Socialisation is here understood as the process of the emergence, formation and development of personality in dependence on and interaction with the human organism on the one hand and the social and material environment on the other hand. In this thoughtful book, Klaus Hurrelmann analyses the concepts of human development underlying the different sociological and psychological theories of personality development that he presents and compares. He then proposes his own concept of socialisation: the individual as a productive processor of internal and external reality. He goes on to discuss the organised societal contexts of socialisation (such as schools) and the family and other informal settings; and to review research on the relation between living conditions, risk factors in stress, psychosocial disorders and strategies for prevention and intervention. A wide readership will welcome this comprehensive view of the relationship between social structure and personality.