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Commentary on Cultural Diversity Across the Pacific: The Dominance of Western Theories, Models, Research and Practice in Psychology

Abstract

The three featured articles in the December 2010 section on cultural diversity across the Pacific address important cultural issues in psychology. Berry (2010) applied these issues to intercultural relations and acculturation, Furnham (2010) to culture shock, and Marsella and Yamada (2010) to psychopathology. The common theme among these articles was the Western-centric dominance of psychology's research, theories, models and practice, in part because of structural discrimination such as ethnocentric curricula, policies and teaching methods within academic institutions. In Aotearoa New Zealand, including mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) and kaupapa Māori (Māori philosophy) within curricula for clinical psychology has started to address that Western-centric dominance, but more importantly, resulted in more culturally safe and responsive psychological services being provided to Māori users of those services. The present commentary suggested that including and integrating more cross-cultural and indigenous knowledge into the tertiary curricula of applied psychology fields, such as clinical, industrial-organisational, and coaching psychology would be one way to counter the Western-centric dominance.

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Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Lisa Stewart, Māramatanga Consultants Ltd, PO Box 334-054, Sunnynook, Auckland 0743, New Zealand. Email: lisa@maramatangaconsultants.co.nz
References
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Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology
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