Childhood in a changing world



The article presents a psychological and socio-cultural analysis of contemporary childhood. It shows that in modern conditions the development of society necessitates scholars to expand the scope of analysis of childhood beyond psychological paradigm. The processes of diversification become more evident, increasing the number of recognized patterns of childhood, which cannot be evaluated from the standpoint of the norm. From the point of view of methodology it means that we need to broaden the view of childhood and take into account the analysis of social and cultural contexts. The article shows that the view of a child as a future adult (childasbecoming)should be replaced by the view of a child at present time (child as being)

General Information

Keywords: childhood, age, globalization, the periodization of mental development, individualization

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Polivanova K.N. Childhood in a changing world [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2016. Vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 5–10. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2016050201. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Katerina N. Polivanova, Doctor of Psychology, Director of Contemporary Childhood Research Center, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Professor at the Chair of Developmental Psychology by L.F. Obukhova, Department of Psychology of Education, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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