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Sisi Tran (66)

Supplementary Reading #3

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Sisi Tran

Supplemental Reading # 3: Culture, Self, and the Reality of the Social - dynamic interdependencies between psychological tendencies and the sociocultural ,sociostructural, and sociohistorical situations and contexts in which these tendencies occur  becoming a really social social psychologist Place Matters  Japan – is unbelievably fascinating site for student of social behaviour  Hazel as lectureer but more she got to know less she understood about Japanese  Shinobu – graduate student at time  visit Ann Arbor negoagting a land of friendly but distant people  Travel bring contact w/ world that is agreeable but just did not feel right  Hazel & Shinobu – came together & discussed the odd tendencies & weird pattern of behaviour Hazel wonder / ask Shinobu:  wonder why Japanese students didn’t ask question when they were free to do so, no debates etc.  while some American have extorted edge  isn’t it better than low esteem by profs & students of japan  e.g. scholar begin presentation w/ apology for not being best qualified for doing this  thought how is having choice is burden  experience in Japan’s French restaurant w/ group of eight people  had universal script  she order something but got different order and every one was eating the same thing  similar  visit temple in Kyoto  came across fork in path  one pointed to ―ordinary path‖  wonder where was the less traveled/ special pathway o as American - took the other for (non-ordinary)  lead to the temple dump  in here ordinary path meant the right, appropriate path  NOT unchallenged or dull path Shinobu wonder/ ask Hazel:  why constant talking and question  not listen to lecture quietly, why competition  after presentation why constant evaluation – w/ friend of speakers saying it was great etc.  like in party – why bother guest w/ thousand of questions --. E.g. choice of drinks  host should know what is good for this occasion Meaning-full Acts  the meaning & psychology of small/minor social encounter were obvious to native but hard to articulate to the outsider o to comprehend these situation required layers of culture specific knowledge & understanding  Each site (e.g. classroom) was of social significance which varied by cultural context  themes start emerging  Hazel found the Japanese host were taking too much ―control‖ & undermining independence while reframing from expressing themselves o For Shinobu – this type of ―control‖ was ―taking care‖ & maintaining relationships  For Shinobu – keeping one’s preference & opinion of oneself is not a result of low self-esteem rather an act of consideration & effort not to burden others  When ask which best place to eat is? The answer ―It depends‖ reflect a sense of one shouldn’t impose one’s preference on others & that there is no absolute best taste o Best taste depends on context & preference of dinner at that moment Japan (Shinobu)  Student’s role is to take info from Prof (expert at his/her field)  if need to ask Qs  need to 1 ask if the Q is necessary & if you are appropriate person to ask  Attention is not good  there is comfort in fitting in w/ others, in being part of it, in being sure of the sympathy of others  Apologizing before presentation  means not to set apart from others & to engender audience’s sympathy  maintaining a sense of interdependence w/ audiences  Idea of ordinary/ common is net of positive ideas & image (e.g. ordinary hair cut =good cut) o Eating the same food as everyone is good food  menu is there to inform what food you might expect  After talk  don’t need praise  just the invitation to do the talk which represents the valued place in the social network is honour American (Hazel)  Attention to one’s place in social order is replaced w/ concern for self-expression  having attitude, opinions and articulating them is sign of IQ (we are what we think) o Debating  sharpen & clarify one’s thoughts  Social psychologist  marching to others beat is problematic  much of work devoted to conformity & obedience and often ―others‖ as exerting unwanted pressure o Sociality & individuality don’t often hold hands  conceptualized as antagonist  Going one’s way/ choosing for oneself = acts of self-definitions and self-affirmations o Similar to one’s product, achievement, praise, feedback  So after talk – is ubiquitous  don’t want to just feel connected want to feel good about one’s self  positive evaluation does this Illuminating Alternative Worlds  Greetz – ―other knowing‖ – understand the different ideas that were animating the behaviour that were observed  For Shinobu – ―self-esteem‖ a concept that belong to realm of ivory tower – meaning difficult to understand but scholar were impressed by & worth for students to study o is sort of academic abstraction that supposedly was quite powerful in regulating his and his friends  Arrival to Michigan  Shinobu – found self-esteem as bread-butter of American’s dail life (not just abstraction but psychologically relevant)  U.S. – there is spin in every turn of cognition & behaviour that assures a positive self-image  e.g. self-serving bias – an automatic & rarely self-conscious o Maintain a positive self-image is habitual goal of life  Japan – self-esteem is positive & desirable but other goals are more important  self is the self only when it’s connected w/ others & placed in social field of relationship  To worry about personal/individual’s esteem is indulgence best left for those who have small self o An independence self = bigger self  accepting & fitting into larger social order is highly valued (imparts a sense that one is trustworthy & respectable) Steele (1988) – established cognitive dissonance (the psychological staple) could be best analyzed as psychic maneuverer of self-image maintenance  So if self takes different form in different culture  dissonance should be culturally contingent  E.g. choice is marker in dissonance because it means your responsible for your behaviour  but if choicer don’t have this self-expressive significance , is unlikely he will experience inconsistency & the resulting dissonance  In East Asia - chooser may not invest in deci
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