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PSYC14 : Lecture 1 : Near-verbatim

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University of Toronto Scarborough

PSYC14 Lecture 1: PY Date: Sept 13, 2012  Taste of Danforth, Caribana, Polish festival, Chinese New Year on Spadina  find cultural diversity at its best at times in TO  Thinking about diversity in the world around us and perhaps ideally it would match up with John Hume’s view: “Difference is of the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.” John Hume (Irish Politician, 1998 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 1999 Defender of Democracy Award, 2001 Gandhi Peace Prize; b. 1937)  This is an ideal, but is this something that is common in our world? o Look at news and see that diversity is the problem that world grapples with o It is DIFFERENCE o Cultural diversity is something that can be:  Unfamiliar-  Novelty is threatening  Makes us afraid; fear is something that pushes us to act in an instinct-driven way (to flee or fight)  Neigbor does tai-chi and you’ve never seen that b4 so you don’t want to get to know them; it could be that you hate the ppl that live in country next to you, so you want to kill them  There’s levels from mundane to the extreme  Diversity can be a problem  Overwhelming-  When you are surrounded by a culture you know nothing about  It can mean you may be isolated  You’ll stick things that you know  carve a niche for yourself  How do you adjust to a new culture?  Limiting-  Cultural diversity can be limiting if you can’t overcome the challenge, if you let it get the best of you  can limit how you live your life  In the workplace, diversity should be something that innovates but it can often divide up a team and reduce its’ fxn  How do cross-cultural psychologists fit in and what do they ascribe to do? o Cross-cultural psych is an effort to recognize that there is unity in diversity o Key: we all have the same motivations, we find diff ways to fulfill them and this is something that is culturally diff o We have diff modes of expression but the same desire to express ourselves o We have diff mvts, music, costumes  but we all dance o Unity VS. Diversity is focus of course  Difference between ETIC and EMIC o Etic = what is consistent across cultures; what is in all cultures?  A set of etics (universals) 1 PSYC14 Lecture 1: PY Date: Sept 13, 2012  Every culture has special meals, certain rituals that are impt to them, religion o Emic = diversity comes in  There are differences btn cultures and we should celebrate them and acknowledge that they exist  And we should look at the reasons that they’re there by taking into consideration the enviro and the social factors that differ btn cultures that we’re considering  Ingredients that go into special meal will be diff across cultures; diff gods; diff actions are taken in key rituals  diff from one culture to the next  Summary: o Etics = universal; Emics = culturally-specific  History of Cross-cultural psychology: o Tarnished past o Past CC psychologists were convinced that the study of culture wasn’t about culture but about RACE  British, French, German and US psychologists emphasized racial differences  It was assumed that race was naturally occurring, inherited, genetic basis  Assumption of past: race is genetically determined  The real bias of these past psychologists: assumed that non-whites were inferior, genetically and psychologically to all others  Comparison of the ‘ultimate’ white race (Brit, French, German, US) psychologists; felt they were superior to E/S.Europeans  Photo: Polish immigrants hoping to come to US 1920s  psychologists assumed that they were genetically feeble minded and tried to block them from immigrating  Nowadays: o We emphasize that culture isn’t race o Race is a category that we make up; race is something that we see in others; see difference in:  Texture of hair  Musculature  Skin color o You see racial differences but underlying it, there are no significant genetic differences  We are more similar to each other genetically than we are different o Race = socially constructed category o But CC psychologists now are focusing in on CULTURE itself, not RACE; taking into consideration:  Environmental conditions (nurture); NOT genetic factors (nature)  What goes around an individual that underlies differences in one’s culture and another?  CC psychologists also look at what is common/universal; look at diversity (complementary way)  Textbook def for culture: o We all face problems in life; the problem that is fundamental to us = we have to effectively adapt to challenges o We have goals, there’s challenges, the way that we solve the problem to attain the things we want IS CULTURE! o Culture = social adapt
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