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Vol. 33, No. 2-3, 1990
Issue release date: 1990
Human Development 1990;33:138–159

Ever Since Durkheim: The Socialization of Human Development

Dowd J.J.
University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., USA

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Since the appearance in the mid-1970s of Riegel’s dialectical theory of human development, there has been a convergence between psychological theories of human development and sociological theories of socialization. Although this shared understanding has much to recommend it, it suffers from an inadequate conceptualization of development that results from its failure to specify in substantive detail the ways in which social structures and human beings mutually influence one another. This paper examines the claims of the new contextualist paradigm and offers suggestions as to how a sociological analysis of human development can remedy its major failings while building upon its basic strengths.

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