Intergenerational transmission of poverty and inequality

Authored by: Flavio Comim

Routledge Handbook of Development Ethics

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138647909
eBook ISBN: 9781315626796
Adobe ISBN:


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In this chapter it is argued that human development cannot take place without proper consideration to childhood. Several development problems that affect the adult population, such as chronic poverty, illiteracy, innumeracy, undernourishment, obesity, heart problems, mental health, suicide and violent behavior, to mention just a few, have their roots in the early years of childhood. In order to understand the influence of childhood on human development, several key concepts are offered, such as ‘critical’ and ‘sensitive’ periods and ‘temporal irreversibilities’ that taken together illustrate the complexities involved in thinking dynamically about human development. Finally, the chapter briefly addresses issues of love and families in shaping children’s development trajectories.

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