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Anthropology and Child Development: A Cross-Cultural Reader

Robert A. LeVine (Editor), Rebecca S. New (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-22976-6
334 pages
February 2008, ©2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Anthropology and Child Development: A Cross-Cultural Reader (0631229760) cover image
This unprecedented collection of articles is an introduction to the study of cultural variations in childhood across the world and to the theoretical frameworks for investigating and interpreting them.
  • Presents a history of cross-cultural approaches to child-development
  • Recent articles examine diverse contexts of childhood in ecological, semiotic, and sociolinguistic terms
  • Includes ethnographic studies of childhood in the Pacific, Africa, Latin America, East Asia, Europe and North America
  • Illuminates the process through which people become the bearers of culturally/historically specific identities
  • Serves as an ideal text for anthropology courses focusing on childhood, as well as classes on development psychology
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Acknowledgments.

Introduction: Robert A. LeVine and Rebecca S. New.

Part I: Discovering Diversity in Childhood: Early Works:.

Introduction.

1. Plasticity in Child Development: Franz Boas.

2. The Ethnography of Childhood: Margaret Mead.

3. Childhood in the Trobriand Islands, Melanesia: Bronislaw Malinowski.

4. Tallensi Childhood in Ghana: Meyer Fortes.

5. Continuities & Discontinuities in Cultural Conditioning: Ruth Benedict.

Part II: Infant Care: Cultural Variation in Parental Goals and Practices:.

Introduction.

6. The Comparative Study: Robert A. LeVine, Suzanne Dixon, Sarah E. LeVine, Amy Richman, Constance Keefer, P. Herbert Liederman and T. Berry Brazelton.

7. Infant Care in the Kalahari Desert: Melvin J. Konner.

8. Multiple Caretaking in the Ituri Forest: Edward Z. Tronick, Gilda A. Morelli and Steve Winn.

9. Fathers and Infants among Aka Pygmies: Barry S. Hewlett.

10. Swaddling, Cradleboards and the Development of Children: James S. Chisholm.

11. Talking and Playing with Babies: Ideologies of Child-Rearing: Catherine Snow, Akke de Blauw and Ghislaine Van Roosmalen.

12. Attachment in Anthropological Perspective: R. LeVine and Karin Norman.

13. An Experiment in Infant Care: Children of the Kibbutz: Melford E. Spiro with the assistance of Audrey G. Spiro.

Part III: Early Childhood: Language Acquisition, Socialization and Enculturation:.

Introduction.

14. The Acquisition of Communicative Style in Japanese: Patricia M. Clancy.

15. Why African Children Are So Hard to Test: Sara Harkness and Charles M. Super.

16. Autonomy and Aggression in the Three-Year-Old: the Utku Eskimo Case: Jean L. Briggs.

17. Narrating Transgressions in U.S. and Taiwan: Peggy J. Miller, Todd L. Sandel, Chung-Hui Liang and Heidi Fung.

18. Child’s Play in Italian Perspective: Rebecca S. New.

19. Discussione and Friendship in Italian Peer Culture: William A. Corsaro and Thomas A. Rizzo.

Part IV: Middle and Later Childhood: Work, Play, Participation, Learning:.

Introduction.

20. Age and Responsibility: Barbara Rogoff, Martha Julia Sellers, Sergio Pirrotta, Nathan Fox, and Sheldon H. White.

21. Child and Sibling Caregiving: Thomas Sl Weisner and Ronald Gallimore.

22. Altruistic and Egoistic Behavior of Children in Six Cultures: John W. M. Whiting and Beatrice Blyth Whiting.

23. Children’s Daily Lives among the Yucatec Maya: Suzanne Gaskins.

24. Children's Work, Play, and Relationships among the Giriama of Kenya: Martha Wenger.

Epilogue.

Index

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Robert A. LeVine is a professor emeritus of education and anthropology at Harvard University. He has been investigating child rearing and development for more than 50 years, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. His recent books include Childhood Socialization: Comparative Studies of Parents, Learning and Educational Change (2003), Japanese Frames of Mind: Cultural Perspectives on Human Development (2001), and Child Care and Culture: Lessons from Africa (1994).

Rebecca S. New is associate professor of education and research fellow at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She has spent three decades studying the cultural nature of child development and early education, most often in Italy and recently in Head Start programs serving immigrant populations. Publications include the four-volume Early Childhood Education: An International Encyclopedia (2007).

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  • Presents a history of cross-cultural approaches to child-development
  • Recent articles examine diverse contexts of childhood in ecological, semiotic, and sociolinguistic terms
  • Includes ethnographic studies of childhood in the Pacific, Africa, Latin America, East Asia, Europe, and North America
  • Illuminates the process through which people become the bearers of culturally/historically specific identities
  • Serves as an ideal text for anthropology courses focusing on childhood, as well as classes on development psychology
See More
"I recommend this book as a good introduction to the study of child development that draws upon anthropology's unique ability to hone in on both the extraordinary complex phenomenon of individual childhood agency and the social constructions ilia1 lend 1.0 bind and limit our notions of children as social actors." (Journal of Anthropological Research, 2010)

“Not unexpectedly, LeVine and New – true scholars – have rendered a reader, a reference, and a stunningly prescient volume that should be savored and studied, not merely read. Of sweeping breadth across time and place and of unparalleled depth regarding the nature of children and childhood, Anthropology and Child Development challenges deeply held conventions while provoking invigorating ways of thinking and acting – an indispensable, intellectual compass for globalists, futurists, and all who care about children.”
Sharon Lynn Kagan, Columbia University

“The cutting-edge scholarship presented in this important and timely book richly documents that the nuances of cultural context constitute a fundamental basis for significant variation in the development of diverse children and adolescents.”
Richard Lerner, Tufts University“This is an artfully organized collection of seminal papers, a collection that pulls together research across stages of childhood; domains (of the development of emotion, thought, and language); theories; methods; and, of course, cultures. The collection also provides a sense of the historical development of the field, as a chronological reading of the papers, from a Boas essay published in 1911 to several papers published in the new millennium, reveals the changing concerns, concepts, and theories that have characterized work on culture and child development over the past 100 years.”
Joseph Tobin, Arizona State University

 

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