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Bridging Cultural and Developmental Approaches to PsychologyNew Syntheses in Theory, Research, and Policy$
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Lene Arnett Jensen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383430.001.0001

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The Culturalization of Developmental Trajectories

The Culturalization of Developmental Trajectories

A Perspective on African Childhoods and Adolescences

(p.235) Chapter 11 The Culturalization of Developmental Trajectories
Bridging Cultural and Developmental Approaches to Psychology

A. Bame Nsamenang

Oxford University Press

Scientific psychology is a European–Western export onto the rest of the globe. This chapter contributes to the emerging “movement” to curb such imposition. It sketches the development of Africa's young citizens to introduce developmental knowledge about a significant part of the world—Afric—that is underrepresented in developmental science. It highlights how Africa's theocentric worldview primes pronatalist values, inserts childrearing into extended families, and fosters individuation by connecting a unique personal identity to that of the shared social person. It further exposes the nature of Africa's developmental ecology, sociogenic developmental trajectory, and principles and processes that ordain it, and what Africentric policy research should focus on. The main lesson is that the ideas, issues, and practices that shape development in Africa diverge from those of the Euro-west that drive contemporary developmental science. As such, they are poised to enrich theorization and extend the discipline's methods and knowledge base.

Keywords:   developmental science, social ecology, Africentric developmental trajectory, selfhood, relational individuation, Africa, policy research

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