01/01/2011 Psychology Sociology
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0243-1_1 SemanticScholar ID: 140818240 MAG: 125193071

Introduction: Children, Development and Education – A Dialogue Between Cultural Psychology and Historical Anthropology

Publication Summary

In the following introduction to the edited volume Children, Development and Education the reader is introduced to two schools of thought: historical anthropology – a revision of the German philosophical anthropology under the influences of the French historical school of Annales and the Anglo-Saxon cultural anthropology – and cultural-historical psychology – a school of thought which emerged in the context of the Soviet revolution and deeply affected the discipline of psychology in the twentieth century. Four significant and interrelated motions of thought, common in both of these schools, are briefly described under the labels: (a) subjectivity, (b) performativity, (c) infans absconditus, and (d) historicity. The introduction emphasizes the primacy of language and signs for the constitution of human subjectivity and the dramatic aspects of child development and examines the symbolic and performative aspects of ritual practices which play a central role in child-rearing, education, and the socialization of children. The impossibility of representation of children and childhood is also discussed and the epistemological position of double culturality and historicity, which enables cultural-historical scholars to reflect on the cultural-historical specificity of their own discourses and methodologies, is briefly outlined. Furthermore, the introduction emphasizes the importance of historical analysis in the context of a broader understanding of history as an ongoing open-ended process and of human development as a process of purposeful collaborative transformation (Stetsenko, 2008). The introduction concludes with a brief presentation of the two main parts of the edited book – which is expected to contribute significantly to what can be called “cultural-historical science.”

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Michalis Kontopodis

Prof. Michalis Kontopodis

University of Leeds - Chair in Global Childhood and Youth Studies

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