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Placing Cross-Cultural Studies in Context: Blending

Psychology with Anthropology

As the field of psychology entered the twenty-first century, there was a groundswell of interest in cultural factors as they pertain to all areas of psychology. In the field of personality, as well as in other areas, there have always been individuals with an interest in culture and society, but they tended to remain as individuals. Although they were often admired for their unique interests and ideas, the major emphasis in psychology was on the scientific method and data that had been obtained in carefully controlled situations, and then analyzed with similar, exacting precision. Culture, as difficult as it is to define, was left largely to anthropologists and sociologists.

Anthropologists, in particular, were not as shy about addressing the domain of psychology, and a number of anthropologists crossed over into the study of psychology to such an extent that they are often mentioned even in the introductory psychology textbooks. But given that their primary interest was in anthropology, they did not form detailed personality development theories of the type presented in this (or other) personality textbooks. In this chapter, however, we will take a look at some of the ideas presented by the renowned anthropologist Ralph Linton, and his occasional colleague Abram Kardiner, a psychoanalyst with an associate appointment in the same anthropology department as Linton. In addition to their books, students of personality with a strong interest in cultural influences on personality will also find the works of Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead of great interest.

The Influence of Culture and Society on Personality

Many psychology textbooks mention a few famous anthropologists, such as Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead, whose research included work on child development and personality. However, less well-known in the field of psychology is the renowned anthropologist Ralph Linton, who paid particular attention to personality development in relation to culture and society. Linton also collaborated with Abram Kardiner, a founding member of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute (and who was analyzed by Sigmund Freud himself in 1921-1922). Linton and Kardiner freely acknowledged the connections between anthropology and psychology, noting the influence of Benedict and Mead, Franz Boas (recognized as the father of American anthropology and mentor to both Benedict and Mead), and the psychoanalysts Anna Freud, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, and Wilhelm Reich (Kardiner, 1939; Kardiner, Linton, DuBois,&West, 1945; Kardiner&Preble, 1961).

Linton described personality as existing on three levels. First, personality can be described based on either its content or its organization. The organization, furthermore, can be examined in terms of its superficial organization or its central organization. The central organization of personality gives the whole personality its distinctive character, and includes the most invariant aspects of personality, such as the degree of introversion/extraversion, or other aspects of temperament (Linton, 1936, 1945). Although these temperamental attributes are present at birth, they do not comprise personality per se . The superficial organization of personality, however, is based on the goals and interests of the individual, and incorporates the individual’s experiences in life within the context of the central organization. In this regard, the superficial organization should not be confused with something transient or insignificant. It is “superficial” only in the sense that it is on the surface of the personality, and the goals and interests of the person are based on the content of personality that represents their life experiences as they are organized within the personality. The goals and interests themselves, which incorporate the content of personality, are determined almost entirely by the culture in which the individual is raised. According to Linton (1936), the process of integrating the individual’s experience within the context of one’s temperament (or “constitutional qualities”) forms a “mutually adjusted, functional whole.”

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
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Source:  OpenStax, Personality theory in a cultural context. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11901/1.1
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