Describe one change you might make to the theory and explain how this change might make the theory more applicable to rites of passage across cultures.

Collectivism and Individualism

Essay Questions:
Review the articles, “Cognitive Development,” “Social Development,” and “Stages of Moral Development.” Consider the degree to which Erikson’s, Piaget’s, and Kohlberg’s theories apply across cultures. Select one of the three theories and write an explanation of the degree to which the theory you selected is applicable to rites of passage across cultures.
Consider the degree to which this theory is applicable to rites of passage across cultures
Be specific and illustrate your explanation with examples.
Then describe one change you might make to the theory and explain how this change might make the theory more applicable to rites of passage across cultures.

Rite of Passage and Developmental Theories

A rite of passage acknowledges a significant change in someone’s life. It represents the transition from one point in development, such as childhood, to another, such as adulthood. The rite of passage is often celebrated by some type of ceremony that requires the individual to demonstrate the ability to successfully advance to the next stage in life.

Many rites of passage take place during the time that Westerners label “adolescence.” Some cultures move quickly from childhood to adulthood and do not identify a period in between such as the teen years.

A number of psychological theorists have attempted to understand development in adolescence and throughout the life span. Erik Erikson suggested that there are eight stages and that each is identified by a conflict. If the conflict is resolved, the individual progresses successfully to the next stage. For example, adolescence is characterized by ego identity vs. role confusion. At this stage of life, teenagers grapple with who they are. Jean Piaget focused on children’s thought processes, and his work did not address the entire life span. Piaget’s final stage is the development of abstract thought in adolescence. This stage is called “formal operations.” Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory focuses on moral development and proposes six stages. Moral choices are closely tied to cultural norms. There is some controversy regarding whether or not these theories are appropriate for all cultures.

Cognitive Development
Yvette R. Harris
DOI: 10.4135/9781412952484.n138 Print pages: 276-281 Show page numbers
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?New ideas come into this world somewhat like falling meteors, with a flash and an explosion and perhaps somebody’s castle like roof perforated.? This quotation by Henry David Thoreau aptly captures the burst of insight that occurs when an infant discovers the link between their internal and external worlds; when a preschool child suddenly masters the notion of symbols; when the school-aged child and adolescent approach problem solving with logic and flexibility; and when the adult supplants reasoning with wisdom. In essence, the quote captures the gist of cognitive development.
Table 1 Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Piaget’s S



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