Development of Cultural Consciousness: From the Perspective of a Social Constructivist

International Journal of Education and Social Science 2 (10):119-136 (2015)
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In this condensed survey, I look to recent perspectives on evolution suggesting that cultural change likely alters the genome. Since theories of development are nested within assumptions about evolution (evo-devo), I next review some oft-cited developmental theories and other psychological theories of the 20th century to see if any match the emerging perspectives in evolutionary theory. I seek theories based neither in nature (genetics) nor nurture (the environment) but in the creative play of human communication responding to necessity. This survey finally looks to more recent work to do with the appearance of independent self-consciousness in the individual following empathic group awareness. The result of such self-created group awareness and symbolic communication is seen to be cultural consciousness, unique to humanity, from which individual consciousness and personhood derive. I conclude by noting the general implications for these approaches in our schools, politics, and in ultimate ontological questions.

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Gregory Michael Nixon
Louisiana State University (PhD)


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