Culture and Human Development: A co-constructionist perspective

  • Jaan Valsiner
Part of the Annals of Theoretical Psychology book series (AOTP, volume 10)


Theoretical views on social nature of human development have habitually accepted a limited perspective (that of unidirectional model) on culture transmission as their core. Simultaneously, the rest of psychology has attempted to eliminate cultural organization from its theoretical core, reducing it to the use of culture as an index variable. In contemporary developmental theorizing one can find a constructive return to the theoretical heritages of a number of sociogenetic (Baldwin, Vygotsky) and constructionist (Piaget, Stern) authors. At the same time, new traditions of cultural psychology can be detected on the mindscape of psychology. Connections of the co-constructionist theorizing with both developmental ideas of the past, and cultural psychologies of the present are charted out. Co-constructionist theory constitutes a radical synthesis of the sociogenetic and constructionist perspectives, as it conceptualizes the open-systemic nature of human development.


Human Development Culture Transmission Proximal Development Constructionist Perspective Zone Ofproximal Development 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaan Valsiner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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