Linwood J. Lewis

BA, Manhattanville College. MA, PhD, City University of New York. MS, Columbia University. Special interests in the effects of culture and social context on conceptualization of health and illness; effects of the physical environment on physical, psychological, and social health; multicultural aspects of genetic counseling; the negotiation of HIV within families; and the development of sexuality in ethnic minority adolescents and adults. Recipient of a MacArthur postdoctoral fellowship and an NIH-NRSA research fellowship. SLC, 1997–

Current undergraduate courses

Emerging Adulthood

Spring

“We have time, energy, questions, and few responsibilities. We want to push the envelope, resist compromise, lead revolutions, and turn the world upside down. Because we do not yet know quite how to be, we have not settled and will not let the dust settle around us.” —Karlin and Borofsky

Many traditional psychological theories of development posit a brief transition from adolescence to adulthood; however, many people moving into their twenties experience anything but a brief transition to “feeling like an adult,” pondering questions such as “How many SLC alums can live in a Brooklyn sublet?” or “What will I do when I finish the Peace Corps next year?” In this course, we will explore the psychological literature concerning emerging adulthood, the period from the late teens through the twenties (Arnett, 2000), examining the different techniques used to study development during this time. We will then study further development into adulthood and old age. Gender, sexuality, social class, and culture will also serve as contexts for further analysis.

Faculty
Related Cross-Discipline Paths

Studying Men and Masculinities

Fall

Do men have an innate nature? How have changing social conditions affected the phenomenological experience of being a man? In this intermediate class, we will engage in a critical study of gender by examining the social construction of biological sex and the construction of categories/conceptions of “man” and “masculinity.” An interdisciplinary approach will inform our examination. We will read from anthropology, critical race theory, feminist theory, masculinity studies, psychology, public health, queer theory, and sexuality studies to create a contextualized understanding of men and masculinity. Major topic areas will include biological and social perspectives on males and gender, intersectionality, ethnic identities and masculinities, and sexual orientation/desire and its relation to gender identity.

Faculty

“Sex is not a Natural Act”: Social Science Explorations of Human Sexuality

Spring

When is sex NOT a natural act? Every time a human engages in sexual activity. In sex, what is done by whom, with whom, where, when, why, and with what has very little to do with biology. Human sexuality poses a significant challenge in theory. The study of its disparate elements (biological, social, and individual/psychological) is inherently an interdisciplinary undertaking: From anthropologists to zoologists, all add something to our understanding of sexual behaviors and meanings. In this class, we will study sexualities in social contexts across the lifespan, from infancy to old age. Within each period, we will examine biological, social, and psychological factors that inform the experience of sexuality for individuals. We will also examine broader aspects of sexuality, including sexual health and sexual abuse. Conference projects may range from empirical research to a bibliographic research project. Service learning may also be supported in this class.

Faculty

Current graduate courses

Studying Men and Masculinities

Fall

Do men have an innate nature? How have changing social conditions affected the phenomenological experience of being a man? In this intermediate class, we will engage in a critical study of gender by examining the social construction of biological sex and the construction of categories/conceptions of “man” and “masculinity.” An interdisciplinary approach will inform our examination. We will read from anthropology, critical race theory, feminist theory, masculinity studies, psychology, public health, queer theory, and sexuality studies to create a contextualized understanding of men and masculinity. Major topic areas will include biological and social perspectives on males and gender, intersectionality, ethnic identities and masculinities, and sexual orientation/desire and its relation to gender identity.

Faculty

Previous courses

Children’s Health in a Multicultural Context

Spring

This course offers, within a cultural context, an overview of theoretical and research issues in the psychological study of health and illness in children. We will examine theoretical perspectives in the psychology of health, health cognition, illness prevention, stress, and coping with illness and will highlight research, methods, and applied issues. This class is appropriate for those interested in a variety of health careers. Conference work may range from empirical research to bibliographic research in this area. Community partnership/service-learning work is an option in this class.

Faculty

Environment, Race, and the Psychology of Place

Fall

This service-learning course will focus on the experience of humans living within physical, social, and psychological spaces. We will use a constructivist, multidisciplinary, multilevel lens to examine the interrelationship between humans and the natural and built environments, to explore the impact of racial/ethnic group membership on person/environment interactions, and to provide a critical analysis of social dynamics in the environmental movement. The community partnership/service-learning component is an important part of this class. We will work with local agencies to promote adaptive person/environment interactions within our community. 

Faculty

First-Year Studies: Health, Illness, and Medicine in a Multicultural Context: A Service Learning Course

FYS

What is the difference between disease and illness? Do people in different cultures manifest the same illness similarly? Has the biomedical model resulted in better health for all? Why do women get sicker but men die quicker? This course offers an overview of theoretical and research issues in the psychological study of health and illness within a cultural context. We will examine theoretical perspectives in the psychology of health, health cognition, illness prevention, stress, and coping with illness. We will also examine the interrelationship between humans and the natural and built environment. A lifespan approach examining child, adolescent, and adult issues will provide additional insight. Issues of sexuality, gender, race, and ethnicity are a central focus, as well. This class is appropriate for those interested in a variety of health careers or in public health. Conference work may range from empirical research to bibliographic research in this area. The community partnership/service learning component is an important part of this class; we will work with local agencies to promote healthy and adaptive person-environment interactions within our community.

Faculty

Gender Research Seminar: Focus on Men and Masculinities

Year

This class is a hands-on introduction to conducting qualitative and quantitative psychological research on gender. Although research is an indispensable part of scientific endeavors, the conduct of research itself is part scientific ritual and part art form. In this class, we will learn both the science and art of conducting ethical research with diverse participants. We will also engage in a critical study of gender by examining the social construction of biological sex and categories/conceptions of “man” and “masculinities.” Students will design and implement an independent research study of gender during the course of this seminar.

Faculty

Gender Research Seminar: Focus on Men and Masculinities - Graduate

Year

This class is a hands-on introduction to conducting qualitative and quantitative psychological research on gender. Although research is an indispensable part of scientific endeavors, the conduct of research itself is part scientific ritual and part art form. In this class, we will learn both the science and art of conducting ethical research with diverse participants. We will also engage in a critical study of gender by examining the social construction of biological sex and categories/conceptions of “man” and “masculinities.” Students will design and implement an independent research study of gender during the course of this seminar.

Faculty

Intersectionality of Multiple Identities

Fall

What is the connection among race, sexuality, and gender within an American multicultural and multiethnic society? Is there a coherent, distinct, and continuous self-existing within our post-modern, -paradigmatic, -etc. contexts? How is the sexual/racial/gendered implicated in the creation of this self-identity? Is there principled dynamic or developmental change in our concepts of self, whether as human beings, sexual beings and/or racial/ethnic beings? We will explore possible answers to these questions and more. This class explores the construction of race, ethnicity, and sexualities within psychology, how these constructs implicitly and explicitly inform psychological inquiry, and the effects of these constructs on the psychology of the individual. This class regularly moves beyond psychology to take a broader, social-science perspective on the issue of intersectionality. Students who have studied race/ethnicity, gender, or sexuality in at least one other class would be best prepared to take this class.

Faculty

Intersections of Multiple Identities

Spring

What is the connection between race, sexuality, and gender within an American multicultural and multi-ethnic society? Is there a coherent, distinct, and continuous self existing within our postmodern, -paradigmatic, -etc. contexts? How is the sexual/racial/gendered implicated in the creation of this self-identity? Is there principled dynamic or developmental change in our concepts of self, whether as human beings, sexual beings, and/or racial/ethnic beings? We will explore possible answers to these questions and more. This class explores the construction of race, ethnicity, and sexualities within psychology; how these constructs implicitly and explicitly inform psychological inquiry; and the effects of these constructs on the psychology of the individual. This class regularly moves beyond psychology to take a broader, social-science perspective on the issue of intersectionality. Students who have studied race/ethnicity, gender or sexuality in at least one other class would be best prepared to take this class.

Faculty

Intersections of Multiple Identities - Graduate

Spring
What is the connection between race, sexuality, and gender within an American multicultural and multi-ethnic society? Is there a coherent, distinct, and continuous self existing within our postmodern, -paradigmatic, -etc. contexts? How is the sexual/racial/gendered implicated in the creation of this self-identity? Is there principled dynamic or developmental change in our concepts of self, whether as human beings, sexual beings, and/or racial/ethnic beings? We will explore possible answers to these questions and more. This class explores the construction of race, ethnicity, and sexualities within psychology; how these constructs implicitly and explicitly inform psychological inquiry; and the effects of these constructs on the psychology of the individual. This class regularly moves beyond psychology to take a broader, social-science perspective on the issue of intersectionality.
Faculty

Sex Is Not a Natural Act: Social Science Explorations of Human Sexuality

Fall

When is sex NOT a natural act? Every time a human engages in sexual activity. In sex, what is done by whom, with whom, where, when, why, and with what can have relatively little to do with biology. In theory, human sexuality poses a significant challenge. The study of its disparate elements (biological, social, and individual/psychological) is inherently an interdisciplinary undertaking. Anthropologists to zoologists all add something to our understanding of sexual behaviors and meanings. In this class, we will study sexualities in social contexts across the lifespan, from infancy to old age. Within each period, we will examine biological, social, and psychological factors that inform the experience of sexuality and the construction of sexual identities for individuals. We will also examine broader aspects of sexuality, such as sexual health, and explore possible connections between race, ethnicity, and sexuality.

Faculty

The Child and the Family: Social, Cultural, and Health-Related Issues at Home and in School

Children must struggle with many issues while making their way toward adulthood. Teachers’ understandings of family culture and the interconnections between health and learning are crucial to children's success in the classroom and central to the content of this course. We will study how families affect the development of children, for no other unit of analysis more richly displays gender, social, and cultural factors and their influence on individual behavior and development. Today, children spend more time than ever before in early childhood programs and grade schools. We will investigate how families and schools provide a framework for the exploration of the social world and socialize children according to cultural norms. Health and learning are intertwined in the context of the child’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development. In order for teachers to be equipped to help their students in the areas of personal health and safety, we will review the national and state health learning standards, as well as the range of environmental factors that inhibit children’s development and learning (including the identification and implications of drug and alcohol abuse). We will also examine the social, political, and psychological concerns faced by children with chronic diseases and by their families, and the plethora of health-care issues with which they must contend. Through readings and case-study analyses, students will explore the importance of teachers’ understanding of the complexities of the lives of children and families to better prepare them for the challenges of the classroom.

Faculty

The Child and the Family: Social, Cultural, and Health-Related Issues at Home and in School - Graduate

Children must struggle with many issues while making their way toward adulthood. Teachers’ understandings of family culture and the interconnections between health and learning are crucial to children's success in the classroom and central to the content of this course. We will study how families affect the development of children, for no other unit of analysis more richly displays gender, social, and cultural factors and their influence on individual behavior and development. Today, children spend more time than ever before in early childhood programs and grade schools. We will investigate how families and schools provide a framework for the exploration of the social world and socialize children according to cultural norms. Health and learning are intertwined in the context of the child’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development. In order for teachers to be equipped to help their students in the areas of personal health and safety, we will review the national and state health learning standards, as well as the range of environmental factors that inhibit children’s development and learning (including the identification and implications of drug and alcohol abuse). We will also examine the social, political, and psychological concerns faced by children with chronic diseases and by their families, and the plethora of health-care issues with which they must contend. Through readings and case-study analyses, students will explore the importance of teachers’ understanding of the complexities of the lives of children and families to better prepare them for the challenges of the classroom.

Faculty