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Macro Cultural PsychologyA Political Philosophy of Mind$
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Carl Ratner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195373547

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195373547.001.0001

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Philosophical and historical underpinnings of macro cultural psychology

Philosophical and historical underpinnings of macro cultural psychology

1 Philosophical and historical underpinnings of macro cultural psychology
Macro Cultural Psychology

Carl Ratner

Oxford University Press

This chapter elucidates the historical background to macro cultural psychology in the work of Vygotsky, Bronfenbrenner, Shweder, Durkheim, Marx, and the human sciences of the 18th century. The chapter also articulates the concept that culture and psychology are systems of dialectically interrelated factors. Culture is a system of cultural factors; psychology is a system of psychological elements. Systems are unified and consistent. This contrasts with interaction of disparate elements. Systems theory means that understanding one element requires understanding the system of which it is a part. Elements are functional for a system. Changing an element requires changing its formative and supportive system. Different approaches to psychology can be compared in terms of the philosophical assumptions they employ to address key issues.

Keywords:   system, history, understanding an element, changing an element, interaction, function, approaches to psychology

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