Practice and discourse as the intersection of individual and social in human development

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jonathan R. Tudge, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: My goal in this chapter is to show how a focus on everyday practices, including discourse, allows us to understand the interpenetration of individual and social in the course of human development. A practice-based approach does not seek to explain development by reference only to individual factors, without simultaneous consideration of the social context within which the individual is acting, or to social factors, without examining the ways in which the social world is experienced differently by the different individuals inhabiting it. Such an approach is in keeping with the ideas of Vygotsky and Piaget, both of whom (albeit in different ways) eschewed the dichotomy of individual and social (Smith, 1996; Tudge & Scrimsher, 2003; Tudge & Winterhoff, 1993). The difficulties inherent in this more systemic approach, however, stem from the fact that most scholars interested in development have not been trained to think systemically but rather in terms of causal models inspired by the positivist tradition (Guba & Lincoln, 1994).

Additional Information

A.-N. Perret-Clermont, L. Resnick, C. Pontecorvo, & B. Burge (Eds.), Joining society: Social interactions and learning in adolescence and youth (pp. 193-202). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Language: English
Date: 2004
human development, discourse, discursive practice, practice

Email this document to