1st Edition

Growing Critical Alternatives to Developmental Psychology

By John R. Morss Copyright 1996

    Originally published in 1996, and now with a new preface, Growing Critical is an introduction to critical psychology, focusing on development. It takes a fresh look at infancy, childhood and adulthood and makes the startling claim that ‘development’ does not exist.

    John R. Morss guides the reader from the early critical movements of the 1970s which gave rise to the ‘social construction of development’ through the wide range of more recent approaches. He looks in turn at Vygotsky’s ‘social context of development’, Harré’s ‘social constructionism’, Marxist critique of developmental psychology, psychoanalytic interpretations of development, and finally post-structuralist approaches following Foucault and Derrida. He surveys the range of alternative positions in the critical psychology of development and evaluates the achievements of Newman and Holzman, Broughton, Tolman, Walkerdine and others.

    Marxism, psychoanalysis and post-structuralism – as well as such movements as feminism – challenge our understanding of human development. Morss looks beyond the laboratory to Marx and Freud, to Lacan and Foucault. What sets Growing Critical apart from orthodox psychology is the seriousness with which he has thought through the implications of these challenges.

    Contemporary and ‘reader-friendly’, Growing Critical will be of value to both undergraduate and advanced students, as well as to anyone interested in human development, in psychology, sociology or education.

    New Preface to the Reissue of 2024.  Preface.  Acknowledgements.  1. Introduction  2. Naturally Social: Vygotsky and the Social Context of Development  3. Persons in Conversation: The Social Construction of Development  4. The Problem of Development  5. Marxism and the Critique of Development  6. Psychoanalysis and the Subversion of Development  7. Post-structuralism and the Deconstruction of Development  8. Writing Against Development.  References.  Name Index.  Subject Index.


    John R. Morss