Macro Cultural Psychology: A Political Philosophy of Mind

ISBN : 9780195373547

Carl Ratner
544 Pages
151 x 239 mm
Pub date
Sep 2011
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This book articulates a bold, new, systematic theory of psychology, culture, and their interrelation. It explains how macro cultural factors - social institutions, cultural artifacts, and cultural concepts - are the cornerstones of society and how they form the origins and characteristics of psychological phenomena. This theory is used to explain the diversity of psychological phenomena such as emotions, self, intelligence, sexuality, memory, reasoning, perception, developmental processes, and mental illness. Ratner draws upon Lev Vygotsky's sociocultural psychology, Bronfenbrenner's ecological psychology, as well as work in sociology, anthropology, history, and geography, to explore the political implications and assumptions of psychological theories regarding social policy and reform. The theory outlined here addresses current theoretical and political issues such as agency, realism, objectivity, subjectivism, structuralism, postmodernism, and multiculturalism. In this sense, the book articulates a systematic political philosophy of mind to examine numerous approaches to psychology, including indigenous psychology, cross-cultural psychology, activity theory, discourse analysis, mainstream psychology, and evolutionary psychology.


Chapter One: Philosophical and Historical Underpinnings of Macro Cultural Psychology
Chapter Two: General Principles of Cultural Psychology
Chapter Three: Macro Culture and Psychology
Chapter Four: Philosophical Principles of Concrete Macro Cultural Psychology
Chapter Five: Concrete Macro Culture and Psychology
Chapter Six: Macro Cultural Psychological Analysis of Micro Level Psychology vs. Micro Cultural Psychology
Chapter Seven: The Politics of Macro Cultural Psychology
Appendix: A Curriculum of Courses in Cultural Psychology

About the author: 

Carl Ratner is the Director of The Institute for Cultural Research and Education in Northern California. He has written widely on cultural psychology and qualitative methodology. He has been a professor of social psychology and has also spent extensive periods abroad, including time in Saudi Arabia, five months at Nehru University in India, and two years in China, where he was among the few instructors to teach social psychology after a decades-long ban. He was a visiting scholar in the Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition, Stanford University School of Education, and Penn State Center for Language Acquisition. He has also been the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships and has given numerous workshops on cultural psychology and qualitative methodology in Spain, Taiwan, Germany, England, and other countries. Ratner was on the founding editorial board of the journal Culture & Psychology. He has been active in the American cooperative movement.

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