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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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Commentary: Ontogenetic Cultural Psychology

Commentary: Ontogenetic Cultural Psychology

(p.303) Chapter 14 Commentary: Ontogenetic Cultural Psychology
Bridging Cultural and Developmental Approaches to Psychology

Richard A. Shweder

Oxford University Press

This commentary aims to convince on two points. First, that this collection of chapters which has aimed at synthesizing developmental and cultural psychology, would be entirely unconvincing to Jean Piaget, if he were alive today. Secondly, that Jean Piaget is arguably right that it is not possible to be a developmental psychologist and a cultural psychologist at the same time. Nevertheless, that's no reason for despair because the developmental perspective as understood by Piaget is not the only way to understand ontogenetic change. The collection of chapters is a clarion call for the rebirth of an ontogenetic perspective on cultural psychology, but it will face many challenges; not the least of which is the suspicion of some critics that cultural acquisition typically amounts to little more than turning children into over-socialized slaves of underdeveloped traditions.

Keywords:   Jean Piaget, developmental process, cultural acquisition, cultural psychology, plural norms

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