With contemporary events that have spotlighted social injustices, including the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and the COVID-19 pandemic, any discussion of child development should take into account the diverse experiences of children facing injustice. In this article, I focus on social justice as it pertains to child development and how this topic has been addressed in literature targeted at students of child development theory. I focus on the contribution of two recent books (Anthis, 2020; De Houwer, 2021) within the greater context of reviewing literature regarding social inequities in cognitive, emotional, and language development. Anthis (2020) reviews human developmental stages, with a focus on the impact of inequitable access to resources. She concentrates primarily on socioeconomic, gender, racial, and ethnic inequalities in the United States. A continuation of this literature should consider not only these inequalities, but also those faced by bilingual and first-generation children of immigrants, especially in the context of language development. I argue that rather than presenting developmental norms as measured in monolinguals, that bilingual norms should be provided as the standard in future work. De Houwer (2021) fills this gap regarding international studies of bilingual language development. Together, these books and supporting literature have begun a necessary discussion with a comprehensive overview of early development that directly addresses the impact of inequality.
Blackburn, Angélique M.
"Social Justice Approaches to Cognitive, Emotional, and Language Development During Childhood and Adolescence,"
Journal of Multicultural Affairs: Vol. 6:
2, Article 19.
Available at: https://scholarworks.sfasu.edu/jma/vol6/iss2/19
Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education Commons, Biological Psychology Commons, Cognitive Psychology Commons, Developmental Psychology Commons, Multicultural Psychology Commons, Social Justice Commons
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