This innovative study argues convincingly that intelligence is essentially a plural concept, socially and historically determined, and that it can only be fully understood when the socio-psychological foundations of intelligence have been explored. Using a carefully developed questionnaire technique, the authors demonstrate that social representations of intelligence are structured and evolve as a result of a number of socio-cognitive operations interacting with everyday experience to maintain a coherent social universe and an individual identity that is compatible with society's norms and values. From this fresh perspective it is clear that 'intelligence' may be defined differently not only by different societies, but also by different sub-groups in the same society. The authors' findings constitute a challenge to some of our assumptions about intelligence and child development and have clear implications for educational practice. this book will interest educationists and sociologists and allied professionals, as well as social and developmental psychologists.