ERIC Number: ED326301
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Context, Modularity, and the Cultural Constitution of Development.
A proper understanding of the role of culture in development can make a significant contribution to the development of theory and offer a more certain guide to practice than current theories afford. Three frameworks for interpreting the influence of nature and nurture on individual development assign biological and environmental factors a direct role in shaping the individual. An alternative framework models a view of the cultural mediation of biological inheritance and universal features of the environment. This framework is discussed in terms of two forms of "structuration processes" that characterize human development: context and modularity. Context is thought of as a cultural source in the "structuration" of behavior, while modularity indexes a model of the structure of mind which posits domain-specific modules loosely linked by a "central processor." Interposed between modules and processor is a level of organization thought to be roughly equivalent to cultural context, which selectively recruits different kinds of modular inputs depending on culturally accumulated constraints. This picture of the interaction of context and modularity is elaborated in a discussion of the temporal relations between the two forms of structuration in the contexts of the microtime of individual development and the macrotime of evolutionary history. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Consciousness; Mediating Structures; Modularity; Theoretical Analysis
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Conference on Human Development (11th, Richmond, VA, March 29-31, 1990).