Cultural Processes

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With the rapid growth of knowledge concerning ethnic and national group differences in human behaviors in the last two decades, researchers are increasingly curious as to why, how, and when such differences surface. The field is ready to leapfrog from a descriptive science of group differences to a science of cultural processes. The goal of this book is to lay the theoretical foundation for this exciting development by proposing an original process model of culture. This new perspective discusses and extends contemporary social psychological theories of social cognition and social motivation to explain why culture matters in human psychology. We view culture as a loose network of imperfectly shared knowledge representations for coordinating social transactions. As such, culture serves different adaptive functions important for individuals’ goal pursuits. Furthermore, with the increasingly globalized and hyper-connected multicultural space, much can be revealed about how different cultural traditions come into contact. The authors discuss the psychological ramifications of these cultural interactions to illuminate the social and practical relevance of the proposed process model of culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book lays out a brilliant process model of culture. It shows how culturally shared knowledge is used to structure social transactions and it lays the groundwork for a new science of cultural processes. It's an outstanding contribution to psychology.”
– Carol Dweck, Stanford University

“This is an up-to-date statement of one of the most productive and innovative research groups in culture and psychology. Treating culture as process, they spell out the underlying metatheory of culture, describe their most recent research findings, theorize about cultural representations and functions, and apply this framework to pressing contemporary research questions, such as cultural differences in self-enhancement, subjective well-being, work teams, and conflict resolution, as well as intercultural processes of negation and communication. This volume is simultaneously a cogent argument for a dynamic perspective on culture, a searching analysis of cultural dynamics, and an invaluable foundation from which to launch further inquiries into cultural changes in the globalized world.”
– Yoshi Kashima, The University of Melbourne

“An overview of the cutting edge. This wide-ranging and well-integrated volume makes a compelling case for a dynamic, processual approach. Anyone interested in cultural determinants of thoughts and behavior should turn to this book to learn of the exciting recent developments in cultural psychology.”
– Michael Morris, Columbia University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521765237
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2010
  • Series: Culture and Psychology Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Angela K.-y. Leung is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the School of Social Sciences at the Singapore Management University (SMU). She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2007. Her research seeks to understand how people participate actively in dynamic cultural processes in both intra- and intercultural contexts, as well as the psychological implications for multicultural competence (e.g. creativity and intercultural communication). She is also interested in the role of embodiment in the acquisition and endorsement of cultural values. Dr Leung has published close to 20 refereed book chapters and articles in journals such as Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, American Psychologist and Psychological Science. She has won several research awards, including the first honorable mention for the Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Relations Prize from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) in 2009, the Lee Foundation Research Excellence Award, and the School of Social Sciences Research Excellence Award conferred by SMU. She also served as a reviewer for peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, and as a reviewer for social psychology grant proposals submitted to the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

Chi-yue Chiu is a Full Professor of Management and Marketing at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He was a Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois before joining Nanyang Technological University in 2008. His current research focuses on the social, cognitive, and motivational processes that mediate the construction and evolution of social consensus and on the dynamic interactions of cultural identification and cultural knowledge traditions. He has published nine books, more than 120 refereed journal articles and more than fifty book chapters. He received the Misumi Award from the Japanese Group Dynamics Association and Asian Association for Social Psychology in 2007, the Best Paper Award in Conflict Resolution from the Academy of Management in 2002, and the Otto Klineberg Prize from the SPSSI in 2001. Dr Chiu is currently the editor of two book series, associate editor of the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, and section editor of Social and Personality Psychology Compass.

Ying-yi Hong is currently a Professor at the Business School of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She has previously taught at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Her main research interests include culture and cognition, self, identity, and intergroup relations. She is particularly known for proposing the Dynamic Constructivist Theory to understand how individuals form mental models of multiple cultural knowledge systems and how they switch between cultural frames. Dr Hong has also tested social psychological theories in important social events, including the identity change of citizens of Hong Kong before and after the 1997 handover, bicultural experiences of Asian Americans, and identity and prejudice processes related to the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. She received the Otto Klineberg Intercultural and International Relations Award in 2001 and the Young Investigator Award (conferred by the International Society of Self and Identity) in 2004 and was elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and Associate of the Center for Advanced Study, UIUC. She has published more than 90 journal articles and book chapters and is currently the editor of Advances in Culture and Psychology and associate editor of the Asian Journal of Social Psychology.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. Cultural processes: an overview Chi-yue Chiu, Angela K.-y. Leung and Ying-yi Hong; Part II. Representational Theories of Culture: 2. Culture as lay personal beliefs Karl Dach-Gruschow, Evelyn W. M. Au and Hsin-Ya Liao; 3. Culture as intersubjective representations of values Ching Wan and Chi-yue Chiu; 4. Culture as norm representations: the case of collective responsibility attribution Melody Manchi Chao and Chi-yue Chiu; Part III. Psychological Functions of Culture: 5. Epistemic functions of culture Melody Manchi Chao and Chi-yue Chiu; 6. Existential functions of culture: the monumental immortality project Pelin Kesebir; 7. Self-definitional functions of culture Ching Wan, Karl Dach-Gruschow, Sun No and Ying-yi Hong; Part IV. Manifestations of Cultural Processes: 8. Culture and self-enhancement Young-Hoon Kim; 9. Cultural processes underlying subjective well-being Young-Hoon Kim and William Tov; 10. Cultural processes in teams: the development of team mental models in heterogeneous work teams Jing Qiu, Zhi-Xue Zhang and Leigh Anne Liu; 11. Harmony, illusory relationship costs, and conflict resolution in Chinese contexts Zhi-Xue Zhang, Yan Zhang and Min Wang; Part V. Transcultural Processes: 12. Bicultural identity negotiation Sun No, Ching Wan, Melody Manchi Chao, Jennifer L. Rosner and Ying-yi Hong; 13. Multicultural experiences and intercultural communication Angela K.-y. Leung and Chi-yue Chiu; 14. Multicultural experience fosters creative conceptual expansion Angela K.-y. Leung, Jing Chen and Chi-yue Chiu; 15. Workforce diversity and creativity: a multilevel analysis Jian Han, Siqing Peng, Chi-yue Chiu and Angela K.-y. Leung.

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