Understanding Culture and Ethnicity: Basic Rudiments of an "Anthropsychological" Perspective for Understanding Human Behavior

By Chestnut, Dennis E. | Journal of Cultural Diversity, Winter 2000 | Go to article overview

Understanding Culture and Ethnicity: Basic Rudiments of an "Anthropsychological" Perspective for Understanding Human Behavior


Chestnut, Dennis E., Journal of Cultural Diversity


Abstract: While there appears to be general consensus in the behavioral sciences as to the importance of culture and ethnicity in shaping behavior, the discipline of psychology, a major producer of psychotherapists, is often resistant to the study of the basic concepts; seeing it as the domain of other disciplines. Thus, psychologically trained practitioners may not have rudimentary understanding of these concept; while endorsing and even trying to incorporate ethnically and culturally sensitive practices and techniques. This paper provides a basic reformulation of culture and ethnicity and presents the novel concept of an "anthropsychological" model for understanding individual behavior while being sensitive to ethnicity and culture.

Key Words: Culture, Ethnicity, Basic Rudiments, Anthropsychological Perspective, Human Behavior

There is general agreement among social, behavioral, and medical scientists that ethnic group affiliation and resulting cultural experience can be impactful in shaping and individual's psychological development and consequenting behaviors. There is further agreement that in order to fully know and understand-an individual one would best know something about the individual's ethnic heritage and cultural experience.

Notwithstanding the acknowledged importance of ethnic and cultural factors in shaping behavior, contemporary psychologists other than perhaps African-American or other minority group psychologist (Azibo, 1991; Baldwin, 1979, 1981, 1984; BoydFranklin, 1989; De La Cancela 1986, 1990; Jenkins, 1982; Jones, 1972, 1980,1991; Marsella & Pedersen, 1981; Myers, 1988; Nobles, 1972,1986; sue, 1981; Sue & Sue, 11972; Williams, 1972, 1981; Wilson, 197; Yamato, James, & Palley, 1968), have not shown a decisive interest in this area of research; rather leaving it to the domain of cultural anthropology. Nonetheless, we as psychologist, are continuously called upon to help explain actions and behaviors of ethnically and culturally diverse groups. While research in early in social psychology (Baker & Wright, 1954; Cattell 1949; Davis & Havighurst, 1946; Gardner, 1959; Hodgen, 1952; Melikian, 1959; Miller & Swanson, 1958; Nadel, 1937; Sears, Maccoby, & Levin, 1957; Whiting & Child, 1953) offered promise for understanding in this area, it did not show a continuous line of research and study. there was a theoretical shift toward greater focus on individual differences; tests and measurements, cognition, and social cognitive development (Jensen, 1964; Bandura & Walters, 1963; Bandura, 1977, 1986; Piaget, 1967; Piaget & Weil, 1957; Kohlberg, 1969; Selman, 1977, 1980; Cattell, 1957, 1959, 1970; Mischel, 1973; Rotter, 1954; Eysneck, 1976).

Again, today, we are in a place and time where understanding of ethnicity, culture, and behavior seem warranted and are indeed imperative in education, clinical, and medical practice and administration of social policy This paper provides a general theoretical overview of the terms "Culture" and "ethnicity" which are then incorporated into an "Anthrops chological" theoretical perspective for broader understanding of development and behavior.

ETHNICITY AND CULTURE

Ethnicity

The term "ethnic" is used regularly by professionals and nonprofessionals; academicians and non-academicians. Despite, and perhaps because of its widespread use, there is often confusion and lack of specificity and clarity as to the true meaning of the term. The question most often raised has to do with what factors or elements should be included in determining "ethnicity" (e.g. race, national origin, language, etc. ). At this point confusion often results; some theorists and researchers stressing one element and others stressing another component. One common misconception is to view race and ethnicity as one and the same. In such cases "ethnicity" is used to refer to groups of color (i.e. Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, etc. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Understanding Culture and Ethnicity: Basic Rudiments of an "Anthropsychological" Perspective for Understanding Human Behavior
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.