A state-of-the-art review of the research in this area, this collection covers children's understanding of family, school, economics, race, politics and gender roles. Recent changes and trends in research are summarised. This is explained in terms of a progression from the Piagetian stages model of development to the current emphasis on socially-mediated sources of information, socio-cultural context and children's own naiive theories about societal phenomena. Bringing together some of the most prominent and active researchers in this field this volume presents an advanced overview of developments in this under-represented area of social psychology.
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'The book provides a superb summary of the widely dispersed research in this domain. It also provides an insight into how psychologists conceive of children's relation to society. Children's Understanding of Society opens with a valuable overview of, both the field in general and the book in particular. Indeed, as a summary of the volume, it is judicious, perceptive, and resists the temptation to eulogise.
This book is a rich source of empirical reviews, theoretical analysis, and commentary on the field. It will serve as an invaluable reference for those interested in social-cognitive development. Moreover, given its lucidity and accessibility, it will prove an attractive teaching resource. This book provides many clear signposts to future research, and collectively, the chapters make a strong case for the study of children's understanding of society. As such, this is a volume that merits the attention of social developmentalists.' - Mark Bennett, University of Dundee