Communication and Metacommunication in Human Development

Jaan Valsiner, Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology, Aalborg University
Angela Uchoa Branco, University of Brasilia

Published 2006

The book is divided into three parts. In Part I, basic conceptual and theoretical issues concerning communication and metacommunication are presented. Part II continues the coverage with the issues of communication and metacommunication. Those are extended as each chapter puts forward new insights and contextualizes them within the realms of teaching– learning processes, early adaptation to nursery school contexts, and of the analysis of processes occurring at a particular dimension of human development (gender identity). Part III provides further conceptual and theoretical elaborations on the phenomena from the unique viewpoints of scholars with diverse backgrounds, which definitely furnish scientific discussion over the issue with fresh and productive ideas. Throughout the chapters, the reader is supplied with empirical projects conducted in different research laboratories, each study granting novel illustrations of methodological approaches to analyze the complexities of communication and metacommunication processes and their relevant constitutive roles in specific contexts.

Preface. Part I: Communication and Metacommunication: Basic Issues. A Sociocultural Constructivist Approach to Metacommunication in Child Development, Angela Uchoa Branco, Luciana Pessina, Adriana Flores, and Sanmya Salomão. This Is Not a Dinner: Metacommunication in Family Dinnertime Conversations, Marilena Fatigante, Alessandra Fasulo, and Clotilde Pontecorvo. Communication in Early Infancy: Some Reflections from an Evolutionary Perspective, Ana M. A. Carvalho and Maria Isabel Pedrosa. Part II: Communication and Metacommunication Processes within Specific Personal–Cultural Domains. Bidirectional Process of Knowledge Construction in Teacher–Student Transaction, Diva Maciel, Angela Uchoa Branco, and Jaan Valsiner. When a Child Becomes Ill: The Sociohistorical Matrix in Meaning-Making and Practices, Katia S. Amorim and Maria Clotilde Rossetti-Ferreira. Coconstruction of Gender Identity in Social Interactions: The Role of Communication and Metacommunication Processes, Ana Flávia Madureira and Angela Uchoa Branco. Commentary 1: Communication, Negotiation, Coconstruction, and Beyond, Orlando Lourenço. Commentary 2: Dynamics of Meaning Negotiation within Sociocultural Settings Reflections upon Communication and Metacommunication Processes, Micheline Silva. Part III: Communication and Meaning Construction. Dialogues with Personal Futures Strategic Meaning Construction and Its Functions, Jaan Valsiner. Subjectivity in Communication: Development of Personality, Fernando Luis González Rey. Communication and Construction of Meaning: Toward an Anthropology of Science, Ronald João Jacques Arendt. Communication and Narrative Discourse: What Makes a Story Coherent?, Jens Brockmeier. Beyond Narrative and Discourse Analysis: Communication and Metacommunication Reunited, Angela Uchoa Branco and Jaan Valsiner. Commentary 3: Communication and Meaning Construction, James V. Wertsch.

"What really ties the book together is the sociocultural approach and the microgenetic method. This book can be hard to follow for readers who are not familiar with the authors’ previous works. This book will be more useful for graduate students and researchers than for undergraduates. For this reason I recommend the book for university libraries that serve graduate programs in communication, psychology, or sociolinguistics. Researchers in education may find individual chapters useful." Cynthia Crosser University of Maine in Education Review (Read full review)