Self & Culture
What you consider normal (your rationality), is constrained by your culture
Definition of Culture
- Culture compromises (1) the human-made part of the environment and (2) the social
institutions of the society such as norms, rules and laws.
Where is culture?
Culture is in the heads of its members
- Culture imposes a set of values
- Culture shapes our experiences
“In some cultures I would be considered normal”
- Ecology shapes cultures (environment, climate, land work, etc.)
- Ecology Culture Social Behaviour
Sameness vs. Differences
- There are universal behaviours & experiences
- There are cultural differences in practicing social behaviours & interpreting experiences
Example: religion, food, marriage, etc.
- SURVEY: “Do you think it is wrong for unmarried couples to bear children?”
Over 50% in India & Singapore & Taiwan
Less than 50% in US, Canada & Britain
Less than 10% in Germany & Iceland
- Humans are more similar to one another than different (Brown, 1991).
Who Am I?
- SURVEY: 21 times you have to write who you are.
Independent Self: Identifies self based on inner characteristics
I like dogs, I’m a dreamer, I play guitar, I smoke stuff
Interdependent Self: Defines self through connections with others
I’m the only child, I’m a psych major, I am Japanese, I live with my parents
SELF: Starting with Anecdotes
- In America, “The squeaky wheels gets the grease”
Uniqueness stands out in a positive way
It is good to be an individual
- In Japan, “The nail that stands out gets pounded down”
- One valuing the difference & the other emphasizing fitting in.
- “It is good to know the truth, but better to speak to the palm trees” Arab proverb
Harmony is more importan