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    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Glebkin, Vladimir 2014. Cultural-historical psychology and the cognitive view of metonymy and metaphor. Review of Cognitive Linguistics, Vol. 12, Issue. 2, p. 288.

    Meshcheryakov, B.G. and Ponomariov, I.V. 2018. Michael Cole as the Mediator and Integrator of Cultural-Historical Psychology. Cultural-Historical Psychology, Vol. 14, Issue. 4, p. 52.

  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

11 - Cross-cultural research in the cultural-historical activity theory tradition


Introduction and purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to create a dialogue between Russian and American research on the role of culture in the constitution of human psychological functioning. Collectively we share the ‘cultural-historical activity’ tradition, which takes its inspiration and initial empirical work from the studies carried out by L. S. Vygotsky and his colleagues in the then-Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s. Common to this line of theorising is a belief in the central role of culture in the constitution of specifically human nature. However, issues of both theoretical and methodological origin (which are, of course, not distinct from each other) have led to several decades of discussion among Russian and non-Russian advocates of the cultural-historical approach concerning the interpretation of comparative, cross-cultural studies. It is our hope to make clear the importance of these differences to the broad community of cross-cultural psychologists in finding the ways to move forward the common programme of understanding the role of culture in human psychological processes and the specific role of cross-cultural research in that enterprise.

Cross-cultural experimental research: common dilemmas

As was true among Russian intellectuals, a pervasive belief in sociocultural evolution pervaded early Anglo-American psychology based upon the writings of nineteenth-century social philosophers such as the Englishmen Herbert Spencer and Edward Tylor, the putative ‘father of anthropology’ (for summaries see Cole, 1996, and Jahoda, 1992, this volume).

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Fundamental Questions in Cross-Cultural Psychology
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