Culture and Psychology: Words and Ideas in History

Gustav Jahoda

in The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396430
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Culture and Psychology: Words and Ideas in History

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  • Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology


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This chapter provides an historical overview of the links of culture and psychology from antiquity to the present time. The roots of interest in culture are traced to the social practices of travel—exploration, trade, conquest, and administration—that lead to experiencing other human beings as living by very different practices. Psychology emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth century European thought that carried various cultural prejudices into its mainstream. This took place in the context of basic philosophical tension between nature and nurture as causal streams resulting in cultural differences. Over most of the period nurture predominated, with a sharp reversal during the nineteenth century when race came to the fore. Yet it was after the middle of that century that the terminology began to change and culture—the name, not the concept—entered the vocabulary. Cultural psychology of today is in a position to see mind and culture as mutually constituted.

Keywords: history; culture; völkerpsychologie; mind; exploration; customs

Article.  13494 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Organizational Psychology

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