Course: Inside Out Prison Exchange: The American Family in the 21st Century: Ecological Influences on Human Development

HC 444H / HC 431H

Professor: Kevin Alltucker

Graduation Requirement: This class will fulfill both of the following requirements: a Social Science Colloquium and an AC (American Cultures) Multicultural class. If you have already taken a Social Science Colloquium, this class will fulfill both of the following requirements: an Elective Colloquium and an AC Multicultural class.

This course is part of the Inside Out Prison Exchange Program, and open only to CHC students. An application, interview and instructor approval are required to register for this course.


This class will look at the effect of family functioning on human development, using an ecological systems perspective. Families are the primary socializing unit for humans, and there is considerable controversy about how the familial processes work that affect the lives of their members. We will explore the idea of a “typical” or “normal” family in the context of the Hollywood Myth that depicted an unrealistic caricature of the American family that had a breadwinner father, a stay-at-home mother, two children, a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, and a dog named Spot. We will also explore how families socialize children on issues of gender roles, empathy, communication, and healthy relationships, while considering issues of race, gender, and socio-economic class.