The children’s lives studied in this book are embedded in the social structure of children’s immediate experiences in families, peer groups, and school settings. These settings are in turn situated in time, the late 20th century, and place, the highly urbanized, industrialized West. Further, the cultural trappings of our society are located in an evolutionary framework, at a point only a relatively short distance from our species’ first major cultural revolution, the shift from a technology, social organization, and pattern of communication based upon hunting and gathering to a design based upon farming. The cultural landscape against which children’s social lives unfold must be understood in terms of these perspectives.