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Child Development

Child Development
Understanding A Cultural Perspective

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March 2017 | 616 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Every child is born into a community, a society with a culture, in which he or she will live, grow and develop. Cultures lead to differences in children’s development, but equally important, culture is an essential component of every child’s psychological development.

Child Development takes a chronological approach, from prenatal development to adolescence, in which social, cognitive, emotional and physical aspects of development are interwoven. Martin Packer integrates cross-cultural examples from different parts of the world to illustrate how culture plays a constitutive role in children’s development.

This book includes an in-depth discussion of human evolution, the history of language and the human lifespan, as well as the theoretical perspectives of scientific research on children’s development.

This textbook is essential reading for undergraduate students taking an introductory course in child development or developmental psychology.
Chapter 1: Introduction
1. A Cultural Perspective on Children’s Development

2. Organization of the Book

Chapter 2: Theoretical Perspectives in Developmental Psychology
Theoretical Perspectives in Developmental Psychology

1. Genetic Psychology

2. Behaviorism

3. Cognitive Developmental Psychology

4. Constructivist Psychology

5. Cultural Psychology

Chapter 3: Interwoven Lines of Development
1. What is Evolution?

2. Evolution of Human Beings

3. Tracing the Origins of Language

4. Evolution of the Life Cycle

5. Sociocultural Evolution

Chapter 4: Prenatal Development, Birth, and the Newborn
1. Prenatal Development of Body and Brain

2. Birth: The First Developmental Transition

3. Infant Dependence: What the Newborn Cannot Do

4. Neonatal Capabilities: What the Newborn Can Do

Chapter 5: Infancy - A Practical Understanding of the World
1. The Infant’s Practical Understanding

2. The World of Infancy: The Great-We

3. Caring for the Infant:

Chapter 6: Infancy - Towards Biological Differentiation
1. Primary Emotions and their Regulation

2. Biological Developments During the First Year

3. The Transition at 1 Year: Biological differentiation

Chapter 7: Toddlerhood - A World of Irresistible Invitations
1. The World of Toddlerhood: Irresistible Invitations

2. Caring for the Toddler

3. Understanding Other People: Intentions in Action, and Family Customs

4. Biological Change During Toddlerhood

Chapter 8: Toddlerhood - Towards Psychological Differentiation
1. The Toddler’s Talk

2. How Language Changes the World of the Toddler

3. Understanding Material Representations

4. Self and Symbol: The Transition at 3 Years

Chapter 9: Early Childhood - How Things Appear, And How They Are
1. Sociodramatic Play

2. Talking as both Doing and Understanding

3. The World of Early Childhood: Breaking from the Visual

Chapter 10: Early Childhood - Towards Inner and Outer
1. Understanding Other People: Prior Intentions and Conventional Scenarios

2. Caring for the Young Child

3. The Origins of Verbal Thinking

4. Becoming a Kind of Person

5. Biological Changes During Early Childhood

Chapter 11: Middle Childhood - Understanding Institutional Reality
1. The Transition at 5-to-7 Years

2. Learning Through Participation and Apprenticeship

3. Understanding Other People: Mental States, and Institutions with Roles and Rules

Chapter 12: Middle Childhood - Towards the Actual and the Possible
1. The Institution of School

2. Outside School and Work

Chapter 13: The Teenage Years - Adolescent, or Adult?
1. Biological Changes in the Teenage Years

2. Constituting Adolescence

3. Adolescent Reasoning and Decision Making

Chapter 14: The Teenage Years - Towards Adulthood
1. Who Is The Adolescent?

2. Peer Culture

3. Understanding Other People: Ethical and Epistemological Relativism

Chapter 15: Summing up
1. Stages, Transitions, and Trajectories

2. Theory of Mind, and the Normative Stances

3. Embodied, Embedded, and Distributed



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Find out more about the book from the author by watching this video: 

On this website you will find:

  • Multiple choice quizzes
  • Weblinks
  • Videos
  • Group tasks
  • Individual tasks
  • SAGE journal articles

"Finally, a developmental textbook that portrays the ubiquitous role of culture in the developing child."

Christine M. Weinkauff
Claremont Graduate University

"Packer has written a culturally informed and philosophically sophisticated text. It is essential reading!"

Robert B. Faux
Duquesne University

A truly valuable reference book covering most important aspects of (human and) child development with a particular emphasis on the cultural perspective. Each chapter has clear learning objectives and framing questions at the beginning, and in the end, a brief conclusion section highlighting most important aspects covered in the chapter. A great resource for anyone studying or interested in psychology.

Tamara Rakic
Lancaster University

"Clever, scholarly and approachable explanations of the importance of culture and society in a child’s development. This book makes an important contribution for both students and researchers."

Marek Tesar
University of Auckland

I look for textbooks that give a cultural perspective to human development. This textbook does that and is a reasonably priced book.

Dr Brian Cowley
Psychology Dept, Park University
July 2, 2019

An interesting and accessible text to extend students' knowledge and understanding of child development from a cultural perspective, with a wide range of examples to encourage a critical analysis of traditional theory. An impressive accompanying website provides further food for thought.

Mrs Suzi Smale
Psychology, Petroc College
October 16, 2017

Good all round informative assessable information to support ITE

Mrs Mary Stephen
School of Education, Aberdeen University
April 12, 2017

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 5: Infancy (6 weeks–12 months)