Different Faces of Attachment

Different Faces of Attachment : Cultural Variations on a Universal Human Need

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Attachment between an infant and his or her parents is a major topic within developmental psychology. An increasing number of psychologists, evolutionary biologists and anthropologists are articulating their doubts that attachment theory in its present form is applicable worldwide, without, however, denying that the development of attachment is a universal need. This book brings together leading scholars from psychology, anthropology and related fields to reformulate attachment theory in order to fit the cultural realities of our world. Contributions are based on empirical research and observation in a variety of cultural contexts. They are complemented by careful evaluation and deconstruction of many of the underlying premises and assumptions of attachment theory and of conventional research on the role of infant-parent attachment in human development. The book creates a contextual cultural understanding of attachment that will provide the basis for a groundbreaking reconceptualization of attachment theory.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 16 b/w illus. 7 tables
  • 113998991X
  • 9781139989916

Table of contents

Foreword Michael Lamb; Introduction: understanding relationships. What we would need to know to conceptualize attachment as the cultural solution of a universal developmental task Heidi Keller; Part I. Attachment as an Adaptation: Evolutionary, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives: 1. Family relations among cooperative breeders: challenges and offerings to attachment theory from evolutionary anthropology Johannes Johow and Eckart Voland; 2. Attachment theory as cultural ideology Robert A. LeVine; 3. 'Babies aren't persons': a survey of delayed personhood David Lancy; Part II. Multiple Attachments: Allomothering, Stranger Anxiety, and Intimacy: 4. Maternal and allomaternal responsiveness: the significance of cooperative caregiving in attachment theory Courtney L. Meehan and Sean Hawks; 5. Bonding and belonging beyond WEIRD worlds: rethinking attachment theory on the basis of cross-cultural anthropological data Birgitt Roettger-Roessler; 6. Concentric circles of attachment in Piraha: a brief survey Daniel L. Everett; 7. Is it time to detach from attachment theory? Perspectives from the West African rain forest Alma Gottlieb; 8. 'Don't show your emotions!' Emotion regulation and attachment in the Cameroonian Nso Hiltrud Otto; 9. Family life as bricolage - reflections on intimacy and attachment in death Nancy Scheper-Hughes; Part III. Looking into the Future and Implications for Policy Development: 10. The socialization of trust: plural caretaking and diverse pathways in human development across cultures Thomas S. Weisner; 11. The precursors of attachment security: behavioral systems and culture Vivian Carlson and Robin Harwood; Part IV. Conclusion Heidi Keller and Hiltrud Otto.
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About Hiltrud Otto

Hiltrud Otto is a postdoctoral fellow of the Martin Buber Society of the Humanities at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Heidi Keller is Professor of Culture and Development in the Faculty of Human Sciences at the University of Osnabruck.
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Review quote

'A much-needed collection of evolutionary, anthropological and psychological accounts of early relationship formation from the majority world which differ from the classical Bowlby-Ainsworth attachment theory. It opens up a new agenda for research regarding early socio-emotional development.' Cigdem Kagitcibasi, Koc University, Istanbul 'Dazzling in the range of cultural behaviors that relate to infant attachment and social development. The most serious attempt yet to integrate evolutionary adaptation, developmental universals, and cultural variation in attachment and caregiving behaviors.' Patricia M. Greenfield, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
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