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In: An Invitation to Cultural Psychology

Chapter 2: What Is Culture? And Why Human Psychology Needs to Be Cultural?

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What Is Culture? And Why Human Psychology Needs to Be Cultural?
What is culture? And why human psychology needs to be cultural?

Culture is ephemeral. It is everywhere, and yet we cannot point to it. We feel we know what it is, yet we fail to define it. We can intelligently talk about it, yet it is never quite clear what we are talking about. It is one of the great enigmatic inventions of Occidental history. It is even not too old an invention. As such, discourses about culture emerge in the context of European history, in encounters with people of other backgrounds and activities where the knowing of differences of the Self from the Other(s)—trading trips, pilgrimages, and military conquests—was crucial for ways of living.

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