Psychology 3350: Cultural Psychology
2018 - 2019, Fall term
Psychology 3350 addresses theoretical and applied aspects of the relationship between culture and psychology. The course offers a variety of perspectives on Psychology's relation to culture and on the methodological problems that psychologists face when studying this relationship. Emphasis is placed on the idea of culture as a shared set of beliefs, practices, and meanings. Cultural aspects of basic psychological processes (cognition, learning, emotion, perception) are considered. The mechanisms by which psychology and culture develop and intertwine, particularly language, are considered. Topics given special attention include multiculturalism, globalization, indigenous psychologies, and the culture of formal education.
Ron Sheese, Course Director
S342 Ross Building
Raha Sheivari, Teaching Assistant
Tony Miller, Teaching Assistant
Students are expected to participate in small-group discussions and write responses weekly to the discussion questions. Students conduct library research to explore a topic, issue, or question relevant to cultural psychology, and they prepare an annotated bibliography on their work. The bibliography focus might be on a cultural aspect of a psychological phenomenon or on a psychological aspect of a cultural phenomenon. Students also write two examinations.
Class participation (10%), weekly
Online participation (10%), weekly
Midterm exam (20%), October 22
Bibliography project (25%), due December 5
Final exam (35%), December 6 -21 exam period
There is no textbook for the course, rather I assign several articles and book chapters dealing with various topics in cultural psychology. The reading assignments for each class are posted at least one week in advance. Students are expected to complete the reading before coming to the class for which it is assigned.
Greenfield, P. M. (2000). Three approaches to the psychology of culture: Where do they come from? Where can they go? Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 3(3), 223-240.
Heine, S. J., & Ruby, M. B. (2010). Cultural Psychology Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 1(2), 254-266.
Sinha, D. (2002). Culture and Psychology: Perspective of Cross-Cultural Psychology. Psychology and Developing Societies, 14(1), 11-25.
Psychology Research Guide. York Libraries
Arnett, J. J. (2008). The neglected 95%: Why American Psychology needs to become less American. American Psychologist, 63(7), 602-614.
Hanley, L. (2016). Respectable: The Experience of Class. London: Allen Lane. (Introduction and Chapter 1: You’re Not Supposed To) [link available on course Moodle site]
Steinberg, M. (1992). Moral Communities: The Culture of Class Relations in the Russian Printing Industry, 1867-1907. Berkeley: University of California Press. (Chapter 3: Workers’ Community)
Perlstein, D. (2016). Class. In A. J. Angulo (ed), Miseducation: A History of Ignorance-Making in America and Abroad (pp. 123-139). Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press. [link available on course Moodle site]
Rogoff, B. (2003). The Cultural Nature of Human Development. New York: Oxford University Press. (Chapter 7: Thinking with the Tools and Institutions of Culture). [link available on course Moodle site]
Week 4 discussion questions
Ron’s speaking notes
Fivush, R., Habermas, T., Waters, T., & Zaman, W. (2011). The making of autobiographical memory: Intersections of culture, narratives and identity. International Journal of Psychology, 46(5), 321-334.
Gjerde, P. F. (2004). Culture, power, and experience: Toward a person-centered cultural psychology. Human Development, 47(3), 138–157.
A midterm examination based on the two items below as well as on all previously assigned reading will be held in this evening’s class. The exam will begin at 6:30pm following a one-hour small-group discussion period.
Sundararajan, L. (2013). The Chinese notions of harmony, with special focus on implications for cross-cultural and global psychology. The Humanistic Psychologist, 41(1), 25-34.
Bhatia, S. (2016). Book review. Understanding emotion in Chinese culture: Thinking through Psychology, by Louise Sundararajan. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 36(4), 256-259.
Adams, G., Salter, P. S. (2007). Health Psychology in African settings: A cultural-psychological analysis. Journal of Health Psychology, 12(3), 539-551.
Chen, X. F., & Cheung, F. M. (2011). Feminist Psychology in China. In A. Rutherford, R. Capdevila, V. Undurti, I. Palmary (eds), Handbook of International Feminisms: Perspectives on Psychology, Women, Culture, and Rights (pp. 269-292). New York: Springer. [link available on course Moodle site]
Mayer, B., Trommsdorff, G., Kagitcibasi, C., & Mishra, R. C. (2012). Family models of independence/interdependence and their intergenerational similarity in Germany, Turkey, and India. Family Science, 3(1), 64–74.