Attachment Reconsidered Cultural Perspectives on a Western Theory

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-12-18
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Attachment theory has massively influenced contemporary psychology. While intended to be general, this western theory harbors a number of culturally biased assumptions and is devoted to decontextualized experimental procedures that fail to challenge this ethnocentrism. The chapters in this volume rethink attachment theory by examining it in the context of local cultural meanings, including the meanings of childrearing practices, the cultural models of virtue that shape those practices, and the translation of shared childhood experience into adult cultural understandings through developmental and psychodynamic processes. The current volume is not only a challenge to attachment theorists, but also an object lesson for psychologists of many other stripes.

Author Biography

Naomi Quinn is Professor Emerita of the Cultural Anthropology Department at Duke University, USA. Among her publications, she is co-author of A Cognitive Theory of Cultural Meaning (1997) and editor of Finding Culture in Talk (2005). She is a past president of the Society for Psychological Anthropology and was awarded that society's 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jeannette Mageo is Professor in the Anthropology Department at Washington State University, USA. She is author of Theorizing Self in Samoa: Emotions, Genders and Sexualities (1998) and Dreaming Culture: Meanings, Models, and Power in U.S. American Dreams (2011). She has published many articles and edited numerous volumes in psychological anthropology and Pacific ethnography.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Situating and Summarizing Our Critiques; Naomi Quinn and Jeannette Mageo
1. The Puzzle of Attachment: Unscrambling Maturational and Cultural Contributions to the Development of Early Emotional Bonds; Suzanne Gaskins
2. Cooperative Care among the Hadza: Situating Multiple Attachment in Evolutionary Context; Alyssa N. Crittenden and Frank W. Marlowe
3. Cooperative Breeding and Attachment in Early Childhood: A Case Study Among the Aka Foragers; Courtney L. Meehan and Sean Hawks
4. 'It Takes a Village to Raise A Child': Attachment Theory and Multiple Childcare in Alor, Indonesia, and in North India; Susan Seymour
5. Childcare, Dependency, and Autonomy in a Sri Lankan Village: Enculturation of and through Attachment Relationships; Bambi L. Chapin
6. Attachment and Culture in Murik Society; Kathleen Barlow
7. Towards a Cultural Psychodynamics of Attachment; Jeannette Mageo
8. Adult Attachment Cross-Culturally: A Reanalysis of the Ifaluk Emotion Fago; Naomi Quinn
Afterword; Gilda A. Morelli and Paula Ivey Henry

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