Social Psychology 2.
Self Across Culture
All rationality that is considered to make sense is limited by our knowledge.
We need to be aware of the relativist approach when it comes to studying the human
mind in regards to culture.
“Culture compromises the human made part of the environment and the social
institutions of the society such as rules, norms, expectations and laws.
(Herskovits, 1955) “
o Expectations as a student, daughter, child, adult, friend.
o The materialistic items within our society ex. The cars we drive, the
clothes we wear, the electronics we buy.
o You don’t see the influence of your culture on you until you leave it. (The
fish was the last to discover water) Culture is inside the head of its
o The values and norms that change from generation to generation are what
affect and influence culture to transform as well.
o Culture shapes our experiences. “ In some cultures I would be considered
o From culture to culture norms and expectations change. In one you will be
normal. While in the next you are too feminine, Too intelligent etc..
o Ecology shapes culture.
o If in your culture you ‘ have to grow rice, you need the village to grow
rice. In a group mentality you cannot be courageous and single minded.
You need to look at ecological aspects (environment) of the cultures
foreground. As well as the needs of each member.
o Ecology > Culture > Social Behavior
o If we have such a vast ecology on our planet we must have varied cultures.
o There are universal behaviors and experiences…
o There are cultural differences in practicing social behaviors and
interpreting experiences. These ‘ common’ social behaviors such as
communication, varies from culture to culture. Ex Religion, food
o Survey : Do you think it is wrong to have a baby before you are marriage.
India (highest conservative belief ‘no’). U.S and Canada are in the middle
percentile. Iceland ( Lowest conservative belief/ most acceptance)
Humans are more similar to one another than we are different ( brown, 1991). We make
sure these differences are not just exterior. Our biases or our preferences.3
Which is wrong
a) Culture is the complex patterns of beliefs that are shared by people