Ethnographic Cross Cultural Psychology And Cultural Psychology Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Psychology Type: Term Paper Paper: #60038465 Related Topics: Ethnographic, Cultural Assimilation, Educational Psychology, Assimilation
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … cultural psychology and cross-cultural psychology are closely linked and interrelated, yet offer distinct methodologies permitting the most nuanced understanding of the diversity of human experiences. Cultural psychology generally uses the tools of ethnography and other anthropological methods when gathering data, and may also use case studies and other qualitative research as well. On the other hand, cross-cultural psychology applies quantitative measures that have been standardized, enabling a rigorous data set. When these two methods are combined, it is possible to better understand the experiences of individuals living in complex societies, particularly immigrant societies, multiracial communities, and communities that exhibit wide diversity in other demographic areas such as income or educational attainment. An ongoing research project in New Zealand called the Pacific Islands Family Study has provided a huge data set that researchers in multiple fields can access. Cross-cultural psychologists can use the Pacific Islands Family Study to test hypotheses like those in the study by Borrows, et al. (2011), which investigates the relationship between material acculturation and infant health risk indicators among Pacific immigrants in New Zealand. The study focuses on acculturation and enculturation as being psychologically protective, as the authors find that strong identification and close ties with Pacific Island culture is associated with more positive outcomes for both mothers and their infant children than strong assimilators or people who choose a more marginalized life.

The Borrows et al. (2011) research also incorporates Berry's classical acculturation model, which shows that acculturation is "bi-directional," and not simply a matter of a dominant culture being "imposed upon" and thereby erasing a minority culture (p. 4). Moreover, the Berry theory of acculturation shows why absolute assimilation through identification with the dominant


Identity formation and socialization are possible areas that an individual may struggle with if ties to their community of origin are weak. On the other hand, when individuals retain strong ties to their community of origin via language and other core elements of culture, outcomes will be stronger. The "melting pot" ideal may not be psychologically beneficial to all parties, as a strong alignment to one's culture(s) of origin mitigates some of the stress that may accompany the experience of migration and assimilation (Borrows, et al., 2011, p. 4). Migration in all cases is a "significant life event" that inevitably impacts "subsequent health behavior and outcomes," (Borrows, et al., 2011, p. 4). The Borrows et al. (2011) research focuses on the Pacific Islands immigrant communities in New Zealand to show how specific health behavior and outcomes, ie. infant health, are linked to acculturation patterns.

Although the Borrows et al. (2011) research uses the methodologies more closely associated with cross-cultural psychology than cultural psychology, the paper does reveal the relationships between these two fields. For one, Praslova (2008) points out "cross-cultural psychology tends to deal with static aspects of culture, while cultural and indigenous psychology approaches are more interested in cultural dynamics," (p. 1). The Borrows et al. (2011) research transcends both these definitions to highlight assimilation and acculturation patterns and trends. Praslova (2008) also notes, "cross-cultural psychology typically compares two or more cultures on a number of variables to discover similarities and differences in psychological functioning, while cultural psychology aims to understand how human mind and culture define and constitute each other within sociocultural contexts," (p. 1). In the case of the Borrows et al. (2011)…

Sources Used in Documents:


Borrows, W. et al. (2011). Pacific Islands family study: The association of infant health risk indicators. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 42(5): 699-724.

Cherry, K. (n.d.). What is cross-cultural psychology? About Education. Retrieved online:

Praslova, L. (2008).Cross-cultural and cultural psychology: Are there curricular differences? Poster to be presented at the III International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology, July 12-16, St. Petersburg, Russia

Ratner, C. (2011). Cultural psychology and cross-cultural psychology. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture 2(1).

Cite this Document:

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"Ethnographic Cross Cultural Psychology And Cultural Psychology", 17 October 2015, Accessed.23 January. 2022,

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