Book Details

THE EVOLUTION OF CHILDHOOD: RELATIONSHIPS, EMOTION, MIND


By KONNER, MELVIN (Author)
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Price : $39.95  
ISBN : 9780674045668  
Dimension : 6.4 x 2 x 9.2 inch    Page : 960
Year of Publication : 2010    Edition : 1
Publisher : HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Subject : SCIENCE




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Description :

An Amazon.com Editors’ Best Book of 2010, Science Category

An Atlantic Book of the Year, 2010

A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year, 2010


This book is an intellectual tour de force: a comprehensive Darwinian interpretation of human development. Looking at the entire range of human evolutionary history, Melvin Konner tells the compelling and complex story of how cross-cultural and universal characteristics of our growth from infancy to adolescence became rooted in genetically inherited characteristics of the human brain.


All study of our evolution starts with one simple truth: human beings take an extraordinarily long time to grow up. What does this extended period of dependency have to do with human brain growth and social interactions? And why is play a sign of cognitive complexity, and a spur for cultural evolution? As Konner explores these questions, and topics ranging from bipedal walking to incest taboos, he firmly lays the foundations of psychology in biology.


As his book eloquently explains, human learning and the greatest human intellectual accomplishments are rooted in our inherited capacity for attachments to each other. In our love of those we learn from, we find our way as individuals and as a species. Never before has this intersection of the biology and psychology of childhood been so brilliantly described.


"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," wrote Dobzhansky. In this remarkable book, Melvin Konner shows that nothing in childhood makes sense except in the light of evolution.




Melvin Konner is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Program in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology at Emory University, and author of Becoming A Doctor, and The Evolution of Childhood (Harvard).



Content :

  • Prologue
    • The Structure of This Book
    • Six Paradigms
    • 1. Introduction
  • Part I. Evolution: The Phylogenetic Origins of Childhood (Wherein We Learn How the Laws of Evolution Produced the Shape of Human Social and Emotional Development)
    • 2. Paradigms in the Evolution of Development
    • Interlude 1: Thinking about Birdsong
    • 3. Brains Evolving
    • 4. Ape Foundations, Human Revolution
    • 5. The Evolution of Human Brain Growth
    • Transition 1: Neurological Models of Psychosocial Function
  • Part II. Maturation: Anatomical Bases of Psychosocial Growth (Wherein We See How Neural and Endocrine Systems Guide the Paths of Development Called For by Natural Selection)
    • 6. Paradigms in the Study of Psychosocial Growth
    • Interlude 2: Thinking about Bipedal Walking
    • 7. The Growth of Sociality
    • 8. The Growth of Attachment and the Social Fears
    • 9. The Growth of Language
    • 10. The Growth of Sex and Gender Differences
    • 11. The Transition to Middle Childhood
    • 12. Reproductive Behavior and the Onset of Parenting
    • Interlude 3: Thinking about Growing Up Gay
    • Transition 2: Plasticity Evolving
  • Part III. Socialization: The Evolving Social Context of Ontogeny (Wherein We Discern the Contributions of Social Life to Developing Relationships and Emotions)
    • 13. Paradigms in the Study of Socialization
    • 14. Early Social Experience
    • 15. The Evolution of the Mother–Infant Bond
    • Interlude 4: Thinking about Maternal Sentiment
    • 16. Cooperative Breeding in the Extended Family
    • 17. Male Parental Care
    • Interlude 5: Thinking about “Oedipal” Conflicts
    • 18. Relations among Juveniles
    • 19. Play, Social Learning, and Teaching
    • 20. The Contexts of Emerging Reproductive Behavior
    • Interlude 6: Thinking about Incest Avoidance and Taboos
    • 21. Stress and Resilience in the Changing Family
    • 22. Hunter-Gatherer Childhood—The Cultural Baseline
    • Transition 3: Does Nonhuman Culture Exist?
  • Part IV. Enculturation: The Transmission and Evolution of Culture (Wherein We Come to Understand What Culture Changes)
    • 23. Paradigms in the Study of Enculturation
    • Interlude 7: Thinking about the Question “How?”
    • 24. The Culture of Infancy and Early Childhood
    • 25. The Culture of Subsistence
    • 26. The Culture of Middle Childhood
    • 27. The Culture of Gender in Childhood and Adolescence
    • 28. Evolutionary Culture Theory
    • Interlude 8: Thinking about Boys at War
    • 29. Universals, Adaptation, Enculturation, and Culture
  • Part V. Conclusion (Wherein We See, as through a Glass Darkly, How Human Relationships and Emotions May Actually Emerge)
    • 30. The Ultimate Epigenetic Enterprise
    • Reprise
    • Epilogue
  • References
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
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