Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 9
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: June 2012

4 - The ecocultural framework: a stocktaking

Summary

This chapter addresses one of the main issues in cross-cultural psychology, and of this book: how can we conceptualise and empirically investigate the relationships between culture and human behaviour? This question assumes that culture and behaviour are distinguishable phenomena, each with a separate existence at its own level; this issue is addressed in this chapter. There is an even more fundamental level, that of the ecological context within which both culture and behaviour are situated and in which they develop. This level will also be addressed, by outlining ecology–culture–behaviour relationships within an ecocultural framework.

The ecological approach to understanding any phenomenon is to examine it in context. These contexts can be naturally occurring or human-made. Essential to this approach are the concepts of interaction and adaptation. Interaction implies reciprocal relationships among elements in an ecosystem; adaptation implies changes in these elements that increase their mutual fit or compatibility. These ideas have a long history in the natural sciences, but have only recently become part of the social and behavioural sciences. Of course, the common criticism of the human sciences following epistemological models from the natural sciences applies here: To what extent can we understand human phenomena using models based on non-human science? No convincing arguments to justify this way of understanding human beings are advanced here.

References
Aberle, D. F., Cohen, A. K., Davis, A. K., Levy, M. J., and Sutton, F. X. (1950). The functional prerequisites of a society. Ethics, 60, 100–11.
Allwood, C. M., and Berry, J. W. (2006). Origins and development of indigenous psychologies: An international analysis. International Journal of Psychology, 41, 243–68.
Barry, H., Child, I., and Bacon, M. (1959). Relations of child training to subsistence economy. American Anthropologist, 61, 51–63.
Bennett, J. (1976). The ecological transition. London: Pergamon.
Berland, L. (1980). No five fingers are alike: Cultural amplifiers in the social and ecocultural contexts of psychological performance. New York: Plenum.
Berry, J. W. (1966). Temne and Eskimo perceptual skills. International Journal of Psychology, 1, 207–29.
Berry, J. W. (1967). Independence and conformity in subsistence-level societies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 7, 415–18.
Berry, J. W. (1969). On cross-cultural comparability. International Journal of Psychology, 4, 119–28.
Berry, J. W. (1975). An ecological approach to cross-cultural psychology. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor de Psychologie, 30, 51–84.
Berry, J. W. (1976). Human ecology and cognitive style: Comparative studies in cultural and psychological adaptation. New York: Sage/Halsted.
Berry, J. W. (1979). A cultural ecology of social behaviour. In Berkowitz, L. (ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology, vol. 12 (pp. 177–206). New York: Academic Press.
Berry, J. W. (1985). Cultural psychology and ethnic psychology. In Reyes Lagunes, I. and Poortinga, Y. (eds.), From a different perspective (pp. 3–15). Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger.
Berry, J. W. (1993). Ecology of individualism and collectivism. In Kim, U., Triandis, H. C., Kağitçibaşi, Ç., Choi, S. and Yoon, G. (eds.), Individualism and collectivism (pp. 77–84). London: Sage.
Berry, J. W. (1994). An ecological approach to cultural and ethnic psychology. In Trickett, E. (ed.), Human diversity (pp. 115–141). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Berry, J. W. (1995). The descendants of a model. Culture and Psychology, 1, 373–80.
Berry, J. W. (2000). Cross-cultural psychology: A symbiosis of cultural and comparative approaches. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 3, 197–205.
Berry, J. W.et al. (1997). Handbook of cross-cultural psychology (3 vols.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Berry, J. W., and Bennett, J. A. (1992). Cree conceptions of cognitive competence. International Journal of Psychology, 27, 73–88.
Berry, J. W., Bennett, J. A., and Denny, J. P. (2000). Ecology, culture and cognitive processing. Paper presented at the congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, Pultusk, Poland.
Berry, J. W., Dasen, P. R., and Witkin, H. A. (1983). Developmental theories in cross-cultural perspective. In Alder, L. (ed.), Cross-cultural research at issue (pp. 13–21). New York: Academic Press.
Berry, J. W., and Irvine, S. H. (1986). Bricolage: Savages do it daily. In Sternberg, R. and Wagner, R. (eds.), Practical intelligence: Nature and origins of competence in the everyday world (pp. 271–306). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Berry, J. W., Irvine, S. H., and Hunt, E. B. (eds.) (1988). Indigenous cognition: Functioning in cultural context. Dordrecht: Nijhoff.
Berry, J. W., Koppel, J. M. H., Sénéchal, C., Annis, R. C., Bahuchet, S., Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., and Witkin, H. A. (1986). On the edge of the forest: Cultural adaptation and cognitive development in Central Africa. Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger.
Berry, J. W., Poortinga, Y. H., Segall, M. H., and Dasen, P. R. (2002). Cross-cultural psychology: Research and applications (2nd edn). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Bond, R., and Smith, P. (1996). Culture and conformity: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 119, 111–37.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Chun, K., Balls-Organista, P., and Marin, G. (eds.) (2002). Acculturation: Advances in theory, measurement, and applied research. Washington, DC: APA Books.
Chomsky, N. (2000). The architecture of language. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Cole, M., Gay, J., Glick, J. A., and Sharp, D. W. (1971). The cultural context of learning and thinking: An exploration in experimental anthropology. New York: Basic Books.
Darwin, C. (1859). On the origin of species. New York: Random House.
Dasen, P. R. (1975). Concrete operational development in three cultures. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 6, 156–72.
Dasen, P. R. (1993). L'Ethnocentrisme de la psychologie. In Rey, M. (ed.), Psychologie clinique et interrogations culturelles (pp. 155–74). Paris: Editions l'Harmattan.
Dasen, P. R., Berry, J. W., and Witkin, H. A. (1979). The use of developmental theories cross-culturally. In Eckensberger, L., Lonner, W. and Poortinga, Y. H. (eds.), Cross-cultural contributions to psychology (pp. 69–82). Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger.
Dasen, P. R., and Mishra, R. C. (2010). Development of geocentric spatial language and cognition: An ecocultural perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Denny, J. P. (1986). Cultural ecology of mathematics: Ojibway and Inuit hunters. In Closs, M. (ed.), Native American mathematics. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
Ember, C., and Ember, M. (1999). Anthropology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Feldman, D. A. (1975). The history of the relationship between environment and culture in ethnological thought. Journal of the History of the Behavioural Sciences, 110, 67–81.
Forde, D. (1934). Habitat, economy and society. New York: Dutton.
Georgas, J., and Berry, J. W. (1995). An ecocultural taxonomy for cross-cultural psychology. Cross-Cultural Research, 29, 121–57.
Georgas, J., Berry, J. W., Vijver, F. J. R., Kağitçibaşi, Ç., and Poortinga, Y. H. (2006). Family structure and function in 30 nations: A psychological study. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Georgas, J., Vijver, F. J. R., and Berry, J. W. (2004). The ecocultural framework, ecosocial indices, and psychological variables in cross-cultural research. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 35, 74–96.
Goody, J. (1977). The domestication of the savage mind. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Huntington, E. (1945). Mainsprings of civilization. New York: John Wiley.
Jahoda, G. (1995). The ancestry of a model. Culture and Psychology, 1, 11–24.
Kağitçibaşi, Ç. (1996). Family and human development across cultures: A view from the other side. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Kardiner, A., and Linton, R. (1939). The individual and his society. New York: Columbia University Press.
Keller, H., Poortinga, Y. H., and Schölmerich, A. (eds.) (2002). Between culture and biology: Perspectives on ontogenetic development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kroeber, A. L. (1917). The superorganic. American Anthropologist, 19, 163–213.
Kroeber, A. L. (1939). Cultural and natural areas of native North America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Lomax, A., and Berkowitz, W. (1972). The evolutionary taxonomy of culture. Science, 177, 228–39.
Luria, A. R. (1976). Cognitive development: Its cultural and social foundations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Mishra, R. C., and Berry, J. W. (2008). Cultural adaptations and cognitive style in Adivasi children in Chotanagphur. In Srinivasan, N., Gupta, A. and Pandey, J. (eds.), Advances in cognitive science (pp. 287–99). New Delhi: Sage Publications.
Mishra, R. C., Dasen, P. R., and Niraula, S. (2003). Ecology, language, and performance n spatial cognitive tasks. International Journal of Psychology, 38, 366–83.
Mishra, R. C., Sinha, D., and Berry, J. W. (1996). Ecology, acculturation and psychological adaptation: A study of Advasi in Bihar. Delhi: Sage Publications.
Murdock, G. P. (1975). Outline of cultural materials. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files.
Nisbett, R. E. (2003). The geography of thought: How Asians and Westerners think differently … and why. New York: Free Press.
Nsamenang, B. (1992). Human development in cultural context. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Pelto, P. (1968). The difference between ‘tight’ and ‘loose’ societies. Transaction, 5, 37–40.
Poortinga, Y. H., and Soudijn, K. A. (2002). Behaviour–culture relationships and ontogenetic development. In Keller, H., Poortinga, Y. H. and Schoelmerich, A. (eds.), Between biology and culture: Perspectives on ontogenetic development (pp. 320–40). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sam, D. L., and Berry, J. W. (eds.) (2006). The Cambridge handbook of acculturation psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schmitt, D. P., and Allik, J. (2005). Simultaneous administration of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale in 53 nations: Exploring the universal and culture-specific features of global self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 89, 623–42.
Segall, M. H., Dasen, P. R., Berry, J. W., and Poortinga, Y. H. (1999). Human behavior in global perspective: An introduction to cross-cultural psychology (2nd edn). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Sinha, D. (1984). Manual for Story-Pictorial E.F.T. Varanasi: Rupa.
Sternberg, R. J., and Grigorenko, E. L. (2004). Culture and competence: Context of life success. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Steward, J. (1955). The concept and method of cultural ecology. Theory of culture change: The methodology of multilinear evolution (pp. 30–42). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
Super, C., and Harkness, S. (1986). The developmental niche: A conceptualisation at the interface of childhood and culture. International Journal of Behavioural Development, 9, 545–69.
Super, C., and Harkness, S. (1997). The cultural structuring of child development. In Berry, J. W., Dasen, P. R. and Saraswathi, T. S. (eds.), Handbook of cross-cultural psychology, vol. II: Basic processes and human development (pp. 1–39). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Troadec, B. (2001). Le Modèle écoculturel: Un cadre pour la psychologie culturelle comparative. International Journal of Psychology, 36, 53–64.
Weisner, T. (1984). A cross-cultural perspective: Ecocultural niches in middle childhood. In Collins, A. (ed.), The elementary school years (pp. 335–69). Washington: Academy Press.
Whiting, B. B., and Whiting, J. W. (1975). Children of six cultures: A psychocultural analysis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Whiting, J. W. (1977). A model for psychocultural research. In Liederman, H., Tulkin, S. and Rosenfeld, A. (eds.), Culture and infancy: Variations in the human experience (pp. 29–48). New York: Academic Press.
Witkin, H., and Berry, J. W. (1975). Psychological differentiation in cross-cultural perspective. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 6, 4–87.
Zimba, R. (2002). Indigenous conceptions of childhood development and social realities in southern Africa. In Keller, H., Poortinga, Y. H. and Schoelmerich, A. (eds.), Between culture and biology: Perspectives on ontogenetic development (pp. 89–115). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.