Self in Time: Emergence within a Community of Minds
C onsciousness of self emerges, develops, and expands over the first 6 years of one’s life, a process revealed in the development of children’s memories for past personal experiences, the repository of the past self in action. Research on this topic has found a growing sense of unique self experiences distinct from the experience of others that emerges in the exchange of past talk narratives with others over the course of the preschool years (Nelson, 2003a, 2004; Nelson & Fivush, 2004; see also chapters 4 and 10 in this volume). This chapter builds on these accounts and raises issues of the relation of this process to the common practices and values of different cultural and historical contexts. In doing so, it implies a functional relation of self and society and of the development of self to the interpersonal supportive structures of societies.