Publications of the Society for Psychological Anthropology

Culture, Mind, and Society Series
Palgrave MacMillan 


Attachment Reconsidered: Cultural Perspectives on a Western Theory – Quinn and Mageo
Chinese Modernity and the Individual Psyche – Kipnis
Dreaming Culture: Meanings, Models, and Power in U.S. American Dreams – Mageo
Subjectivity and Suffering in American Culture – Parish
A Study of Personal and Cultural Values – D’Andrade
Finding Culture in Talk – Quinn, ed.
Becoming Muslim – McGinty
American Individualisms – Kusserow


Cambridge University Press Series


Power and the Self – Mageo, ed.
The Psychology of Cultural Experience – Moore & Matthews, eds.
Cultures Under Siege – Robben & Suarez-Orozco, eds.
Biocultural Approaches to the Emotions – Hinton, ed.
A Cognitive Theory of Cultural Meaning – Strauss & Quinn
Psychological Anthropology Reconsidered – Ingham
Latah in Southeast Asia – Winzler
Culture and Human Development – Whiting, ed.
Language and Self-Transformation – Stromberg
Sex and Gender Hierarchies – Miller, ed.
New Directions in Psychological Anthropology – Schwartz et al., eds.
Japanese Sense of Self – Rosenberger
Human Motives and Cultural Models – Strauss & D’Andrade, eds.


Palgrave MacMillan Series


9781137386717Attachment Reconsidered: Cultural Perspectives on a Western Theory
SPA Series on Culture, Mind and Society
Edited By Andrew Kipnis
Palgrave Macmillan 2013
ISBN: 978-1-137-38671-7

Attachment theory has massively influenced contemporary psychology. While intended to be general, this western theory harbors a number of culturally biased assumptions and is devoted to decontextualized experimental procedures that fail to challenge this ethnocentrism. The chapters in this volume rethink attachment theory by examining it in the context of local cultural meanings, including the meanings of childrearing practices, the cultural models of virtue that shape those practices, and the translation of shared childhood experience into adult cultural understandings through developmental and psychodynamic processes. The current volume is not only a challenge to attachment theorists, but also an object lesson for psychologists of many other stripes.


Chinese Modernity and the Individual Psyche9781137268952
SPA Series on Culture, Mind and Society
Edited By Andrew Kipnis
Palgrave Macmillan 2012
ISBN: 978-1-137-26895-2

Rapid industrialization, urbanization, and marketization have led to startling social changes in reform-era China. Mindful of the many forms of social theory that relate modernity to individualism, this volume addresses social and cultural change through the lens of psychological anthropology. The contributors explore Chinese modernity through the psychosocial contradictions experienced by artists, dancers, and poets; by mothers and daughters; by school children and migrant workers; the mentally ill, and others. As a whole, the book provides a disturbing but hopeful portrait of Chinese society, an opportunity to rethink the significance of the concept of modernity, and a vivid reminder of the enmeshment of individual psyches in their wider social and cultural environments.

Dreaming Culture: Meanings, Models, and Power in U.S. American Dreams
SPA Series on Culture, Mind and Society
by Jeannette Mageo
Palgrave Macmillan 2011.
ISBN: 023033735X

Dreams seem the most private territory of experience. Yet Dreaming Culture argues they are a space in which we practice, consider, question, and adapt cultural models of the self, gender, sexuality, relationships, and agency. Through an innovative “dream ethnography” from college students in the northwestern U.S., this book contributes to recent research on dreaming and the brain in psychology and continuing research on dreaming and the self in clinical psychology and psychological anthropology. Dreaming Culture uses critical theory to understand power relations embedded in cultural models, a perspective often lacking in cognitive anthropology and in psychological studies of self and mind.
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Subjectivity and Suffering in American Culture: Possible Selves
SPA Series on Culture, Mind and Society
by Steven Parish
Palgrave Macmillan 2008.
ISBN: 0230605389

This book explores the experience of suffering in order to shed light on the nature of the human self. Using an intimate life history approach, it examines ways people struggle to cope with experiences that can shatter their lives: a diagnosis of cancer, the death of a spouse, a parent’s mental illness. The volume takes readers deep into private worlds of suffering in American culture, and invites reflection on what the subjectivity of suffering tells us about being human. Addressing universal themes in a way that fully recognizes the individuality of those who experience a personal crisis, Parish shows how individuals personalize the cultural and psychological resources in which they find their possible selves.
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A Study of Personal and Cultural Values: American, Japanese, and Vietnamese
SPA Series on Culture, Mind and Society
by Roy D’Andrade
Palgrave Macmillan 2008.
ISBN: 0230602991

This study analyzes American, Vietnamese, and Japanese personal values, attempting to understand how it can be ethnographers find large differences in values between cultures, yet empirical surveys find relatively small differences in personal values between cultures. D’Andrade argues that people live in two distinct value worlds; the world of personal values and the world of institutionalized values. Assessing these value worlds, D’Andrade is able to explain the contrast between ethnography and survey data, while making vital commentary on American, Vietnamese, and Japanese culture. With insight and precision, this book contributes to the important debate that the Culture, Mind, and Society series has initiated.
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Finding Culture in Talk: A Collection of Methods
SPA Series on Culture, Mind and Society
edited by Naomi Quinn
Palgrave Macmillan 2005.
ISBN: 1403969159

This edited collection presents a range of heretofore unpublished, unavailable methods for the systematic reconstruction of culture from interviews and other discourse. Authors set the design and evolution of their methods in the context of their own research projects, and draw general lessons about investigating culture through discourse. These methods have largely grown out of the work of the cultural models school, and represent the approaches of some of the very best methodologists in cultural anthropology today. An impetus for the volume has been inquiries from researchers, many of them graduate students, about how to conduct the kind of research that cultural models theorists do. This is not a linguistics book; unlike approaches to discourse analysis from linguistics, this volume focuses on culture, treating discourse as a medium especially rich in clues for cultural analysis, and hence a window into culture.
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Becoming Muslim: Western Women’s Conversions to Islam
SPA Series on Culture, Mind and Society
by Anna Mansson McGinty
Palgrave Macmillan 2006.
ISBN: 1403976112

While Islam has become a controversial topic in the West, a growing number of Westerners find powerful meaning in Islam. Becoming Muslim is an ethnographic study based on in-depth interviews with Swedish and American women who have converted to Islam. Proceeding from the women’s life-stories, the author explores the appeal of Islam to some Western women and the personal meaning assigned to the religion. While conversion is often perceived as entailing a dramatic change in worldview, the women’s experiences point to an equally important continuity. Notably, the conversion is triggered by particular personal ideas and quests, and within Islam the women can further explore already salient thoughts. The work appeals to students in the fields of anthropology, religious studies, psychology, and women’s studies, interested in identity, conversion, and gender.
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American Individualisms: Child Rearing and Social Class in Three Neighborhoods
SPA Series on Culture, Mind and Society
by Adrie Kusserow
Palgrave Macmillan 2004.
ISBN: 1403964807

What are hard and soft individualisms? In this detailed ethnography of three communities in Manhattan and Queens, Kusserow interviews parents and teachers (from wealthy to those on welfare) on the types of hard and soft individualisms they encourage in their children and students. American Individualisms explores the important issue of class differences in the socialization of individualism in America. It presents American individualism not as one single homogeneous, stereotypic life-pattern as often claimed to be, but as variable, class-differentiated models of individualism instilled in young children by their parents and preschool teachers in Manhattan and Queens. By providing rich descriptions of the situational, class-based individualisms that take root in communities with vastly different visions of the future, Kusserow brings social inequality back into previously bland and generic discussions of American individualism.

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Cambridge University Press Series

Power and the SelfPower and the Self
SPA Publication No. 13
edited by Jeanette Mageo
Cambridge University Press, 2001.
ISBN: 0521004608

This edited volume deals with an important but neglected topic–the ways in which power is experienced by individuals, as agents as well as objects of the exercise of power. Each contributor presents a series of case studies drawn from a variety of cultural contexts. These include a chapter on the treatment of patients in American nursing homes, the plight of immigrant Turkish women in the Netherlands, and one contribution that relates theories about the capacity to commit genocidal violence to “everyday forms of violence”.

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Psychology of Cultural ExperienceThe Psychology of Cultural Experience
SPA Publication No. 12
edited by Carmella C. Moore & Holly F. Matthews
Cambridge University Press, available August 2001.
ISBN: 0521005523

The essays in this volume focus upon the relationship of individual experience to culture, and chart a new research agenda for psychological anthropology in the twenty-first century. Drawing upon fieldwork in diverse cultural settings, the authors use a range of contemporary perspectives in the field, including person-centred ethnography, activity theory, attachment theory and cultural schema theory, to describe the ways in which people think, feel, remember, and solve problems. Fascinating insights emerge from these fine-grained accounts of personal experience. The research demonstrates that it is possible to identify cross-cultural universals in psychological development and mental states, and that individual psychology is not determined solely by unique cultural patterns.
from the publisher

Introduction: The Psychology of Cultural Experience
Holly F. Mathews and Carmella C. Moore
Beyond the Binary Opposition in Psychological Anthropology
Drew Westen
Developments in Person-centered Ethnography
Douglas Hollan
Activity Theory and Cultural Psychology
Carl Ratner
The Infant’s Acquisition of Culture
Robert A. LeVine and Karin Norman
The Remembered Past in a Culturally Meaningful Life
Linda C. Garro
The Psychology of Consensus in a Papua New Guinea Christian Revival Movement
Stephen C. Leavitt
God and Self: The Shaping and Sharing of Experience in a Cooperative, Religious Community
Susan Love Brown
Cross-cultural Studies in Language and Thought: Is There a Metalanguage?
Eve Danziger
Comparative Approaches to Psychological Anthropology
Robert L. Munroe and Ruth H. Munroe

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Cultures Under SiegeCultures Under Siege: Collective Violence and Trauma
SPA Publication No. 11
by Antonius C. G. M. Robben and Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco, eds.
Cambridge University Press, 2000.
ISBN: 0521780268

This book is a collection of essays by anthropologists, psychologists, and psychoanalysts, drawing on field research in many different parts of the world. Profiting from an interdisciplinary dialogue, the authors provide provocative, at times deeply troubling, insights into the darker side of humanity, and they also propose new ways of understanding human cruelty and suffering.

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Biocultural Approaches to the Emotions
SPA Publication No. 10
by Alexander Laban Hinton, ed.
Cambridge University Press, 2000.
ISBN: 0521652111

Are emotions given by biology or are they learnt? Are they the same everywhere, or culturally variable? Research on the emotions tends to be polarised between neo-Darwinian and culturalist perspectives. In this volume, biological and cultural anthropologists attempt to transcend the traditional oppositions, proposing various strategies for integrating biological and cultural approaches to the study of emotion. Discussing a variety of fascinating ethnographic examples, topics covered range from the effects of music to the relationships between emotion and respiration. The editor’s introduction lucidly reviews the state of the field.

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A Cognitive Theory of Cultural MeaningA Cognitive Theory of Cultural Meaning
SPA Publication No. 9
by Claudia Strauss and Naomi Quinn
Cambridge University Press, 1998.
ISBN: 052159541X

Anthropologists must draw on modern psychological theories of cognition in order to understand how the shared schemas of a culture are learnt, and come to shape everyday actions and decisions. Claudia Strauss and Naomi Quinn review a range of current psychologic al theories of cultural meaning, many unfamiliar to anthropologists, and formulate a new approach which draws particularly on ‘connectionist’, or ‘neural network’, modelling This is illustrated by original research on understandings of marriage, and ideas of success, in the United States.

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Psychological Anthropology ReconsideredPsychological Anthropology Reconsidered
SPA Publication No. 8
by John M. Ingham
Cambridge University Press, 1996.
ISBN: 0521559189

John M. Ingham reviews recent developments in psychological anthropology and argues for an inclusive approach that finds room for psychoanalytic, dialogical, and social perspectives on personality and culture. The argument is devloped with special refernce to human nature, child development, personality, and menatl disorder, and it draws on studies set in many different cultures. He also shows the relevance of some recent work in psychoanalysis and child development to current concerns in anthropology with agency and rhetoric.

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Latah in Southeast AsiaLatah in Southeast Asia: The History and Ethnography of a Culture-Bound Syndrome
SPA Publication No. 7
by Robert L. Winzeler
Cambridge University Press, 1995.
ISBN: 0521472199

Latah, the Malayan hyperstartle pattern, has fascinated Western observers since the late nineteenth century and is widely regarded as a “culture-bound syndrome”. Dr Winzeler critically reviews the literature on the subject, and presents new ethnographic information based on his own fieldwork in Malaya and Borneo. He considers the biological and psychological hypotheses that have been proposed to account for latah, and explains the ways in which local people understand it. Arguing that latah has specific social functions, he concludes that it should not be treated as an “illness” or “syndrome”.

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Culture and Human Development: The Selected Papers of John Whiting
SPA Publication No. 6
by John Wesley Mayhew Whiting and Eleanor Hollenberg Chasdi, eds.
Cambridge University Press, 1994.
ISBN: 0521435153

John Whining is a leading figure in psychological anthropology and one of the pioneers in the development of systematic cross-cultural research. His work is interdisciplinary and he draws mainly upon the fields of anthropology, psychoanalysis and learning and behavior theory. This book includes some of his most influential articles on culture and human development, as well as a comprehensive autobiographical essay. Roy D’Andrade’s introduction assesses the unique contributions of John Whiting and locates his work within the contemporary currents of psychological anthropology.

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Language and Self-TransformationLanguage and Self-Transformation: A Study of the Christian Conversion Narrative
SPA Publication No. 5
by Peter G. Stromberg
Cambridge University Press, 1993.
ISBN: 0521440777

This is a study of how self-transformation may occur through the practice of reframing one’s personal experience in terms of a canonical language: that is, a system of symbols that purports to explain something about human beings and the universe they live in. The Christian conversion narrative is used as the primary example here, but the approach used in this book also illuminates other practices such as psychotherapy in which people deal with emotional conflict through language.

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Sex and Gender HierarchiesSex and Gender Hierarchies
SPA Publication No. 4
by Barbara Diane Miller, ed.
Cambridge University Press, 1993.
ISBN: 0521423686

A generation of feminist research has explored the extent to which the roles – and expectations – of women and men vary across cultures. In this volume, leading anthropologists reflect on the evidence and theories, broadening the conventional field of comparison to include female/male relationships among non-human primates and introducing fresh case studies which range from lemurs to hominids, from Japanese peasants to male strippers in Florida, from skeletal remains of a Korean queen to mother/child conversations in Samoa. They document the rich and often surprising diversity in sex and gender hierarchies among both humans and non-human primates.

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New Directions in Psychological AnthropologyNew Directions in Psychological Anthropology 
SPA Publication No. 3
by Theodore Schwartz, Geoffrey M. White, and Catherine A. Lutz, eds.
Cambridge University Press, 1993.
ISBN: 052142609X

The contributors to this state-of-the-art collection are prominent figures in psychological anthropology, and they write about recent developments in this field. Psychological anthropology’s present scope includes the psychology of cognition and affect, to which it has made substantial contributions.

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Japanese Sense of SelfJapanese Sense of Self 
SPA Publication No. 2
by Nancy R. Rosenberger
Cambridge University Press, 1993.
ISBN: 0521466377

Demonstrating the Japanese ability to reconcile opposition within their community, this presentation of the idea of the self as interactive with society challenges previous simplistic comparisons between Western individualism and non-Western collectivism.

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Human Motives and Cultural ModelsHuman Motives and Cultural Models 
SPA Publication No. 1
by Roy G. D’Andrade and Claudia Strauss, eds.
Cambridge University Press, 1992.
ISBN: 0521423384

This volume seeks to integrate knowledge, desire, and action in a single explanatory framework. A full understanding of human action requires an understanding of what motivatespeople to do what they do. Typically, human motivation has been modeled on animal behavior, resulting in an insufficient appreciation of the role of culture in human motivation. Developed from research in cognitive anthropology on cultural models, through which human realities are constructed and interpreted, this study of human motivation also draws upon developmental psychology, and psychoanalytic and social theory.

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