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Universalism without Uniformity

Explorations in Mind and Culture

One of the major questions of cultural psychology is how to take diversity seriously while acknowledging our shared humanity. This collection, edited by Julia L. Cassaniti and Usha Menon, brings together leading scholars in the field to reconsider that question and explore the complex mechanisms that connect culture and the human mind.
The contributors to Universalism without Uniformity offer tools for bridging silos that have historically separated anthropology’s attention to culture and psychology’s interest in universal mental processes. Throughout, they seek to answer intricate yet fundamental questions about why we are motivated to find meaning in everything around us and, in turn, how we constitute the cultural worlds we inhabit through our intentional involvement in them. Laying bare entrenched disciplinary blind spots, this book offers a trove of insights on issues such as morality, emotional functioning, and conceptions of the self across cultures. Filled with impeccable empirical research coupled with broadly applicable theoretical reflections on taking psychological diversity seriously, Universalism without Uniformity breaks new ground in the study of mind and culture. 

336 pages | 1 line drawing, 9 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2017

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Culture Studies


"Universalism without Uniformity is a powerful homage to Richard A. Shweder’s generative work in cultural psychology. . . the chapters provide rich and varied perspectives. . . The volume reminds us of the predominantly nonmedicalized roots of this field, while beginning to engage with current significant issues in medical anthropology."

Medical Anthropology Quarterly

"Universalism without Uniformity offers a rich survey across various ethnographic and cultural realities with the aim of understanding how to combine mind and culture in social research. Through various lenses, approaches, and types of empirical research, the contributors illuminate how culture matters in the human mind’s functioning and how engaging meaningfully with cultural differences is becoming of greater importance not only for psychology and anthropology but for the social sciences in general."

American Ethnologist

Universalism without Uniformity brings together a diverse group of scholars who reach across a truly remarkable interdisciplinary range of cultural psychology. Together, they examine the impressive impact cultural psychology has had on a broad spectrum of analytic interests, all the while deploying a variety of methodologies to explore the historical, social, political, and cultural configuration of so-called ‘mental’ processes, faculties, and contents. Of considerable theoretical and practical importance, this book will engage a broad audience of scholars in psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and beyond.”

Jason Throop, University of California

Universalism without Uniformity is a cornucopia of intriguing examples of research on emotions, mental health, child-rearing, and morality from psychological anthropology and cultural psychology. The distinctive contribution of this volume lies in its mix of theoretical and methodological approaches, which illuminate different ways of thinking about what culture is and what it means to say that culture and psyche are ‘co-constitutive’.”

Claudia Strauss, Pitzer College

Table of Contents


Introduction: Universalism without Uniformity
Usha Menon and Julia Cassaniti

Part I: Breaking Down Barriers through the Study of Culture in the Study of Mind

One / Challenging Developmental Doctrines through Cross-Cultural Research
Robert A. LeVine

Two / How Cultural Psychology Can Help Us See “Divinity” in a Secular World
Jonathan Haidt and Paul Rozin

Three / Beyond Universal Taxonomic Frameworks in Cultural Social Psychology
Joan G. Miller

Four / From Value to Lifeworld
Roy D’Andrade

Part II: Psychological Processes across Culture: One Mind, Many Mentalities

Section 1: Emotion: A Multiplicity of Feeling

Five / “Kama Muta” or “Being Moved by Love”: A Bootstrapping Approach to the Ontology and Epistemology of an Emotion
Alan P. Fiske, Thomas Schubert, and Beate Seibt

Six / Unsettling Basic States: New Directions in the Cross-Cultural Study of Emotion
Julia Cassaniti

Seven / Rasa and the Cultural Shaping of Human Consciousness
Usha Menon

Section 2: Intersubjectivity: Social Trust, Interpersonal Attachment, and Agency

Eight / The Socialization of Social Trust: Cultural Pluralism in Understanding Attachment and Trust in Children
Thomas S. Weisner

Nine / An Attachment-Theoretical Approach to Religious Cognition
Charles W. Nuckolls

Part III: Implications of Psychological Pluralism for a Multicultural World: “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

Section 1: Challenges to the Modern Nation-State: Globalization’s Impact on Morality, Identity, and the Person

Ten / Acculturation, Assimilation, and the “View from Manywheres” in the Hmong Diaspora
Jacob R. Hickman

Eleven / Vexed Tolerance: Cultural Psychology on Multiculturalism
Pinky Hota

Twelve / Equality, Not Special Protection: Multiculturalism, Feminism, and Female Circumcision in Western Liberal Democracies
Fuambai Ahmadu

Section 2: Mental Health: Variations in Healthy Minds across Cultures

Thirteen / Cultural Psychology and the Globalization of Western Psychiatric Practices
Randall Horton

Fourteen / Toward a Cultural Psychology of Trauma and Trauma-Related Disorders
Byron Good and Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good

Fifteen / The Risky Cartography of Drawing Moral Maps: With Special Reference to Economic Inequality and Sex-Selective Abortion
Richard A. Shweder


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