Culture in Psychology by Corrine Squire

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By Corrine Squire

Tradition in Psychology breaks new floor through trying to comprehend the complexity and specificity of cultural identities this present day. It rejects the concept Western tradition is a regular, or that any tradition is homogenous and good. both, it rejects the idea that tradition is a mechanism that reinforces reproductive health. as an alternative, it indicators psychologists to the various types of 'foreignness' that study should still deal with and to alliances psychology could make with different disciplines equivalent to anthropology, feminism and psychoanalysis.

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Ethnography, like other ‘qualitative’ research techniques, usually sets out to record research material in non-numerical forms, 24 CHRISTINE GRIFFIN such as via audio- or videotape-recordings and/or research field-notes, and draws on a wide range of analytic perspectives. Ethnography has not always been used by researchers who are critical of positivism (Hammersley and Atkinson, 1983), but the relationship between ethnography and non-positivist epistemologies is a close one. Hammersley and Atkinson refer to ethnography as ‘participant observation’, in that ‘the ethnographer participates, overtly or covertly, in people’s daily lives for an extended period of time, watching what happens, listening to what is said, asking questions: in fact collecting whatever data are available to shed light on the issues with which he or she is concerned’ (1983:2).

For there is no unitary or general standard of fitness in biology. What fitness entails is context specific. The case for theoretical pluralism Some biologists have watched in bewilderment as psychologists resort to notions of gene selection to explain human behaviour, while ‘the technical literature of evolutionary genetics has emphasized more and more the random and historically contingent nature of genetic change over time’ (Lewontin, 1998:60). Their conflict, they say, is not with Darwin but with the misuse of Darwin, whom they hope to rescue from his new friends (Eldredge, 1995; Rose, 1997:176).

One important facet of this project PSYCHOLOGISTS AS CULTURAL ETHNOGRAPHERS 21 was to challenge the representation of contemporary working-class culture(s) as inferior or barbaric compared to traditional forms of ‘high’ culture. g. , 1990; Hall and Jefferson, 1975). The project also meant transforming notions of the cultural, and what could be counted as part of ‘culture’. Morag Shiach (1999) argues that cultural studies has understood ‘culture’ in a number of different ways: ‘as specific texts; as the practices which construct national, class or gender identities; or as the interconnection of different modes and systems of communication’ (1999:3).

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