Child development in an ideological context: Through the lens of resistance and accommodation

Leoandra Onnie Rogers, Niobe Way

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Every aspect of child development—from cognition to relationships—is shaped by macrolevel ideologies (e.g., white supremacy, patriarchy) that reflect the social hierarchies and embedded power structures of society. While ecological theories have long underscored the impact of macrosystems and cultures on humans, the field of child development has tended to overemphasize microsystems and often overlooks how ideologies of power shape developmental processes. In this article, we situate child development within and in response to the ideological context, which directs the field’s attention away from “fixing” individuals and microsystems and toward disrupting the macro-ideologies that shape them. We ground this article in research on resistance and accommodation to such ideologies, revealing that humans have a natural capacity to resist what gets in the way of their ability to survive and thrive. We discuss questions that are necessary to address when integrating resistance and accommodation in the study of child development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • child development
  • dehumanizing cultural ideologies
  • human development
  • macrocontext
  • resistance and accommodation
  • stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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