The Social Ecology of Childhood

A Cross-Cultural View
  • Thomas S. Weisner
Part of the Genesis of Behavior book series (GOBE, volume 4)


Imagine that you could arrange for a satellite to circle the earth with extremely accurate high-resolution cameras and sound equipment on board, and that you could direct this satellite to hover over the culture areas of the world. Imagine that you could program your satellite to randomly sample communities, and within each community systematically select households with boys and girls of different ages, and that you could then monitor the members of those households throughout their day. Your cameras would record whom these family members are with; how far they stray from their home; what work they do; and with whom they do it. It would tell you the characteristics of the work and play groups, as well as the domestic group surrounding the child. It would tell you the kinds of physical stimulation the children are exposed to and how the children react and interact with their physical surroundings and social settings. Imagine that the microphones in your satellite could systematically sample what the children talk about; could study the content of their speech and with whom the children talk; and could observe the context of speech activities.


Child Care Rural Child Dyadic Interaction Social Ecology Domestic Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas S. Weisner
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Psychiatry and AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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