Rethinking Attachment for Early Childhood Practice: Promoting Security, Autonomy and Resilience in Young Children

By Sharne A. Rolfe | Go to book overview

12
Cultural perspectives on
attachment

Attachment theory and research are fields of endeavour with many and varied accomplishments. However, the study of attachment, and its theoretical underpinnings, is not without controversy, and there have been critics. Some argue that from its original, focused definition as a behavioural system designed to protect the young child from danger, the term attachment is now used as a catch-all for every aspect of child–caregiver relationships and for development beyond the social and emotional domains. There has been ongoing controversy about the Strange Situation procedure as a measure of attachment security, and criticism of the apparent deterministic view of development implied by the importance accorded early relationships in the formation of inner working models of self and others. There remain those who construe attachment theory as 'mother-blaming'. This is so despite the fact that from its inception, and as discussed in earlier chapters, the theory rejected any notion of blame, focused on understanding and reconciliation (see Bowlby 1988, p. 146), and clearly embraced all caregivers whose role was to protect the child from danger— including mothers, fathers, grandparents, professional caregivers and

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