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Passive object or active subject?
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The studies by culture and personality theorists, like those by social anthropologists of the processes of *socialization, did not lead to children becoming of much greater interest to mainstream anthropology. Indeed, one can argue that the assumption common to both approaches that children ‘learned culture’ or, more radically, were ‘conditioned by culture’, made children the more or less passive objects of adult ideas and practices, and thus of marginal interest to anthropologists. Even Erikson’s brilliant Childhood and Society (1950)—a most careful and detailed attempt to apply psychoanalytic concepts of psychosexual development to the development of identity across cultures-took culture for granted as already ‘given’, as expressed in the institutions of adult life.