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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Children As A Reserve Labor Force, David F. Lancy Aug 2015

Children As A Reserve Labor Force, David F. Lancy

David Lancy


Human life history is unique in the great length of the juvenile or immature period. The lengthened period is often attributed to the time required for youth to master the culture, particularly subsistence and survival skills. But an increasing number of studies show that children become skilled well before they gain complete independence and the status of adults. It seems, as they learn through play and participation in the domestic economy, children are acquiring a “reserve capacity” of skills and knowledge, which they may not fully employ for many years.  The theory offered here to resolve this paradox poses that ...


Cultural Views Of Life Phases, M. Annette Grove, David F. Lancy May 2015

Cultural Views Of Life Phases, M. Annette Grove, David F. Lancy

David Lancy


The knowledge base in the study of human development is built primarily from work with children from the modern, global, post-industrial population. This population is unrepresentative in many respects, not least in that childhood and adolescence is dominated by the experience of formal schooling—an experience missing from the lives of most of the world’s children until very recently. This entry will examine child development from the perspective of pre-modern societies as described in the ethnographic, archaeological and historic records. Specifically, we will review material indicative of cultural or indigenous models of development, phases and phase transitions, in particular.