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Class 2 - Self & Culture.doc

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PSYC 2310
Saba Safdar

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
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