Archives For indigenous psychologies

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: 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: 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: 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: 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…

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

Allwood, Carl Martin. 2013. “The Role of Culture and Understanding in Research.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (5) 1-11.

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

Please refer to: Hwang, Kwang-Kuo. 2013. “Linking science to culture: Challenge to psychologists.” Social Epistemology 27 (1): 105-122.

The generation of scientific knowledge is a central issue in the social epistemology of knowledge. How then, can the generation of scientific knowledge best be described? In the sociology of knowledge, science tends to be seen as closely linked to society at large and it is usually seen as the central task of the sociology of knowledge to investigate and analyze this relationship (Yearley 2005). Therefore it is of interest to read the article “Linking Science to Culture: Challenge to Psychologists” in Social Epistemology (Hwang 2013) where Professor Hwang claims that scientific knowledge is, or at least should be, constructed in a process whereby researchers create microworlds which he argues are completely separated from what he calls their “lifeworlds”. In this rejoinder I will scrutinize this and other claims and also answer some of the criticisms that he levels against my article on the culture concept used in the Indigenous Psychologies (Allwood 2011a, b; Hwang 2011). The indigenous psychologies (IPs) are psychology research programs that aim for the approach to be scientific but that see mainstream psychology as too Western, and specifically too US, in its cultural foundation. Instead the psychology developed should be rooted in the culture of the society being investigated. Continue Reading…