The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion

The Child

An Encyclopedic Companion

Richard A. Shweder, Editor in Chief

Edited by Thomas R. Bidell, Anne C. Dailey,
Suzanne D. Dixon, Peggy J. Miller, and John Modell

buy The Child 20% offbuy The Child e-=book 20% offshopping cart

The Introduction to The Child
an invitation to the many worlds of childhood

On behalf of my fellow editors and the reference publishing staff of the University of Chicago Press, I am delighted to welcome you as a reader of The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion. The Companion is a single-volume authoritative reference work on children’s development and the many worlds of childhood from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and on a global scale. It has been designed (here borrowing a phrase from the English poet Matthew Arnold, who was also a very learned inspector of children’s schools) “to make the best that has been thought and known” about children and childhood readily available to a broad spectrum of inquisitive adults, nonspecialists and specialists alike. We have kept in mind the interests of parents as well as educators, health care providers, social workers, teachers, and lawyers; public health workers as well as research scholars. Although it is doubtful that genuine erudition on any topic can be achieved simply by reading an article in a reference work, the Companion seeks to inform, broaden, and enrich our adult conversations about children, with special reference to basic questions about their mental, social, biological, and spiritual development; their health; and their hoped-for well-being.

In keeping with these goals, we have sought to be at once compact in our treatment and expansive in our understanding of children and of childhood, which we have taken to begin with the time a child spends in her or his mother’s womb and to end in the late teenage years. We adopted this relatively broad understanding of childhood for the sake of consistency in guiding the contents of the Companion, fully recognizing that any particular definition of the beginning and end of childhood is somewhat arbitrary and that is it impossible to specify the boundaries of life stages from all possible cultural and historical perspectives at once. To address the many dimensions of life encompassed by this understanding of childhood, we have engaged a wide range of expert contributors representing the perspectives of many disciplines: medicine, biology, law, education, psychology, literature, religion, anthropology, history, sociology, linguistics, communication studies, folklore, and cultural studies.

The Companion is also a book created in the pluralistic spirit of curiosity about different childhoods across the human family. Although many of the articles in the volume rely on evidence accumulated in North America and Europe (where there are established, active, and relatively well-funded research traditions in pediatric medicine, developmental psychology, education, and law), our coverage extends to other societies and historical epochs. Wherever possible, we have sought to increase the comparative scope of the volume, benefiting from work by anthropologists and historians, by social theorists and humanists in the interdisciplinary field of “childhood studies,” and by researchers in other parts of the globe. A major aim of the volume is to broaden our understanding and to take account of variations in childhood experiences, contexts, and ideals for maturity across diverse dimensions of potential difference: ethnicity, gender, culture, and social class.

Publications about children are ubiquitous, and they come in many forms. In academic circles there are several outstanding journals specializing in research on children, such as Child Development, Childhood, Developmental Psychology, Pediatrics, and Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. The admirable multivolume Handbook of Child Psychology supplies graduate students and research scholars in the academy with massive review chapters of the recent scientific literature in specialized areas of child psychology. Parents and others who work with children outside the academy often turn to books, popular magazines, and online sources offering advice on child rearing.

In respectful contrast to these types of publications, the Companion is designed as an encyclopedia consisting of 529 alphabetically arranged and readable summaries of fundamental knowledge on specific child-related topics along with 41 sidebar essays. These sidebars, collectively titled “Imagining Each Other” essays, are designed to bring the Companion’s theme of human diversity into special focus by allowing readers to enter imaginatively and through vivid prose into the lives of children and adolescents from specific cultures and subcultures around the world. The combination of comparative scope and interdisciplinary reach is a distinctive feature of the Companion, making it perhaps unique among books of its type: a reader-friendly encyclopedia about children for adults living in a globalizing yet multicultural world.

childhood: really real and fabulously fabricated

Viewed from a comparative perspective, childhood is really real, in the sense that every human society recognizes one or more phases of life prior to adulthood. But it is also fabulously fabricated (some would say “invented” or “constructed”), in the sense that the ideas, ideals, and practices associated with positive child development are not the same wherever you go around the world, or even within any single society. It takes imagination (and some degree of moral courage and openness to the experience of astonishment) to engage and understand those really real worlds of childhood that are substantially different from one’s own: for example, childhood as organized and arranged in contemporary Asian, African, or Native American societies or in the ancient Mediterranean world or in earlier periods of American history; childhood as envisioned by a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church or by a devout Hindu or a pious Muslim; childhood as experienced by a child growing up in a commune or a refugee camp; childhood as understood by a child who grows up hearing in a deaf family or by a child who is schooled at home.

The reality of childhood thus goes far beyond the universal recognition of phases of life prior to adulthood. Every human society fosters institutions and practices dedicated in part to defining, regulating, and promoting the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual development of the young. Within every human society there are specific goals, values, and pictures of a “normal” childhood that are taken for granted, passionately promoted, or actively contested by adult members of that society. The entries in the Companion aim to provide up-to-date summaries of those childhood realities while recognizing that goals for, and pictures of, positive child development are plural and diverse, not singular or unitary, both across and within human societies.

The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion takes up the challenge of giving an authoritative and accurate account of childhood and child development as both invented and real. The six editors of the volume come from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, developmental psychology, education, history, law, and pediatrics (see pp. vii–viii). A 35-member interdisciplinary, international, and multicultural Board of Advisors consisting of some of the most distinguished and well-known child development researchers in the world (see p. ii) contributed expertise on cultural variability both within the United States and across major regions of the world. These experts reviewed early plans and made suggestions for the contents of the Companion as a whole. Each of the articles in the volume was written by one or more authorities on the topic, and every contributor was provided with an explicit scope description suggesting the ideal coverage for his or her particular topic. In the light of our premise that the really real worlds of childhood are not necessarily the same across historical time and cultural space, or even within the same society, nearly every scope description concluded with a charge to “make comparisons to other societies, cultural traditions, and historical periods” besides the contemporary United States and to “consider gender, racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and environmental variation related to this topic, as well as the short and long-term consequences for children of such variation.”

The editors of the Companion fully recognize the enormity of the challenge of portraying the diverse, group-specific aspects of childhood experience in an accurate, sympathetic (although not necessarily uncritical) way and of transcending provincial research traditions while also learning from them. We accept the inevitability of the judgment that our success in accomplishing this ambition has been limited. Not all of our contributors found it feasible or appropriate to explore issues of diversity, given the boundaries of their discipline, the limits of their expertise, the lack of relevant primary research, or the nature of their topic. At the moment, medical epidemiologists, anthropologists, and historians are perhaps most at ease incorporating a comparative perspective into their research. Even as we invite the reader to the many worlds of childhood and publish the fruits of our intellectual labor, we look forward to the further growth of an interdisciplinary comparative research perspective on children across the disciplines of law, developmental psychology, literature, sociology, and education. In a globalizing world in which not only goods and financial resources but also peoples migrate across national borders, it is both good and practical for child development researchers, children’s rights activists, and the educated public in general to learn as much as possible about childhood outside one’s own geographic and social location.

Childhood assumes different forms here and there, now and then; and from a comparative perspective, one more properly speaks of childhoods, in the plural, than of childhood, in the singular. As such, the Companion is really as much about children in the plural—living in different societies, different times, and different social locations—as it is about the child in general or in the abstract. But the volume also provides much general knowledge about children, particularly in the many entries concerned with biological development and physical and mental health: regarding the thumb-sucking behavior of the fetus in the womb, for example, or the visual capacity of infants at birth (their vision is 20/200, which is worse than legally blind), the development of a sense of musical rhythm at 7 months of age, or the emergence of a social preference for members of the same sex at age 3.

It is a formidable challenge to accurately and objectively represent the real diversity in children’s worlds without allowing our own parochialism to bias these representations. Nevertheless, we have sought to honor in this volume—and particularly in the Imagining Each Other essays—the pluralistic aspiration expressed by the cultural anthropologist Clifford Geertz, who wrote so eloquently of the “differenced world.” In portraying lives in different cultural worlds and in different social locations within a society, he said, it should be possible to recognize “the force and durability of ties of religion, language, custom, locality, race, and descent in human affairs” without regarding the entrance of such considerations in social life as “pathological—primitive, backward, regressive and irrational.” Many of the things we take for granted as natural or divinely given or logically necessary or practically indispensable for life in an orderly, safe, and decent society are neither natural nor divinely given nor logically necessary nor practically indispensable for life in an orderly, safe, and decent society—including our conceptions of a normal childhood.

currents in contemporary research on children

Grand theories about child development have taken their hits in recent decades, and much has changed in the world of research and scholarship concerning children. A comprehensive reference work on children published in the 1950s or 1960s might well have been unified around the work of a figure such as Sigmund Freud or Jean Piaget, but this is no longer the case. We live in a post–grand universal theory age, and there are many stories to tell about childhood and the successful mental, social, spiritual, and even biological development of children. Many of those stories are told in The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion.

Over the past century, the social and behavioral sciences have witnessed the nature-nurture pendulum swing: from nature in the first decades of the 20th century to nurture in the 1930s through the 1960s. Nature returned to the academic scene once again (and reentered popular culture) beginning in the 1970s and on into the first decade of the 21st century. While very few contemporary child development researchers would argue a strong form of the provocative thesis that “biology is destiny” or that the experiences of childhood have no influence on adult functioning, there has been a major return of interest in innate ideas, neonatal temperament, twin studies, behavioral and evolutionary biology, genetic variation, hormonal regulation, and brain science; and new debates have arisen about how best to think about the very distinction between nature and nurture and the interaction of mind and body. In the Companion, these debates are treated in entries on such topics as the biological evolution of childhood, genetics, multiple births, neurological and brain development, sexual development, and temperament.

Even as nature was returning to the academic and intellectual scene, however, those who study “nurture” in the broadest sense became more and more sophisticated in describing and characterizing the relevant environments or contexts of childhood experience. New fields of interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences emerged with names such as childhood studies, cultural psychology, medical sociology, psychological anthropology, language socialization, and history of childhood. These fields have taken a comparative and/or historical perspective on children’s lives and have broadened their research agenda on nurturing to include the influence on the child of family, religion, language and literature, law, education, social status, and social class, and they have documented (and critiqued) the causes and consequences of differences in childhood experiences and outcomes across human populations.

Produced during the first decade of the 21st century, the Companion is meant to be a conduit for the flow of state-of-the-art information about all these currents, on both sides of any nature/nurture divide, with special attention given to variations in the institutional contexts of childhood experience and pathways of development. As a reference book, the Companion gives broad voice to the social and cultural contexts of nurturing in Geertz’s “differenced world,” which, in a sense, is its distinguishing characteristic.

The contemporary burgeoning of interest in the many worlds of childhood experience has coincided with—and perhaps hastened—the waning influence of the grand stage structure theories of psychosexual and emotional development proposed by Freud and other psychoanalysts and those of cognitive or intellectual development proposed by Piaget. Both schools of theory have been widely critiqued from a number of perspectives over the past few decades. Some researchers argue that Piaget underestimated the intellectual sophistication and operational capacity of young children and that infants are “hardwired” with innate ideas; others argue that he overemphasized the stagelike directional character of intellectual growth or that he misjudged the role and importance of local cultural knowledge in reasoning, judgment, and memory. Freud has come in for criticism as well for, among other things, his views of female psychology, his claims about cross-generational sexual desire within the family and the origin of the incest taboo, and his (oral, anal, and genital) psychosexual stage theory about the development of libido. The theories of both Freud and Piaget appear in multiple contexts within the Companion, as do the critiques of their work, placing them within the range of ways to view the childhood experience, but not outside or above it.

Not surprisingly, interest in the many worlds of childhood has also flowered at a time in North America and Europe when the reality and challenge of “difference” or “multiculturalism” (both global and domestic varieties) have become major public policy issues. Multiculturalism is a provocative concept, embraced in some nations, such as the United States (where the celebration of diversity is sometimes viewed as a virtue), while being scorned in other nations, such as France (where parochial group identities other than the identity of citizen of the state may be viewed with suspicion). Truth be told, it is also a concept with multiple—and even incompatible—meanings.

There are multiculturalists who are concerned with the liberty of peoples and who highly value group differences and want to preserve them; and other multiculturalists who are concerned with social justice and who think group differences are the products of vicious discrimination and that within any truly just and egalitarian society group differences should be made to go away. There are multiculturalists who believe that the term means being a “hybrid” and actively promoting the erosion of borders or boundaries between groups and the mixing up, melting down, homogenizing, or integrating of things (in marriages, neighborhoods, and schools); and other multiculturalists who think multiculturalism implies autonomy, in-group solidarity, the power to remain separate or pure, and the capacity to maintain boundaries or restore a distinctive way of life (by means of marriage, neighborhoods, and schools). There are multiculturalists who use the word in an almost ironic sense to commend and promote the mainstreaming, assimilation, or inclusion of people of different colors or ancestries into the society and shared subculture of the North American or Western European elite; and other multiculturalists who use the term to call on the mainstream elite of particular countries to accommodate themselves to minority group differences in customs, values, and beliefs, and to tolerate or even celebrate genuine cultural diversity. And there are multiculturalists who are distressed by, and deeply suspicious of, the idea that members of different groups might differ from one another in typifying ways and who disparage all claims about group differences as stereotyping; and other multiculturalists for whom the very concept of multiculturalism would have no point at all if it were not for the reality of real differences between individuals that arise by virtue of their membership in different and particular groups.

In identifying the Companion as a “multicultural” reference work, we recognize the many meanings of this term within the broad research community committed to the study of childhood and child development and within the even broader community of our readership. The 627 contributors who accepted our invitation to write for this volume were challenged to present their topics dispassionately, with a view to all sides of any debate, though their work was inevitably shaped by their own sense of how (and whether) to represent diversity in these debates. Just as the Companion encompasses many worlds of childhood, it reflects many approaches to writing about these worlds.

organization and types of entries

As it meets the eye of the reader, the Companion is an encyclopedia in which topics are listed alphabetically to facilitate access, starting with the entry “Abandonment and Infanticide” and ending with “Youth Movements.” In some instances, where the operative term under which readers are likely to look up a subject is not the first word in the entry title, we have inverted the title: For example, the entry on children’s rights appears among the Rs as “Rights, Children’s,” while that on the development of communication appears among the Cs as “Communication, Development of.”

Although we do not expect most readers to proceed through the volume in strict alphabetical order, we hope that the juxtapositions created by this standard reference-style organization prove to be thought provoking in their own way. A reader who goes looking for one topic of interest may, through the accident of proximity, stumble upon another that she had not previously considered and perhaps make some new connections among the many aspects of research on child development encompassed by the Companion. Consider, for example, the following alphabetical yet strikingly diverse and interdisciplinary sequence of entries:

Folklore, Children’s
Food Aversions and Preferences
Foreign Language Education
Foster and Kinship Care
Freedom of Speech
Freire, Paolo (Reglus Neves)

On occasion, the alphabetical organization may even appear whimsical, as where the entry on “Masturbation” is immediately followed by that on “Mathematics.”

Hidden behind the ultimate organization of the entries is a set of 15 conceptual categories that we used as a basis for planning the contents of the volume. Given the aim to create an authoritative reference work on all aspects of children’s development and the many worlds of childhood from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and on a global scale, the planning stage was both critical and extensive. We sought to ensure coverage with minimal gaps and overlaps and to distribute the valuable space in the volume in appropriate proportions among the 529 topical articles, which range in length from 500 to 4,500 words.

The majority of entries consist of a single article on a topic from one of the subject areas encompassed by the volume: medicine, biology, law, education, psychology, literature, religion, anthropology, history, linguistics, and cultural studies. Some of these entries are straightforward and self-explanatory as titled: for example, “Class Size,” “Custody,” “Ear Infections,” “Naming Patterns,” “Protestantism,” and “Social Development.” Others embody broader or more diffuse concepts that are not as readily captured by encyclopedia-style titles, such as “Adolescent Decision Making, Legal Perspectives on,” “Health, Disparities in,” “Sacramental Family Life,” and “Universe of the Child.” In certain subject areas, particularly medicine and the social sciences, we chose to combine what might have been several smaller but closely related topics into a single, higher-level entry. Thus we have an entry entitled “Respiratory Diseases” rather than separate entries on the common cold, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, and so forth; we have “Asian Societies and Cultures, Childhood and Adolescence in” in lieu of individual entries on childhood in China, Japan, India, and neighboring lands.

For some complex topics, however, we have created composite entries, consisting of two or more articles representing the perspectives of different disciplines or research traditions on distinct aspects of the subject. Under the entry title “Adoption,” for instance, we have three subsidiary articles written by separate contributors: “Historical and Cultural Perspectives,” by a historian; “Effects on the Child,” by a developmental psychologist; and “Legal and Public-Policy Perspectives,” by a legal scholar. The entry “Development, Theories of ” consists of no fewer than six articles, the first offering an overview of such theories and the remaining five focusing, respectively, on behavioral, cognitive, dynamic systems, psychoanalytic, and social contextual theories. Yet another division of content occurs in the composite entry “Vision,” which includes one article on the normal development of vision and another on vision abnormalities, each written by a different medical specialist.

A final category of entries consists of brief biographies for 62 figures who we believe have made iconic contributions to the study of the many worlds of childhood. Some of these individuals will be readily recognizable to most readers of this volume (Sigmund Freud, Maria Montessori, Benjamin Spock); others may be hazily familiar (Ruth Benedict, John Dewey, Lawrence Kohlberg) or largely unknown ( Joseph Goldstein, Anne Carroll Moore, John U. Ogbu) to nonspecialists or professionals outside specific disciplines. Our judgments of iconic stature are inevitably swayed by our placement within the intellectual traditions of Europe and North America, though many of the figures we have included were precursors to the multicultural spirit of the volume. We did choose to exclude any figures alive at the time we drew up the list of entries in the spring of 2005; for example, Urie Bronfenbrenner, who died in September of that year, does not have a biographical entry, although his work is covered in relevant topical entries. The biographical entries are alphabetized under the subject’s last name, and any parts of the name generally omitted in professional contexts are given in parentheses; for example, the entry for the psychologist generally known as B. F. Skinner appears under “Skinner, B(urrhus) F(rederic).”

The one group of articles that falls outside the alphabetical ordering system is the array of Imagining Each Other essays, a unique feature to a reference book such as this one. Unlike the topical and biographical articles, which aim to synthesize and summarize, these essays stop and dwell on a particular dimension of childhood in specific place and time. In most cases, they reflect a direct research encounter or other personal experience of the contributor, but they take many forms. In “Learning to Weave in a Maya Community,” for example, Patricia Marks Greenfield writes in the third person about child apprenticeship practices she observed in Mexico; in “Trial by Fire: Emotional Socialization among Canadian Inuit,” Jean L. Briggs writes in the first person about encounters she witnessed between Inuit children and their elders. James J. McKenna takes an even more personal approach in “On Infants Sleeping Alone,” his account of discovering through his own experiences as a parent why the practice of letting babies cry themselves to sleep, though common in many North American and European circles, is considered exotic and even barbaric in much of the rest of the world. By placing each of these essays as a sidebar to a related topical article—“Apprenticeship,” “Emotional Development,” and “Sleep: Sleeping Arrangements,” respectively—we hope to illuminate how broader issues are embodied in one of the many worlds of childhood. A complete table of contents for the Imagining Each Other essays, which are scattered throughout the book, appears on p. vi.

Most of the topical articles—and many of the Imagining Each Other essays— conclude with a list of suggestions for further reading. In general, this list is intended to direct nonspecialist readers whose interest has been piqued by an entry to books, articles, and other outside resources that cover the subject in greater depth. Ideally, the items listed under this heading will be accessible to nonspecialists in terms of both level of content and general availability, but some topics lend themselves to such treatments more readily than others. In the interest of brevity, the citations contain just enough information for readers to locate the sources through search engines or other bibliographic means, and works discussed and briefly cited within the text of an article are generally not repeated in the Further Reading list. Readers interested in locating the full text of legal cases, statutes, and related documents discussed within the articles will find full citations for them in the appendix.

Next to the Further Reading list in nearly every topical and biographical entry is a string of cross-references to other entries in the volume closely related to the subject at hand. Given the many and complex relationships between the entries, the See also list represents just a starting point for readers interested in exploring these links. We gently suggest that the best way to appreciate the full contents of the Companion is to meander.

For those seeking specific content and unable to find it within the structure of the volume as detailed here, we have provided two additional navigational devices. First, intermingled with the alphabetized entries, there are approximately 200 blind entries, which anticipate alternate terms under which readers might expect to find a topic and redirect them to the term under which we have in fact listed it. For example, blind entries redirect readers from “Stepparents” to “Remarriage and the Blended Family,” from “Nutrition” to “Eating and Nutrition,” and from “AIDS” to “Human Immunodeficiency Viral Syndrome.” Once again, though, the blind entries represent a subjective set of guesses within a wide range of possible searches. In certain areas—particularly for medical entries such as “Respiratory Diseases,” which, as noted previously, encompasses a large collection of conditions—we have necessarily avoided blind entries except in rare cases to conserve space. The ultimate resource for readers seeking specific content is the extensive index, which includes entries ranging from the detailed (specific medical conditions, legal cases, and individuals) to the broadly thematic (race and ethnicity)—all arranged, of course, alphabetically.

a few words on terminology

In keeping with the broader aims of the Companion, we have tried our best to avoid invidious comparisons, bias in word choice, and judgmental rhetorical forms throughout the volume. This is always a challenge for any writer, and all the more so in a reference work that consists of hundreds of articles by contributors from a dozen or so disciplines and that strives to be balanced and objective in addressing questions of diversity across groups, cultures, and social status.

Some of our goals have been easier than others to identify and meet. We have sought, for example, to use gender-neutral language, while allowing a range of solutions to the problem of gender-specific pronouns. When discussing children with special needs, we have sought to use language that emphasizes the person before the need—that is, children with disabilities instead of disabled children, or children with asthma instead of asthmatics. We have also honored the evolving terminology in this area, changing all references to the condition previously known as mental retardation to intellectual disability, with occasional notes in the text to alert readers unfamiliar with this relatively new term to its meaning.

One goal that proved much more elusive concerned collective references to large portions of the world or related cultural traditions. Despite our initial intention to avoid such overgeneralized terms as first world/third world and Western societies, we soon realized that contributors from various disciplinary traditions—for example, medical epidemiology and cultural anthropology—brought unavoidably different standard vocabularies to their writing about the cultures of the world. Ultimately, we have not enforced a uniform code of terminology in this realm but rather have permitted contributors to follow the common usage in their disciplines, including the dichotomies developed world/developing world and industrialized world/nonindustrialized world.

A similar issue arose in reference to certain population groups within the United States. Although we chose to use the terms African American, Latino, and Native American in entry titles and preferred these terms throughout the volume, some contributors have used black, Hispanic, or Indian for context-specific reasons in their writing. The terms white, European American, and non-Hispanic Caucasian likewise all appear in reference to a similar if not precisely identical population group. In the end, the multicultural spirit of the Companion shaped the volume down to the level of terminology.

a note of appreciation

As editor in chief of The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion, I have been privileged to collaborate for a number of years with five brilliant and conscientious section editors (Tom Bidell, Anne Dailey, Suzanne Dixon, Peggy Miller, and John Modell), the reference publishing staff of the University of Chicago Press, and several freelance editors. I wish to express my profound sense of thanks to everyone who made the Companion both really real and fabulously fabricated.

The very idea of an authoritative interdisciplinary reference work focused on the diverse worlds of childhood first sprung in nascent form from the brow of Linda J. Halvorson, former editorial director of reference books at the University of Chicago Press; her brainchild was initially developed by the eminent cultural anthropologist and expert on culture and child development Robert A. LeVine. By the time Linda invited me to lead the project, its broad outlines were clearly discernable. I was honored to be asked to become editor in chief and challenged by the exciting conception of the volume. My editorial work on the project began while I was a Carnegie Scholar of the Carnegie Foundation of New York and was finished while I was a Rosanna and Charles Jaffin Founders Circle Member of the School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey. Many thanks to the Foundation, the Institute, and the Jaffins for their support of my work.

Without doubt, however, the sustaining force and intellectual, organizational, and motivational hub of the project for most of its life has been Mary E. Laur, senior project editor for reference books at the Press. Mary was “mission control” through all the stages of project evolution. She not only prepared both the Contributors’ Guide and the index but also left her brilliant mark on the project, both literally and figuratively, by collaborating with all the section editors in the evaluation and editing of every entry and by communicating with all 627 contributors from initial invitation through final approval. She has been assisted in key aspects of this process by Christopher L. Rhodes and Kira Bennett. Jim Miller, a freelance editor, also played a major role in the development of scope descriptions for all entries. Paul Schellinger, the current editorial director of reference books at the Press, not only embraced the project but also offered wise advice about the ultimate shape of the publication. In the final stages of the project, Carol J. Burwash copyedited the complete manuscript, Matt Avery designed the text and the jacket, and David O’Connor oversaw the manufacturing of the volume. Ellen Gibson and Laura Andersen guided it into the hands of inquisitive adults, nonspecialists and specialists alike.

Finally, I wish to dedicate the Companion to my teachers Beatrice Blyth Whiting and John Wesley Mayhew Whiting, who were among the most significant genitors of the comparative interdisciplinary study of childhood, and to my children Jeremy, Sylvia, Lauren, and Matthew, who continue to develop, long past childhood.

Richard A. Shweder
William Claude Reavis Distinguished Service Professor
Department of Comparative Human Development
University of Chicago
September 2008


Book details:

Richard A. Shweder, Editor in Chief
The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion
©2009 1144 pages, 12 halftones, 6 line drawings, 7 tables 7-3/8 × 9-5/8
Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226475394 Buy print book at 20% discount.
E-book $75.00 ISBN: 9780226756110 Buy e-book at 20% discount.

For information on purchasing the book—from bookstores or here online—please go to the webpage for The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion.

See also: