Suzanne Gaskins,

Professor Emerita





Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1990


Areas of Interest

Cultural influences on children's development; Mesoamerica (especially Yucatan)


Current Research

Cultural differences in children's play, attention, and early social interaction 


Selected Publications

Gaskins, S. (2013). Pretend Play as Culturally Constructed Activity. In M. Taylor (Ed.). Oxfordhandbook of the development of imagination (pp. 224-247). Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Lancy, D.F., Bock, J., and Gaskins, S. (Eds.). (2010). The anthropology of learning in childhood. Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press.


Göncü, A. and Gaskins, S. (2011). Comparing and extending Piaget's and Vygotsky's understandings of play: Symbolic play as individual, sociocultural, and educational interpretation. In Pellegrini, A.D. (Ed.) Oxford Handbook of the Development of Play. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Gaskins, S. and Paradise, R. (2010). Learning through observation. In D.F. Lancy, J. Bock, and S. Gaskins  (Eds.) The anthropology of learning in childhood (pp. 85-117). Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press.


Gaskins, S. & Miller, P.J. (2009). The cultural roles of emotions in pretend play. In C.D. Clark (Ed.) Transactions at play (pp. 5-21). Lanham, MD: University Press of America (Play and Cultural Studies Series).


Gaskins, S. (2008). The cultural meaning of play and learning in children's museums. Hand to Hand, 22(4), 1-2, 8-11.


Gaskins, S., Haight, W. and Lancy, D.F., (2007). The cultural construction of play. In A. Göncü, A. and S. Gaskins (Eds.) Play and development:  Evolutionary, sociocultural and functional perspectives (pp. 179-202). Mahwah, NJ: LEA.


Gaskins, S., (2006a). The cultural organization of Yucatec Mayan children's social interactions. In X. Chen, D. French, and B. Schneider, (Eds.) Peer relationships in cultural  context (pp. 283-309). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


Gaskins, S., (2006b). Cultural perspectives on infant-caregiver interaction. In N.J. Enfield and S. Levinson (Eds.) The roots of human sociality:  Culture, cognition, and human interaction, (pp. 279-298). Oxford, UK: Berg (Wenner-Gren Foundation International Symposium Series).


Gaskins, S.  (2003). From corn to cash:  Change and continuity within Mayan families.  Ethos, Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology, 31(2), 248-275.