The Classic Edition of Heidi Keller’s Cultures of Infancy, first published in 2007, includes a new introduction by the author, which describes for readers the original context of her work, how she has further developed her research and thinking, and the ongoing relevance of this volume in the context of future challenges for the field.
In its original volume, Cultures of Infancy presented the first systematic analysis of culturally informed developmental pathways, synthesizing evolutionary and cultural psychological perspectives for a broader understanding of human development. In this compelling book, Heidi Keller utilizes ethnographic reports, as well as quantitative and qualitative analyses, to illustrate how humans resolve universal developmental tasks in particular sociodemographic contexts. These contexts are represented in cultural models, with three distinct models addressed throughout the text: the model of independence with autonomy as developmental organizer; the model of interdependence with relatedness as the developmental organizer; and the model of autonomous relatedness representing particular mixtures of autonomy and relatedness. The book offers an empirical examination of the first integrative developmental task during the early months of life--relationship formation. Keller shows that early parenting experiences shape the basic foundation of the self within particular models of parenting that are influenced by culturally informed socialization goals. With distinct patterns of results that the studies have revealed, Cultures of Infancy helps redefine developmental psychology as part of a culturally informed science based on evolutionary groundwork.
Scholars interested in a broad perspective on human development and culture will benefit from this pioneering volume.