Carl Ratner's new book deepens our understanding of psychology by emphasizing the role that cultural factors, such as social institutions, artifacts, and cultural concepts play in psychological functioning. The author demonstrates the impact of culture on stimulating and structuring emotion, personality, perception, cognition, memory, sexuality, and mental illness. Examples from interdisciplinary social science research illuminate a sophisticated dialectical relationship between cultural factors and psychological phenomena. Written in an engaging style, the book articulates a new theory, "macro cultural psychology", and a qualitative methodology for investigating the cultural origins, characteristics, and functions of psychological phenomena. Ratner explains how this cultural perspective can be used to enhance psychological growth, illuminate directions for social reform, and how social reform can enhance psychological functioning, and vice versa. Cultural Psychology critically examines several prominent psychological approaches including social constructionism, feminism, hermeneutics, psychobiology, evolutionary, cross-cultural, ecological, and mainstream psychology. The book articulates a theory of macro culture that emphasizes the political dimension of culture and psychology. Intended for students, researchers, and practitioners in psychology, education, psychotherapy, history, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, and policy makers and practitioners in public health and social service who are interested in understanding cultural aspects of psychology. The book is an appropriate text for courses in cross-cultural or community psychology, social work, social theory, and critical thinking.
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