ABSTRACT

This chapter engages inter- and cross-disciplinary perspectives to offer critical perspectives on psychological assumptions underlying child development. It focuses on multiple readings of notions of ‘placement’ and ‘displacement’ to resituate a range of claims that underlie and justify the project of developmental psychology. The chapter argues that psychological narratives of development have tended to presume a spurious universality and generality that is increasingly recognised as untenable. It draws parallels with debates about memory as constructed or recovered within therapeutic relationships both as a disciplinary conjunction and as a methodological tactic to highlight possible tensions and resolutions of the problem of developmental teleology vs. reconstruction. The chapter also argues that for the need to move from generalised, universalised accounts of development towards more situated, nuanced developmental narratives. It indicates something of what might be involved in the inquiry to ‘place’ and ‘displace’ development, including biographical and disciplinary detours, finishing with some thoughts on where this leaves claims to or about development.