Universalism without UniformityExplorations in Mind and Culture

Universalism without UniformityExplorations in Mind and Culture

Julia L. Cassaniti and Usha Menon

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9780226501543

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


One of the major questions in cultural psychology is how to take diversity seriously while also acknowledging our shared humanity. This collection addresses this question by engaging with the complex issues that underpin the interconnections between culture and the human mind. The contributors to Universalism without Uniformity make two fundamental claims: first, that as humans we are motivated to find meaning in everything around us; and, second, that the cultural worlds we live in are constituted by our involvement in them. Therefore, we exist as human beings specifically because we interpret and make sense of the events and experiences of our lives—and we do so using the meanings and resources we draw from the cultural worlds that we have created through our thoughts and actions. They argue that what is universal about humans are the abstract potentialities of the human mind—the ability to think and act, to feel and desire, to possess norms and values, to have purpose and goals, and to envision the social and natural worlds. At the same time, these very basic human traits are emergent, realizing their full potential only within the context of the symbolic and behavioral traditions of a community. They conclude that there are few, if any, “deep” or “hard-wired” mental structures, and certainly none that are immune to the surrounding sociocultural context, or that function apart from it. Offering empirically-driven research that takes psychological diversity seriously, Universalism without Uniformity breaks new ground in the interdisciplinary study of culture and mind.

Table of Contents

Introduction Universalism without Uniformity

Usha Menon, Drexel University Department of Anthropology Julia L. Cassaniti, Washington State University Department of Anthropology

Part One Breaking Down Barriers through the Study of Culture in the Study of Mind

One Challenging Developmental Doctrines through Cross-Cultural Research

Robert A. Levine, Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Two How Cultural Psychology Can Help Us See “Divinity” in a Secular World

Jonathan Haidt, New York University Stern School of Business Paul Rozin, University of Pennsylvania Department of Psychology

Three Beyond Universal Taxonomic Frameworks in Cultural Social Psychology

Joan G. Miller, New School for Social Research Department of Psychology

Four From Value to Lifeworld

Roy D’Andrade, University of Connecticut Department of Anthropology

Part Two Psychological Processes across Culture: One Mind, Many Mentalities

Section 1 Emotion: A Multiplicity of Feeling

Five “Kama Muta” or “Being Moved by Love”: A Bootstrapping Approach to the Ontology and Epistemology of an Emotion

Alan P. Fiske, University of California at Los Angeles Department of Anthropology Thomas Schubert, University of Oslo Department of Psychology Beate Seibt, University of Oslo Department of Psychology

Six Unsettling Basic States: New Directions in the Cross-Cultural Study of Emotion

Julia L. Cassaniti, Washington State University Department of Anthropology

Seven Rasa and the Cultural Shaping of Human Consciousness

Usha Menon, Drexel University Department of Anthropology

Section 2 Intersubjectivity: Social Trust, Interpersonal Attachment, and Agency

Eight The Socialization of Social Trust: Cultural Pluralism in Understanding Attachment and Trust in Children

Thomas S. Weisner, University of California at Los Angeles Departments of Psychiatry and Anthropology

Nine An Attachment-Theoretical Approach to Religious Cognition

Charles W. Nuckolls, Brigham Young University Department of Anthropology

Part Three Implications of Psychological Pluralism for a Multicultural World: “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

Section 1 Challenges to the Modern Nation-State: Globalization’s Impact on Morality, Identity, and the Person

Ten Acculturation, Assimilation, and the “View from Manywheres” in the Hmong Diaspora1

Jacob R. Hickman, Brigham Young University Department of Anthropology

Eleven Vexed Tolerance: Cultural Psychology on Multiculturalism

Pinky Hota, Smith College Department of Anthropology

Section 2 Mental Health: Variations in Healthy Minds across Cultures

Thirteen Cultural Psychology and the Globalization of Western Psychiatric Practices

Randall Horton, Seattle University Department of Psychology

Fourteen Toward a Cultural Psychology of Trauma and Trauma-Related Disorders

Byron Good and Mary-Jo Delvecchio Good, Harvard University Department of Anthropology and the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Fifteen The Risky Cartography of Drawing Moral Maps: With Special Reference to Economic Inequality and Sex-Selective Abortion1

Richard A. Shweder, University of Chicago Harold Higgins Swift Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Comparative Human Development

End Matter