Social lec 17
What is culture?
Culture is an ever changing constructive stimulus which shapes the way individuals perceive
and contribute to the world.
Its dynamic: your parents culture is different from your culture. Culture you experienced 5
years ago is different from that now
It is constructive and influenced by the members of the culture.
It shapes as well meaning it influences you
We define it in terms of nationality, the country you were born in. the heritage shapes who you
are. Identification of a culture is a shared id. The culture that will affect you is the one which
you identify the most with.
Culture is a meaning systems. It gives us symbols, language experiences that make us who we
are. It provides us with metaphysics, perception of the world, why we are here. How we extract
meaning from the world.
Culture is one big social topic. Influences how we act with others.
It gives us different perspectives.
2 methodological orientations
-culture comperative: a universalist approach to cultural psych that assumes basic psychological
processes are fundamental in all humans. Thinks variation between culture is comparable to
within culture variation.
-cross cultural: relativist approach to a cultural psychology that assumes that human behavior is
Psychological processes are defined by the cultural context they are in. and so they focus on
withing culture variation. People who are relativist, argue human behavior and cognition is
Identify a construct that might vary between cultures
Then test the construct in different cultures
Then compare your findings between cultures.
Then cross cultural psychs are gonna choose a culture and study and identify psychological
processes of people in that culture.
Describing cultures Individualist cultures: emphasizes personal achievement even at the expense of others. Greater
emphasis on competition. Make more internal attributions.
Collectivist cultures: emphasize social roles, and collective responsabilities even at the expense
of the individual. Give something up from yourself to help the group. More cooperation than
competition. They make more external attributions
Political climate: political culture creates constraint on behavioral and cultural expression.
Sometimes government can extinguish a culture. The gov provides a structure and should be
considered when you consider a culture.
Religious beliefs: shape a cultures moral beliefs system and view of the world. Some have very
prescribed roles. Can affect roles and norms. It can characterize a cultures moral reasoning and
Ecological difference: environmental contexts shapes who we are. Canadians have lots of snow,
can affect behavior such as survival skills.
Cognitive mechanisms: not everyon