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Three-year-old Kwara'ae children in Oceania act as caregivers of their younger siblings, but in the UK, it is an offense to leave a child under age 14 ears without adult supervision. In the Efe community in Zaire, infants routinely use machetes with safety and some skill, although U.S. middle-class adults often do not trust young children with knives. What explains these marked differences in the capabilities of these children?
Until recently, traditional understandings of human development held that a child's development is universal and that children have characteristics and skills that develop independently of cultural processes. Barbara Rogoff argues, however, that human development must be understood as a cultural process, not simply a biological or psychological one. Individuals develop as members of a community, and their development can only be fully understood by examining the practices and circumstances of their communities.
" Barbara Rogoff's new book is an excellent compilation of the last three or four decades of work by anthropologists and human developmentalists who study the cultural processes inherent in human development. ... highly recommended for scholars of human development and their advanced students." --Anthropology & Education Quarterly
1. Orienting Concepts and Ways of Understanding the Cultural Nature of Human Development
2. Development as Transformation of Participation in Cultural Activities
3. Individuals, Generations, and Dynamic Cultural Communities
4. Child Rearing in Families and Communities
5. Developmental Transitions in Individuals' Roles in Their Communities
6. Interdependence and Autonomy
7. Thinking with the Tools and Institutions of Culture
8. Learning through Guided Participation in Cultural Endeavors
9. Cultural Change and Relations among Communities