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Embodiment and meaning production on developmental processes, during the first year of life

Grant number: 06/02687-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: October 01, 2006 - September 30, 2008
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Human Development Psychology
Principal Investigator:Katia de Souza Amorim
Grantee:Katia de Souza Amorim
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


This research project has been structured based on queries that emerged during the doctorate investigation (Socio-historical discourses and practices, during babies’ attendance at a daycare center) and it represents a continuity of the pos-doctorate study (The baby, his/her body and the sign), both supported by FAPESP. The doctorate had the goal to study and make explicit the socio-historical matrix notion. This led to verify if and how social, political, historical, economical and cultural elements contribute to constrain human developmental processes. That study was carried out based on babies’ attendance to a daycare center, through a processual analysis of the babies’ adaptation to the daycare and also to infants’ illness episodes. Transcending the thesis goal, however intrinsically connected to it, analysis made explicit that babies used to very adequately act and, even modify their behaviors according the diverse adults and their divergent care practices. Through analysis, it seemed that babies were able to apprehend and express cultural meanings, despite yet not being able to make use of signs through verbal language. A hypothesis was raised. Namely, that signical elements could be emerging on the body experience, through emotions, sensations, postures and movements; that the body, its parts and functions would represent a surface on which meanings are inscribed. Considering this hypothesis, a pos-doctorate study was conducted, particularly by working with the embodiment notion. This goal is here reset, due to the need to work with new issues that emerged, and also to explore some more empirical aspects. Particularly, the main goal is to investigate psychological developmental processes, during the first year of life, including the body (an element, which has historically and dominantly been eliminated from investigations of the psychology field) on its analysis, without losing the perspective that those processes occur in a relational and situated manner, besides embedded in socio-cultural and historical contexts. The study will be conducted through the analysis of cases of babies who attend daycare. The cases are part of the Data Bank Project Babies’ Processes of Adaptation to Daycare Center, which has followed throughout the year of 1994, some processes regarding 21 babies (4-13 m.o.), their parents and caregivers. From the various registration of the situation, the present study will deal greatly with VCR scenes and interviews. Among the 21 babies, six of them were selected and their data collection and analysis will be carried out by assuming the assumptions of the Network of Meanings perspective. Due to the goal of the Project, it will be accomplished an articulation of video scenes with interviews. The 72 interviews will be read in a way to apprehend the adults’ multiple discourses regarding the infants, their processes of attending daycare, the way by which the relations were (re)established, besides the adults’ conceptions related to daycare, development, sickness and maternity, among others. The video scenes will be edited chronologically, by obtaining all the infants appearances. All scenes will be microgenetically transcribed, with special attention to the meanings present in the relations and situation, and to the way the infants apprehend and express themselves within it, based on their particularities and specificities. Microgenetic analysis will be performed. This project is part of the Thematic Project of the group - Meanings and dialogism within the Network of meanings perspective. (AU)

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