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Metaphors of development and the development of metaphors

Zittoun, Tania and Gillespie, Alex ORCID: 0000-0002-0162-1269 (2020) Metaphors of development and the development of metaphors. Theory and Psychology, 30 (6). 827 - 841. ISSN 0959-3543

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0959354320939194


Development is a core theoretical issue for psychology. Yet, the root metaphors that guide theory and research on development have rarely been questioned, and the limitations and blind spots of these metaphors have not been made explicit. In this article, we propose an exercise in theoretical imagination. We start by reviewing the metaphors commonly used in developmental psychology. We then develop four alternative metaphors that, despite being present in the general semiosphere, have not received much theoretical attention. In order to evaluate these metaphors, we introduce a case study of the development evident in a woman’s diary. On this basis, we invite psychologists to examine new metaphors and thus expand the horizon of possible theorizing.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2021 11:00
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 03:39

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