Archives For Carl Martin Allwood

Author Information: Kwang-Kuo Hwang, National Taiwan University, kkhwang@ntu.edu.tw

Hwang, Kwang-Kuo. “Outside Observer vs. Inside Doer: Divergent Perspectives on ‘Culture’ in the Indigenization Movement of Psychology” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 12 (2014): 92-103.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1N5

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Image credit: Ashley Campbell, via flickr

Abstract

In his rejoinder to my article, “Preserving cultural identity and subjectivity for a psychology of multiculturalism,” Allwood (2014a) proposed a series of questions awaiting further clarification. A careful examination of his questions indicates that most of them can be attributed to the divergent standpoints between us. As an outside observer to the indigenization movement of psychology, Allwood (2014b, c) concerns about “an appropriate culture concept for the indigenous psychologies,” “what type of culture concept will help the indigenous psychologies?” But, as president of the Asian Association of Indigenization Movement of Psychology for more than thirty years, my ultimate concern is how to construct culture-inclusive theories for psychology of multiculturalism in the age of globalization (Hwang 2013a, b; 2014). The culture-inclusive theories of psychology constructed in accordance with “One mind, many mentalities” (Shweder et al. 1998), the principle of cultural psychology, may enable IPists to conduct empirical research on related culture concepts in any given society.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Carl Martin Allwood, University of Gothenburg, cma@psy.gu.se

Allwood, Carl Martin. “Culture, Language, Identity and the Properties of a Useful Culture Concept for the Indigenous Psychologies.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 10 (2014): 30-33.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1DN

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Abstract

Cultures are expressed in language and the mapping relation between language and culture is argued to be one-to-many. Accordingly, a language such as Spanish can be used to express many different cultures, including contents that are in explicit contradiction. By attending to the diversity in understanding in a society social interventions can be better tailored to specific groups of people in that society. Thus, a culture concept that emphasizes the diversity in the understanding of people in the indigenous psychology (IP) researcher’s society is likely to be helpful for social interventions in different groups of that society. This, in contrast to a culture concept that focuses mostly on whatever understanding is shared and inherited from previous generations in the society. I also argue that it should be recognized that members of a culture have different conceptions of their culture’s identity and that these conceptions are changing as they are constructed over time.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Kwang-Kuo Hwang, National Taiwan University, kkhwang@ntu.edu.tw

Hwang, Kwang-Kuo. “Preserving Cultural Identity and Subjectivity for a Psychology of Multiculturalism.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 9 (2014): 7-14.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1zR

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Abstract

Language is the most important carrier of cultural heritage, but it is a common sense of social science that language doesn’t equal to culture. All cultural traditions that can be transmitted from generation to generation must serve some function of helping people in a certain situation of lifeworld. The construction of scientific microworld for culture-inclusive theories enables indigenous social scientists to recognize the cultural traditions in an objective way that may preserve cultural identity and subjectivity of non-Western countries in the context of multiculturalism.

I was preparing this rejoinder to Prof. Allwood’s article entitled “What type of culture will help indigenous psychologies and why?” when guest lecturing at a training seminar in Harbin, China, between July 20-27, 2014. This extraordinary experience helped me to answer and to clarify many questions raised in his article, which cited some of my sayings as the following:

Thus, he, to a large extent, seems to equate culture with the language spoken by the people in the cultural community, and thus to a large extent, for example, to equate Chinese culture with the Chinese language (Allwood 2014, 46).  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Carl Martin Allwood, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, cma@psy.gu.se

Allwood, Carl Martin. “What Type of Culture Concept Will Help the Indigenous Psychologies and Why? An Answer to Hwang.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 7 (2014): 44-49.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1xs

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Abstract

In this response I conclude that the Indigenous Psychologies (IPs) would be best served by a culture concept that supports attention to the full-fledged understanding of the members of the IP researcher’s society. In contrast, Prof. Hwang’s culture concept emphasizes the importance of the language used by the society’s members and also of the older traditional parts of the members’ understanding. I argue that this type of culture concept is not very well fitted to be useful for the IPs and, moreover, that it may not be very helpful for producing results that will help achieve the goal of a more universal, or at least a more comprehensive psychology. However, Prof. Hwang’s culture concept may have other uses and be helpful for other purposes.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Kwang-Kuo Hwang, National Taiwan University, kkhwang@ntu.edu.tw

Hwang, Kwang-Kuo. “All Roads Lead To Rome.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 5 (2014): 56-66.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1pH

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Abstract

Even though Prof. Allwood had conducted a large‐scale international survey on the origins and development of indigenous psychologies (IPs) (Allwood and Berry 2006), he has no empathetic understanding of the challenges encountered by most indigenous psychologists (IPists). If he put himself in the situation of non‐Western IPists, he will find that my definition of culture — as well as my approach of multiple philosophical paradigms and critical realism (Bhaskar 1975, 1979) for constructing culture‐inclusive theories of psychology — is designed to study the morphostasis of a cultural system. It may provide a solid ground for indigenous or cultural psychologists to study the morphogenesis of socio-cultural interaction by people of a given culture in their life worlds (Archer 1995).  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Carl Martin Allwood, University of Gothenburg, cma@psy.gu.se

Allwood, Carl Martin. 2014. “On the Issue of an Appropriate Culture Concept for the Indigenous Psychologies and on the Limits of Philosophy” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3 (3): 41-48.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1k1

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Abstract

In this rejoinder to Prof. Hwang in our debate about a suitable culture concept for the Indigenous psychologies (IPs) I argue that a culture concept that attends to the distribution of different kinds of understanding among the members of a society is more likely to be useful for the IPs, which strive to produce knowledge that is easily applicable to the context of the people where the research results are to be applied. I also, for various reasons, question the desirability of Prof. Hwang’s ambition to ground all IPs on one specific philosophical approach. One reason for this is that this would contradict a central part of the IPs general research program, namely that they should be based on the cultural understanding of the society that the specific IPs relates to. Furthermore, I, more in general, question the realism of attempting to construct one final, single philosophical ground for empirical research, given the complex and conceptually unbounded nature of reality. Continue Reading…

Author Information: Kwang-Kuo Hwang, National Taiwan University, kkhwang@ntu.edu.tw

Hwang, Kwang-Kuo. “A Disciplinary Horizon for Comprehending the Third Wave of Psychology.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3, no. 1 (2013): 44-55.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-1cC

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Abstract

Thanks to Prof. Allwood for his long-term interest in my research. It enables me to understand some of my blind spots in the presentation of my thoughts to the international social science community, especially to those colleagues in disciplines other than (indigenous) psychology. It seems to me that an academic movement is mature once it finds its philosophical ground. I do believe that my approach of multiple philosophical paradigms in combination with the philosophy of Critical Realism (Bhaskar 1975; 1978) may provide a solid philosophical ground for the IP movement as the third wave of psychology. Therefore, I am willing to elaborate my works in more detail so as to constitute the necessary disciplinary horizon for facilitating its future development.  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Carl Martin Allwood, University of Gothenburg, cma@psy.gu.se

Allwood, Carl Martin. 2013. “On the Virtues of an Empirically Oriented Culture Concept and on the Limitations of Too General and Abstract Characterizations of Understanding” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (11): 54-61.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-15j

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Abstract

In this ongoing debate on how culture should be best understood and on what would be a suitable culture concept for the Indigenous psychologies (IPs), Prof. Hwang argues that cultures should be described in terms of deep-structures and that such a culture concept would help the IPs to produce knowledge that is easily applicable to their own societies. In contrast, I argue that a more empirically oriented concept of culture would be more useful in general, and for the IPs in particular, since it is more likely to better mirror the reality it aims to predict. Hwang seems to equate deep-structures with generative mechanisms, but obviously there can be other types of generative mechanisms than deep-structures as this concept is used by Hwang, including mechanisms involving less deep structures or even shallow structures. The problem with Prof. Hwang’s approach to culture and science is that it is very general and abstract. By this it risks being somewhat simplistic. In general, it attempts to explain too much and thereby may explain, or predict, very little. This is also evident in his classification of me as a naïve empiricist. Continue Reading…

Author Information: Kwang-Kuo Hwang, National Taiwan University, kkhwang@ntu.edu

Hwang, Kwang-Kuo.2013. “Science as a Culture in Culture with Deep-Structure Across Empirical Studies in Psychology” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (10): 38-51.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-10O

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Abstract

In his rejoinder to my article, “The construction of culture-inclusive theories by multiple philosophical paradigms” (2013), Professor Allwood advocates for the advantages of an empirically oriented cultural concept in indigenous psychologies. Allwood’s advocacy reveals an insistence on an empiricist research orientation. Empiricists regard the collection of empirical facts as the ultimate goal of scientific research. They do not believe that there is any deep structure behind the observed phenomena in a culture. Therefore, they cannot understand the necessity of constructing a scientific microworld distinctive from the lifeworld. In this article, I indicate that there are “deep structures” in both culture and science as a culture in culture. Scientists are seeking for the “deep structure,” i.e. the so-called “generative mechanism” in Bhaskar’s (1975) philosophy of Critical Realism. Thus, it is necessary to make a clear distinction between scientific microworld and lifeworld.

In my debate with Prof. Allwood, I found that the separation of scientific microworld and lifeworld is rather difficult to grasp. In his rejoinder, he stated:

I would argue that the difference between everyday life conceptions/ culture and scientific theories is a matter of degree, not an either/or phenomenon, irrespective of whether the scholar lives in the West or in the East (Allwood 2013, 63).

Experts and Laymen

Here, I would like to remind Prof. Allwood to not forget the distinction between experts, who are working in a specialized field of the scientific community, and laymen, who are outsiders of that community. When I talk about systematic knowledge of scientific microworld or the construction of scientific theories, I refer to experts in the scientific community, not laymen outside of that community. For laymen or outsiders, “the difference between everyday life conceptions/culture and scientific theories is a matter of degree, not an either/or phenomenon” (Allwood 2013, 63). But for experts who are struggling for survival in a particular field of the scientific community, they have to learn not only the knowledge related to scientific microworlds constructed by other scientists, but also how to construct their own scientific microworlds in order to compete with others. This is why I argue that the distinction between scientific microworlds and lifeworlds (Allwood calls it “everyday conceptions”) is essentially necessary for IPs in non-Western cultures to make.

Following this line of reasoning, De Laet’s formulation (2012, 424) that “science is a culture in culture” should be understood as “the culture of a particular scientific community is existing in its cultural context.” Continue Reading…

Author Information: Carl Martin Allwood, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, cma@psy.gu.se

Allwood, Carl Martin. 2013. “On the advantages of an empirically oriented culture concept in the indigenous psychologies.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (8): 60-65.

The PDF of the article gives specific page numbers. Shortlink: http://wp.me/p1Bfg0-To

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Abstract

In this reply to Professor Hwang (2013b), I argue for the usefulness for the indigenous psychologies (IPs) of a culture concept that is empirically oriented in the sense that it pays attention to the heterogeneity and distribution of understanding in the IP researcher’s society. The culture concept promoted by Professor Hwang sees cultures as the common understanding in a society and defines cultures as having a deep-structure of core understanding and as only slowly changing over time. I argue that this concept of culture is not useful for the IPs given that their goal is to produce knowledge that is applicable in their own society. A conceptual problem for Prof. Hwang’s culture concept, and similar culture concepts, is that the idea of belonging to a tradition is unclear and vague, as is the idea of specific traditions and cultures, as such, existing over time. I speculate that Professor Hwang’s insistence on researchers’ difficulty of understanding research from other parts of the world may be an effect of his culture concept. Finally, I worry that reasoning conducted under the beacon of the multiple philosophical paradigms approach, advocated by Professor Hwang, may introduce the possibility of more degrees of freedom in the reasoning and makes it difficult for readers to follow the author’s reasoning in a systematic way. Continue Reading…