Macro-Cultural Psychology

Carl Ratner

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

Macro-Cultural Psychology


This chapter explains macro-cultural psychology as a psychological theory and discipline. It conceptualizes psychological phenomena as part of macro-cultural factors—social institutions, artifacts, and cultural concepts. Specifically, macro-cultural psychology explains how psychological phenomena originate in macro-cultural factors, embody their features, represent macro-cultural factors, solidify and sustain macro-cultural factors, and are objectified in them. The chapter presents examples of these points with regard to emotions, adolescence, mental illness, agency, sensory processes, and self-concept. Macro-cultural psychology is shown to be a coherent general psychological theory that encompasses biological processes and individual variations within macro-cultural cornerstones, in logically consistent ways. The theory draws on the pioneering work of Vygotsky, Luria, and Leontiev.

Keywords: macro-culture; interpersonal interactions; social structure; mental illness; agency; emotions; adolescence; vygotsky; sensory processes

Article.  22176 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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