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Moral Development in a Global World
Research from a Cultural-Developmental Perspective


Richard A. Shweder, Lene Arnett Jensen, Niyati Pandya, Rachana Bhangaokar, Annukka Vainio, Shagufa Kapadia, Laura M. Padilla-Walker, Larry J. Nelson, Valeschka M. Guerra, Roger S. Giner-Sorolla, Jacob R. Hickman, Allison DiBianca Fasoli, Joan G. Miller, Gisela Trommsdorff
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  • Date Published: December 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316635674

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About the Authors
  • Questions addressing people's moral lives, similarities and differences in the moral concepts of cultural groups, and how these concepts emerge in the course of development are of perennial interest. In a globalizing world, addressing what is universal and what is culturally distinctive about moral development is pressing. More than ever, well-substantiated knowledge of diverse peoples' moral compasses is needed. This book presents the cultural-developmental theory of moral psychology, findings from numerous countries, and four instruments for conducting cultural-developmental research. The central thesis is that humans are born with a shared moral heritage and that, as we develop from childhood into adulthood, we branch off in diverse directions shaped by culture - resulting in novelty and contention. An international group of eminent and cutting-edge scholars from anthropology, psychology, and linguistics addresses this timely topic and explores how gender, social class, and 'culture wars' between liberals and conservatives play into moral development across cultures.

    • Provides readers with a fresh theory of moral psychology - the 'cultural-developmental approach' - along with concrete research instruments for future scholarship
    • An international and multidisciplinary group of authors pay careful attention to morality in diverse people's cognitive, emotional, and social lives
    • Includes fascinating snapshots of Indian children from slums talking about their moral lives; conversations between Evangelical American parents and their young children about right and wrong; and striking large-scale survey results showing how urban emerging adults from Brazil, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom share an increasingly similar focus on individual autonomy as a supreme moral goal
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book offers an exceptionally subtle and sophisticated exploration of cultural pluralism and universality in moral understanding and development. From its deeply thoughtful foreword and integrating first chapter right through to its sharply insightful commentaries, it will not only enrich your knowledge, it will make you think!' Anne Colby, Stanford University, California

    'This is an exceptionally engrossing volume providing insights and challenges to the Western individualistic psychology of morality. Using a 'cultural-developmental approach', supported by multidisciplinary empirical evidence from diverse socio-cultural contexts, it proposes a theory of moral development which embraces both universality and multiplicity.' Cigdem Kagitcibasi, Koç University, Istanbul

    'This volume presents a major empirical and theoretical advancement in moral reasoning from a cultural-developmental perspective. The wealth of data and analyses and new conceptual insights drawn from diverse cultures would undoubtedly enrich anyone's understanding of human development.' Jin Li, Brown University, Rhode Island

    'The present volume on moral development by Lene Arnett Jensen is a noteworthy contribution bridging culture and development. It expands the horizon of research in the area by looking beyond the individualistic justice and rights orientation to ethics based on social and spiritual values governed by cultural contexts, thereby integrating universality and cultural relativity. It is an excellent example of culture inclusive developmental psychology.' T. S. Saraswathi, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316635674
    • length: 282 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 12 b/w illus. 10 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Richard A. Shweder
    1. Theorizing and researching moral development in a global world Lene Arnett Jensen
    2. Divinity in children's moral development: an Indian perspective Niyati Pandya and Ranchana Bhangaokar
    3. Finnish moral landscapes: a comparison of nonreligious, liberal religious, and conservative religious adolescents Annukka Vainio
    4. An Indian moral worldview: developmental patterns in adolescents and adults Shagufa Kapadia and Rachana Bhangaokar
    5. Moral worldviews of American religious emerging adults: three patterns of negotiation between development and culture Laura M. Padilla-Walker and Larry J. Nelson
    6. Investigating the three ethics in emerging adulthood: a study in five countries Valeschka M. Guerra and Roger S. Giner-Sorolla
    7. The dynamics of ethical co-occurrence in Hmong and American evangelical families: new directions for three ethics research Jacob R. Hickman and Allison DiBianca Fasoli
    8. How liberals and conservatives are alike and apart: a research autobiography Lene Arnett Jensen
    9. Taking culture and context into account in understanding moral development Joan G. Miller
    10. The next step for the cultural-developmental approach: from moral reasoning to moral intentions and behavior Gisela Trommsdorff

  • Editor

    Lene Arnett Jensen, Clark University, Massachusetts
    Lene Arnett Jensen is Associate Professor of Psychology at Clark University, Massachusetts. Her research addresses moral development and cultural identity formation in the contexts of 'culture war' tensions, migration, and globalization and she has conducted research with her students in countries including Denmark, India, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States. Her most recent publications include Bridging Cultural and Developmental Psychology: New Syntheses for Theory, Research and Policy (2012) and the Oxford Handbook of Human Development and Culture (2015).


    Richard A. Shweder, Lene Arnett Jensen, Niyati Pandya, Rachana Bhangaokar, Annukka Vainio, Shagufa Kapadia, Laura M. Padilla-Walker, Larry J. Nelson, Valeschka M. Guerra, Roger S. Giner-Sorolla, Jacob R. Hickman, Allison DiBianca Fasoli, Joan G. Miller, Gisela Trommsdorff

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