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ERIC Number: EJ831477
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 81
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Linking Social Change and Developmental Change: Shifting Pathways of Human Development
Greenfield, Patricia M.
Developmental Psychology, v45 n2 p401-418 Mar 2009
P. M. Greenfield's new theory of social change and human development aims to show how changing sociodemographic ecologies alter cultural values and learning environments and thereby shift developmental pathways. Worldwide sociodemographic trends include movement from rural residence, informal education at home, subsistence economy, and low-technology environments to urban residence, formal schooling, commerce, and high-technology environments. The former ecology is summarized by the German term Gemeinschaft ("community") and the latter by the German term Gesellschaft ("society"; Tonnies, 1887/1957). A review of empirical research demonstrates that, through adaptive processes, movement of any ecological variable in a Gesellschaft direction shifts cultural values in an individualistic direction and developmental pathways toward more independent social behavior and more abstract cognition--to give a few examples of the myriad behaviors that respond to these sociodemographic changes. In contrast, the (much less frequent) movement of any ecological variable in a Gemeinschaft direction is predicted to move cultural values and developmental pathways in the opposite direction. In conclusion, sociocultural environments are not static either in the developed or the developing world and therefore must be treated dynamically in developmental research. (Contains 9 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A