Archives For Kwang-Kuo Hwang

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

Hwang, Kwang-Kuo. 2013. “The construction of culture-inclusive theories by multiple philosophical paradigms.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (7) 46-58.

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

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Abstract

In his critical reply to my article, “Linking Science to Culture: Challenge to Psychologists” (Hwang 2013), Professor Allwood (2013) proposed a series of questions and queries about my strategies for the development of indigenous psychologies (IPs) in non-Western countries.  In general, his questions and queries below to three categories: (1) the different concepts of culture between the East and West; (2) the necessity of distinction between scientific microworlds and lifeworlds; (3) the philosophical ground for the construction of culture-inclusive theories. Since all those questions are crucial for mainstream psychologists (MPists) as well as indigenous psychologists (IPists) to understand how to construct culture-inclusive theories of psychology, I will deal with his questions one by one in terms of my approach of multiple philosophical paradigms. 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…