Symposium 4. "Culture" in Introductory Psychology Texts: A 20-year Follow-up
A detailed and systematic analysis of how culture, ethnicity, diversity and related concepts are presented in introductory psychology texts is currently underway and should be completed by July 2008. Titled the Introductory Psychology Text (IPT) project, the main intent is to complete a quasi-replication of the initial study done 20 years ago. That study involved a systematic analysis of cultural coverage in 35 of the most widely used introductory psychology texts during 1986-88. The study was Elke Rumpel’s (now Murdock) master’s thesis. The main goal in the current follow-up project is to assess the nature and extent of changes in the treatment of culture and related terms that have occurred during the past two decades. To accomplish this goal, we have made a detailed analysis of 40 English-language introductory psychology texts. As in the initial study, the texts were designed primarily for use in the extremely large U.S. college and university market (but they have been used frequently in other countries). The quasi-replication is being enhanced by other analyses not done in the original study. The major enhancements to be reported and discussed include similar studies being done in other countries (Germany and India, for example) as well as large specialty subfields within psychology. In the latter case, an analysis of ten currently used U.S.-based social psychology texts was accomplished. Of additional interest is a parallel survey, and also a 20-year follow-up, of relatively new but quite active cross-cultural psychologists regarding what they currently think should be covered in introductory texts. Together, these analyses will document how “culture” is handled in the current generation of basic psychology texts. Implications for the teaching of psychology in a broad spectrum of countries, especially with respect to the treatment of “culture” and related concepts, will be the central theme of the symposium.
Individual Paper Abstracts
“CULTURAL” CONTENT IN INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY TEXTS: A 1988 – 2008 CONTRAST
“CULTURE” IN INTRODUCTORY PSYCHOLOGY TEXTS: THE GERMAN EXAMPLE
THE TREATMENT OF CULTURE IN AMERICAN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY TEXTBOOKS
© 2008 Victor Karandashev