chapter  2
34 Pages

Multiple Selves, Multiple Worlds: Cultural Perspectives on Individuality and Connectedness in Adolescent Development

In recent years, the international scholarly community has been seeking ways to understand the role of culture in human development without overemphasizing or ignoring either psychological ("micro") or sociological ("macro") processes (Nurmi, Poole, & Seginer, 1995; Phinney, 1993; Trueba, 1991). Interdisciplinary efforts are now converging to integrate four levels of analysis: At the level of individuals, scholars are defining successful development as more than a solitary journey of exploration, autonomy, and emancipation from parents (Archer, 1992; Heath & McLaughlin, 1993). At the level of relationships, we are moving beyond viewing children's social and cognitive development as the transmission of values, knowledge, and other "social capital" from older experts to younger novices (Mehan, Hubbard, Okamoto, & Vlllanueva, 1995; Rogoff,

1990). Third, we are revising assumptions that linkages across social contexts such as families, schools, or peers operate best by matching or fitting together (Parke & Ladd, 1992). Finally, at the level of social institutions, we are moving beyond assumptions of unrestricted opportunities in school (Bordieu & Passeron, 1977; Chisholm, Buchner, Kriiger, & Brown, 1990; Kroger, 1993). While traditional views endure in scholarly and popular discourse, they are increasingly enriched by cultural perspectives.