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    Author(s): Margaret Mead
    Date: 1977
    Source: In: Children, Nature, and the Urban Environment: Proceedings of a Symposium-Fair; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-30. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 18-24
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Northeastern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.16 MB)

    Description

    When we engage in restoring childhood to some place in our thinking and recognize that childhood has significance in the development of the adult, its all right to talk generally about "childhood" and the "child." But as a theoretical concept, "the Child" is a fiction. We do not know enough about what children, as biologically given creatures, will do at different stages in development or under different cultural circumstances. Much of what is "known" is based on inadequate evidence from widely scattered sources. We can't take what we find out about children in one culture and combine it uncritically with what children do in another culture; the result is unadulterated nonsense. We will not develop a useful theory of child development until we recognize that "the Child" doesn't exist. Only children exist; children in a particular context; children who are different from each other; children with different senses.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Mead, Margaret. 1977. Children, culture, and Edith Cobb. In: Children, Nature, and the Urban Environment: Proceedings of a Symposium-Fair; Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-30. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 18-24

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