Derivative (don’t do it)/ can’t ignore the opposing views/ APA (+ specific point or
quote include the page number)/
Thesis: can be nuanced/ can’t be something you are going to do/
Situation where someone typically recently arrives in a country and do something
accepted in home culture but against the law in the new place. Should that be a
Formal cultural defense: is not accepted in law/ in common law jurisdiction culture
evidence is taken into account
The Nigerian Father punishing the child the intent was to hurt the child
and to extend the pain and suffering…. This is found offensive! So culture
may not be taken into account, and you end up with a conviction.
Ethiopian man acting in self-defense then a cultural defense can be taken
into account/ use his culture’s norms to understand the action. Best bet is to
say that he made a mistake but understandable from the point of view of his
The traditional legal model doesn’t really work in some of these cases
Psychological model in theory is potentially helpful: scientific knowledge and
Culturation (how the brain develops)
Social perspective is not very helpful: sometime think of culture as an outside
subject/ think of culture having some kind of mental reality.
Concept of culture makes sense, so the court sympathy may be appropriate
Framework of life differs from culture to culture
This creates difficulty/ if we start recognizing that socialization is the source
of these cultural views we end up in difficulty with the criminal law itself
[physically punishing women is unacceptable- so we think that we
discovered the moral truth…. But that’s only form our perspective and
someone socialized other wise may not agree
The alternative is people who come from a different culture are wrong and
should be punished as if they were wrong
In Kimura: wife discovered here husband was unfaithful and wanted to
drown her three children. In japan this reaction of killing yourself and your
children (because you save them from a life without a mother)is seen as
abnormal but as comprehensible (not uncommon), and it has a name. in
Japan the women would be treated leniently o She’s been in States for 17 years. She is doing something highly
disturbed. In psychological terms, the mother assimilates the children
to herself and her shames drives her to suicide because of the shame
o The Japanese American community asked to be charged in the same
way as she would be in Japan which would be involuntary
manslaughter. But ended up being charged by voluntary
manslaughter. Did not take into account cultural defense.
o Argument: the idea the psychological reaction of disturbance is in
itself a cultural form [the culture frames the culture of mental
disturbance]/ the expression of cultural isn’t self-cultural conditioned.
o Understand that you need to know that it is humiliating in the culture
but the argument it’s even more humiliating to a Japanese women….
But in her distress she does something rather specific that is rather
expected in Japan
Chen: kills his wife with a hammer. The discovery of your wife having a lover
would be a great shame. In china his surrounding would support him, but in
the US he has no support and succumbs and kills her. In china, part of that
support would be already a social punishment for the wife
o The court accepts this evidence and is lenient on his case.
o The relationship between culture and psychology is straightforward.
His reaction is culturally conditioned. You need to know about the
culture to know how humiliating this is to him, and understand how
high to register the stress.
o It’s the culture that produces the high level of stress/ his culture
means he would suffer more shame /
Psychiatry in the West:
Misdiagnosis: western psychiatrist are poor are making judgment especially
when making it in you own community. Grief and religion behavior [you can
make a number of judgment that it’s normal and a healthy processes, of take
sedatives, or might decide that the grief reaction has lead to clinic depression
d need to be treated] already hard to make this judgment but even harder
when you including in culture. Religious experience can become norms to
The more you know about culture diagnosis, the more you ar