chase

Writing assignment 6 due

Read:

Bumiller, Wedding First, Love Later: Arranged Marriage Among the Educated Classes.  Download

 

                Exploratory writing Assignment  7

 

W. Nov. 1:  No Afternoon Class but…

 

Meet by 8:00 PM in Cole Cinema to watch:

Monsoon Wedding

 

 

 

F Nov. 3: Arranged Marriage / Love
                Marriage

Discussion of Monsoon Wedding

 

 

Exploratory writing Assignment  8


Gender and Maturity

Week XI

M Nov. 6: Gender and Maturity


Presentation: Temporary Marriage and the State in Iran
Section 9: Heather Wells

Section 10: Amelia Fort

 

Writing assignment 7 due

 

               Integrative Essay 3

 

W Nov 8: Adulthood: Male and Female

 

Presentation:
Section 9: Heather Muszynski

Section 10: Melissa Pumphrey

 

Writing assignment 8 due


Read:

Gilligan, Crisis and Transition

            Download



 

F Nov. 10: Adulthood: Male and Female


Presentation:
Section 9: Chris Hendrix

Section 10: Mattie Farrar

Read:

Gilligan, Visions of Maturity (handout)

            Download

 

 

RESPONSIBILITY

Week XII

M Nov. 13:  Generativity vs. Stagnation

Care

Presentation: College
Section 9: Melissa Gilpin

Section 10: Stacey Dorish

 

Read:

Erikson, Human Strength and the Cycle of Generations, pp. 130-132.

 

W Nov. 15:

Presentation:
Section 9: Viani Kamelu

Section 10: Chris Kauffman

 

Integrative essay 3 due in class


Read:

TBA

Discussion Questions for Today

 

F Nov. 17: No Class

 

 

 

 

Week XIII

Nov. 20, 22, & 25:  No Class

 

 

 


Coming of Age in the Present Economy

Week XIV

M Nov. 27: Generation Debt and
                        College on Credit

Chapter Presentations:
Section 09: Julia Braun / Kerry Buechler

Section 10: Sarah Dowling

 

GD, chs. 1 & 2

 

 

W Nov. 29: Low Wage Jobs and

                   Temp Gigs

 

Chapter Presentations:

Section 09: Manty Koroma / Rachel Boyer

Section 10: Benjamin Spears / Rick Besore

 

GD, chs.3 & 4

F Dec. 1: No Class

 

 


Week XV

M Dec. 4: Family Troubles:

                 Love and Independence


Chapter Presentations:
Section 9: Gameli Agbleze

Section 10: Jennifer Covington



 

GD, ch. 7

Integrative Essay 4

 

W Dec. 6: Waking up and Taking Charge


Chapter Presentations:

Section 09: Andrew Bove / Nicole Chaplin

 

GD, ch. 8

 

 

F Dec. 8: No Class

 

 

 

 

F Dec. 15: Integrative Essay 4 due in hard                           copy.

Please leave your essay in the tray outside of my office. Do not send me the essay by email.

 

 

Assignments and Grading

 

  

                     Exploratory Writing Assignments (8)................................................................... 400 (50 each)

                     Integrative Essays (4).......................................................................................... 400 (100 each)

                     Presentation........................................................................................................ 100

                     Participation....................................................................................................... 100

 

 

Final Grade Values
1000 Points Possible


920 to 1000 = A

  900 to 919 = A-

  880 to 899 = B+

  820 to 879 = B

  800 to 819 = B-

  780 to 799 = C+

 


720 to 779 = C

700 to 719 = C-

680 to 699 = D+

620 to 679 = D

600 to 619 = D-

599 and below = F

 

Track your progress on Blackboard

 

 

Course

 Imperatives:


Engage!
Absence is both a physical and mental phenomenon.   Engagement means (1) wakeful presence, (2) preparation of reading assignments, (3) active involvement in class interactions, and (4) punctual arrival at the beginning of class.  Lack of any of these will affect the grade; excess of any of these can result in a failing grade.

 

Talk to Me! 
My office number and hours are listed above.  Please make an appointment if you can, but feel completely free to drop by with your concerns, ideas, questions, pets, floor plans, etc.  I will always make time if I can.  If necessary, we can interact by email or phone, but in-person is always best.

 

Be Here Now!

Attendance is required.  I will allow three “unexcused” absences during the semester.  After this, for every unexcused absence, a student’s final number grade will be reduced by 15 points.  A note from a doctor, dentist, coach, or funeral director will render any absence excused.  A note from the health center indicating that a student had an appointment is not sufficient.

 

Be Online! 
Please check your email and the online syllabus every day, I will assume that you do. This means that if I announce something via email – such as a changed deadline or altered reading assignment -- and a student doesn’t know it  Broken or unreliable computer?  Use the computers at the college.  The syllabus is my best projection of how our time will be organized.  I might well alter the assignment schedule as seems appropriate or necessary; but I will not change the grading policies.

Be Yourself!
Academic dishonesty in any form (including plagiarism of self or others, falsified documentation of a doctor’s note, and the unauthorized declaration of non-deductible tax items brought forth from the previous fiscal year) will not be tolerated.  Cheating of any kind results in an “F” for the course. Really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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