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an interesting case re essentialism

Below I paste in a draft description of a study by Michael Chapman and 
colleagues (monograph of society for research on child development, 2003)
in which they argue that the use of narrative versus essentialist modes
of understanding self-continuity interact with the degree of cultural
autonomy/continuity won back by First Nations Canadian peoples to influence
levels of adolescent suicide. I offer this simply to indicate one of many
ways the concept of essentialism is used in contemporary developmental
psychology. The issue of cultural variations in essentialist modes of
interpretation is a hot one at present. Lots more to comment on, but
even more pressure on deadlines (sound familiar)? 
The happy lurker.
Adolescent/youth in periods of rapid social change. An issue distinct from, but related to, concerns about the globalization of Euro-American adolescent/youth culture  is the impact on adolescents of rapid social change under conditions where one social group clearly dominates the other. There is evidence to show that such periods can be particularly destructive of development in the transition form childhood to adulthood. 
Michael Chandler and his colleagues (Chandler, Lalonde, Sokol, & Hallett (2003) document the cause for such concern in their study of suicide among 15-24 year old First Nation young people in British Columbia, Canada. For the period from 1987-1992 the suicide rate among First Nation adolescents/youth were 5 times greater than that for all other ethnic groups combined. 
acterization of adolescent and emerging adulthood in most textbooks, it should be a period of adult identity formation. 
ty in a story of how various events in their life produced a sequences of changes in them without negating the fact that they were the same person. This narrative construction of self-continuity, Chandler and his colleagues argue, is particularly vulnerable to conditions of cultural destruction because the narrative tradition on which such self-construals were based was itself destroyed, leaving adolescents with a profound loss of a sense of self-continuity.
al battles to win back tribal lands, and degree of control over their own health facilities, cultural facilities, and police/fire personnel. They then calculated the likelihood of suicide as a function of the number of such .cultural continuity. factors present in each group. Their results were clearcut. Those with 0-2 such factors had a suicide rate at least double the groups with 3-5 such factors.