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Race, ethnicity and culture

The turn to culture

Lindsay O’Dell, Guida de Abreu and Sarah O’Toole look at the role of culture in psychology.

18 March 2004

World events since 11 September 2001 have brought the need for understanding of cultural difference to the fore. Psychologists have a major part to play addressing issues such as identity, belongingness and culture in the light of globalisation, mass migration and mass communication. Interest within psychology in 'culture' is both a newly emerging area of psychology, known as cultural psychology, and a long-established tradition, known as cross-cultural psychology. In this article we will outline ways in which culture has been theorised in psychology, and examine the tensions and dialogues between different approaches to studying psychology in a culturally sensitive way.

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