This major new textbook by Jaan Valsiner focuses on the interface between cultural psychology and developmental psychology. Intended for students from undergraduate level upwards, the book provides a wide-ranging overview of the cultural perspective on human development, with illustrations from pre-natal development to adulthood. A key feature is the broad coverage of theoretical and methodological issues which have relevance to this truly interdisciplinary field of enquiry encompassing developmental psychology, cultural anthropology and comparative sociology. The text is organized into five coherent parts: Part 1: Developmental theory and methodology; Part 2: Analysis of environments for human development Part 3:
Chapter 3: Theoretical Bases of Developmental and Cultural Psychology
Theoretical Bases of Developmental and Cultural Psychology
Theories are the central focus of any science. Most of the theories may be proved wrong, or abandoned, in the course of time, yet during their use they give direction to the empirical research efforts of scientists. As was clear in the previous chapter, the developmental perspective is rooted in embryology - the science of development of the embryo. It was begun by Karl Ernst von Baer in 1828. Embryology is a central part of developmental biology. The generic ‘orthogenetic principle’ of Heinz Werner and Bernard Kaplan (presented in Chapter 2) is a twentieth century synthesis of the embryological thought of the nineteenth century.
A number of seminal thinkers have played a role ...