Photography, Text and Video by Justine McMinn, Copyright 2017
I am currently studying Developmental Psychology. My professor, as a Social Psychologist, often takes a social approach to development and the different aspects of life that play a role. I created still lives to symbolize the different stages of development.
In developmental psych from Piaget to Kohlberg there are many different theories as to what each stage encompasses. I wanted to create what these stage—infancy to adulthood, according to my perspective and experience look like. My stages may not be the same as the person I sit next to in class nor one of my siblings, which is interesting in itself, because so many life experiences, exposure, or lack thereof, influence the way we develop and see the world.
My first stage is childhood. I realize this stage is crucial to human development. This is when the brain is really being formed and interactions with objects and people are essential to the development. It is a stage of exploration of sensorimotor skills, communication, colors, and shapes. It is when relationships are formed with family, which can dictate the way the person socially interacts with the world for the rest of their life.
My second stage is about being a teenager. This stage varies a lot depending on the person, as well as what their childhood was like. For me, being a college student, this stage involved a lot of educational development. This is where you learn to think about other people, their experiences, cultures, and the world as something bigger than yourself. In addition to that, it is a period of exposure to things new and the exploration of identity.
The third stage is adulthood. This is where responsibilities kick in. Of course, there are responsibilities as a teenager and young adult but this is where legally and socially you are completely responsible for all your decisions. At this point, most people are already well established in their identity. I used the mail, newspaper and keys to show the various things adulthood encompasses: bills, money to pay rent, work, keeping up with current events, and the coffee to symbolize how tiring that can be, but the need to keep going. Hence, the sticky saying “I’ll be home late” to show how to keep up on these things, sometimes sacrifice is necessary and as an adult that’s a decision you have to make.
My last stage is elderly/death. I used the picture to symbolize the memorialization of the dead. The dirt to symbolize the way as humans we deal with death and the dead by conducting funerals and different rituals, which also differ depending on the person’s beliefs or religion.
Sometimes different groups of people have experienced trauma or different events that make their development and stages of life look drastically different. Whether it be they experienced the responsibility of bills earlier in life because of not having familial support or have a disability and their basic communication skills are delayed. My hopes are that this doesn’t suggest there is one way of life and how it should occur but rather show what I have seen or hoped to have seen in the development of myself and the people around me.
About The Author: Justina McMinn is a Freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2021. To access additional articles by Justine McMinn, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/justina-mcminn-self/