Chapter 1: Introduction Next Chapter

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The terms cultural, cross-cultural and multicultural have sometimes been used interchangeably in the field of psychology. In order to understand the constructs, it is first useful to consider the definition of culture. Following the lead of cultural anthropology, we prefer to distinguish our working definition of culture as “a learned, socially transmitted, symbolically based mechanism for survival, which, like other phenomena of our universe, has order or pattern. … a system of learned and socially transmitted ideas, sentiments, social arrangements, and objects” (Gamst & Norbeck, 1976, p. 6). Whereas the term cultural has been used to refer to specific racial groups, the use of cross-cultural in mental health and psychology research typically refer to the study of similarities and differences across different cultural groups ...

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