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Human Development in the Life Course
Melodies of Living


  • Date Published: October 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107562387

$ 42.99

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About the Authors
  • Drawing on philosophy, the history of psychology and the natural sciences, this book proposes a new theoretical foundation for the psychology of the life course. It features the study of unique individual life courses in their social and cultural environment, combining the perspectives of developmental and sociocultural psychology, psychotherapy, learning sciences and geronto-psychology. In particular, the book highlights semiotic processes, specific to human development, that allow us to draw upon past experiences, to choose among alternatives and to plan our futures. Imagination is an important outcome of semiotic processes and enables us to deal with daily constraints and transitions, and promotes the transformation of social representation and symbolic systems - giving each person a unique style, or 'melody', of living. The book concludes by questioning the methodology and epistemology of current life course studies.

    • Proposes a new view of the psychology of the life course
    • Features the role of imagination and play in developmental processes and shows that their core mechanisms extend beyond childhood
    • Applies developmental science to real-life situations, demonstrating how theoretical and philosophical elaborations about development illuminate our understanding of daily life
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A landmark in the development of developmental science. Dense, rich, personal and abstract by turns, it provides a synthetic foundation for a future, genuinely integrative, developmental science.' Michael Cole, Distinguished Professor, Communication, Psychology, and Human Development, University of California, San Diego

    'An exceptionally interesting book about the uniqueness of each human being. The volume centres on human development and its trajectories, meaning-making and imagination. This highly original collection of essays will attract cultural scholars and those who search for new ways of doing human and social science.' Ivana Markova, University of Stirling

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107562387
    • length: 446 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.65kg
    • contains: 47 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface: from dispute to collaboration
    Introduction: melodies of living
    Part I. Time for Development:
    1. Solidity of science and fullness of living: a theoretical exposé
    2. Imagination and the life course
    3. Moving through time: imagination and memory as semiotic processes
    4. Models of time for the life course
    Part II. Spaces for Development:
    5. Social framing of lives: from phenomena to theories
    6. Stability and innovation in adults narrating their lives: insights from psychotherapy research
    7. Paradoxes of learning
    Part III. Beyond Time and Space: Imagination:
    8. We are migrants!
    9. Playing while being serious: the lifelong game of development - and its tools
    10. Playing under the influence: activity contexts in their social functions
    11. 'Old age' as living forward
    12. Epilogue: the course of life as a melody.

  • Authors

    Tania Zittoun, Université de Neuchatel, Switzerland
    Tania Zittoun is a Professor of Psychology and Education at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

    Jaan Valsiner, Clark University, Massachusetts
    Jaan Valsiner is a Professor of Psychology at Clark University, Massachusetts.

    Dankert Vedeler, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim
    Dankert Vedeler is Associate Professor Emeritus at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

    João Salgado, Instituto Superior da Maia, Portugal
    João Salgado is Assistant Professor and the Head of the Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the Maia Institute of Higher Education (ISMAI), Portugal.

    Miguel M. Gonçalves, Universidad de Minho, Portugal
    Miguel M. Gonçalves is a Professor of Psychology in the School of Psychology at the University of Minho, Portugal.

    Dieter Ferring, Université du Luxembourg
    Dieter Ferring is Professor of Developmental Psychology and Psychogerontology at the University of Luxembourg.

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