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Developing Through Relationships

This accessible book explains how individuals develop through their relationships with others. Alan Fogel demonstrates that human development is driven by a social dynamic process called co-regulation—the creative interaction of individuals to achieve a common goal. He focuses on communication—between adults, between parents and children, among non-human animals, and even among cells and genes—to create an original model of human development.

Fogel explores the origins of communication, personal identity, and cultural participation and argues that from birth communication, self, and culture are inseparable. He shows that the ability to participate as a human being in the world does not come about only with the acquisition of language, as many scholars have thought, but begins during an infant’s earliest nonverbal period. According to Fogel, the human mind and sense of self start to develop at birth through communication and relationships between individuals.

Fogel weaves together theory and research from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, biology, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, and cognitive science. He rejects the objectivist perspective on development in favor of a relational perspective: to treat the mind as an objective, mechanical thing, Fogel contends, is to ignore the interactive character of thinking. He argues that the life of the mind is a dialogue between imagined points of view, like a dialogue between two different people, and he uses this view to explain his relational theory of human development.

Developing through Relationships makes a substantial contribution not only to developmental psychology but also to the fields of communication, cognitive science, linguistics, and biology.

240 pages | 5 halftones, 8 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1993

Language and Linguistics: Anthropological/Sociological Aspects of Language

Psychology: General Psychology

Table of Contents

Part I: Communication processes
1. Introduction and perspective
Relational perspective
Developmental perspective
Cultural perspective
About this book
2. The origins of communication, self and culture
Guiding principles
Communication, self and culture in infancy
Proposals for a relational perspective on infant development
3. The communication system: co-regulation and framing
Consensual frames
4. The communication system: history and metaphor
Systems and interdependence
Metaphors in social and developmental psychology
The fundamental problem of being-in-relation
5. A model of communication: meaning and information
Discrete and continuous models of communicative information
Information in continuous process communication systems
Part II: The relationship processes
6. The formation of relationships: creating new meaning
Models of relationship formation
Creativity in relationships
7. The formation of relationships: differences between dyads
Processes of self-organization within relationships
A dynamic model of consensual framing in relationships
The formation of differences between relationships
Conclusions: two patterns of relationship formation
8. The self in relation: embodied cognition
Embodied cognition
Participatory cognition
Imaginative cognition
Infant cognition and its development
9. The self in relation: self and other
The dialogical self in adults
The dialogical self in infancy
The dialogical self is co-regulated
10. Culture as communication: stability and change
Culture as a process
Culture and infancy
11. Conclusions and implications
Developmental determinism and indeterminism
Forms of information: morality, aesthetics and affiliation
Research approaches to relationship development
General index
Name index

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