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Henri Wallon


Henri Wallon's work in child psychology emphasizes the role of society in the development of the child's intellectual processes, personality, and overall "humanity." He worked to establish links between psychology and Marxism. Rather than viewing the individual as an isolated phenomenon that comes into being through self-propagating processes, Wallon understood the human child's development as determined by both physical and social environment. Lacan turns to Wallon to support his idea that the perception of an "I" in the psyche of the developing child is not a natural, internal occurrance comparable to physical growth or to cutting teeth, but is rather the effect of an encounter with an "other," the child's identification with a reflection in the mirror or with another human being, usually the mother.