Always Separate, Always Connected: Independence and by Catherine Raeff

By Catherine Raeff

Lately, there was a proliferation of theoretical and empirical scholarship on how problems with human separateness, or independence, and problems with human connectedness, or interdependence, are performed out in diversified cultural contexts. regardless of contract at the price of realizing tradition and improvement when it comes to independence and interdependence, many matters stay open for persevered theoretical refinement and empirical research. This booklet offers a clean conceptualization which holds that independence and interdependence are multifaceted and inseparable dimensions of human functioning that could be outlined and enacted otherwise in several cultures. hence, the present process debts for the basic separateness and connectedness of all people in a fashion that's either universally appropriate and culturally delicate. according to this conceptual procedure, the point of interest of this article is to delineate how various independence and interdependence matters are interrelated in the course of improvement in culturally distinctive methods. In doing so, the booklet bargains a conceptual method that strikes cultural and developmental analyses past investigating no matter if a few cultures price independence or interdependence roughly than others, to investigating how either independence and interdependence are construed and particularized in the course of improvement around the globe. regularly Separate, regularly hooked up: Independence and Interdependence in Cultural Contexts of improvement can be of curiosity to quite a lot of developmentalists in psychology, schooling, kinfolk reports, anthropology, and sociology. furthermore, the publication might serve complex undergraduates, in addition to graduate scholars in those diverse disciplines. it could even be of curiosity to social welfare practitioners, equivalent to scientific psychologists, tips counselors, and social employees.

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In addition to these feminist trends, the 1980s saw the conservative independence-oriented policies of the Reagan years. The late 1970s and early 1980s also saw a waning of the liberal social activism of the 1960s that emphasized cooperation and promoting collective goals. Taken together, the time was ripe for a way to overcome patterns of self-interest, competition, and Western domination in psychology by pointing to an alternative cultural model of human functioning. MOVING BEYOND DICHOTOMOUS CONCEPTIONS OF INDEPENDENCE AND INTERDEPENDENCE However, in the context of increasingly apparent limitations, calls to look beyond dichotomous conceptions of independence and interdependence have been advanced, and initial attempts to do so involved presenting empirical examples (some of which have already been discussed in this chapter) of independence in so-called interdependence cultures and of interdependence in so-called independence cultures.

In my reading, this book and its accompanying videotape showed how children in a typical American preschool often congregate in one group and engage in common activities that are led by the teacher. Moreover, varied analyses (discussed later in this volume in chap. 5) indicate how American education is characterized by whole-class instruction, whereby the teacher lectures to the class as a whole, with little opportunity for children to contribute as individuals to their own learning. Finally, with regard to contrasting living with human companions to living with cats or dogs, it may indeed be the case that house pets are more common in some cultures than in others, but having house pets does not preclude living with others or valuing human companionship.

For example, with regard to independence in the American case, already in 1916 John Dewey commented that philosophers were basically mistaking THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS, PART 1 27 individualism “as an assertion that each individual’s mind was complete in isolation from everything else” (1916/1997, p. 305). We have also seen how in 1981 Waterman pointed out the practical impossibility of selfcontainment. In 1983, Turiel (1983/1985) cautioned developmentalists against unidimensionally dividing the world up into cultures of independence and interdependence.

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