Cultures of Infancy
By Heidi Keller
Psychology Press – 2007 – 338 pages
Cultures of Infancy presents the first systematic analysis of culturally informed developmental pathways, synthesizing evolutionary and cultural psychological perspectives for a broader understanding of human development. In this compelling book, author Heidi Keller utilizes ethnographic reports, as well as quantitative and qualitative analyses, to illustrate how humans resolve universal developmental tasks in particular sociodemographic contexts. These contexts are represented in cultural models, and three distinct models are addressed throughout the text: the model of independence with autonomy as developmental organizer; the model of interdependence with relatedness as the developmental organizer; and the model of autonomous relatedness representing particular mixtures of autonomy and relatedness.
The book offers an empirical examination of the first integrative developmental task-relationship formation during the early months of life. Keller shows that early parenting experiences shape the basic foundation of the self within particular models of parenting that are influenced by culturally informed socialization goals. With distinct patterns of results the studies have revealed, Cultures of Infancy will help redefine developmental psychology as part of a culturally informed science based on evolutionary ground work.
Scholars interested in a broad perspective on human development and culture will benefit from this pioneering volume.
Contents: Preface. Foreword. The Conception of Infancy. The Psychobiology of Infancy. The Concept of Culture. The Research Methodology: Infancy Assessment. Cultural Models of Parenting. Variations of Independence and Interdependence. Relationships Among the Dimensions of the Parenting Model. Developmental Consequences of the Early Parenting Experiences. Cultural Models of Parenting and Developmental Pathways: Synthesis and Conclusion.