Cultural Psychology 2729

Course Objectives

The course will give students an introduction to cultural psychology as a science. Students will acquire an understanding of the universal aspects of human behaviour and mental processes, and how culture affects the personality of an individual. Mastering crises, stress and catastrophes are among the topics addressed in this context. This will make the course relevant to students with respect to developing their own abilities. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to apply the course credits towards a degree at university college/ university level.

Course Description

Cultural psychology is a subject that focuses on the individual’s thoughts, emotional life and attitudes. In keeping with this perspective, we will discuss the degree to which there are universal aspects in people’s psychological development, normal and abnormal behaviour and whether some variables are independent of culture. This will provide a cross-cultural and comparative approach to the topics. Based on classical studies and newer research on Indonesia, the culture of Bali will be examined through specific examples. Emotions and cognition (thought) will be examined in this context. The course will also address crisis management in relation to stress, natural catastrophes, war and terror. Individuals have varying ways of mastering crises. A situation which is handled constructively by one individual may have a destructive effect on another. We all have ways of reacting to situations which feel overwhelming or which threaten our lives. Altruism and aggression are critical concepts in this situation. The various aspects of cultural psychology will be treated in relation to each other.

Reading List:

Hundeide, K. (2003): Barns livsverden: Kulturelle rammer for barns

utvikling. Cappelen. Pages: 226. ISBN: 82-02-21788-1. Price: NOK 275.

Rogoff, B. (2003): The Cultural Nature of Human Development. Harvard

University Press. Pages c. 350. ISBN: 0195131339. Price: NOK 358.

Saljø, R. (2000): Læring i praksis. Universitetsforlaget, Oslo. Pages: 276.

ISBN: 82-02-19917-4. Price: NOK 288.

Thorsen, K. & Toverud, R. (2002): Kulturpsykologi. Universitetsforlaget,

Oslo. Pages: 224. ISBN: 82-518-4007-4. Price: NOK 299.

Wikan, Unni (1990): Managing Turbulent Hearts. A Balinese Formula for

Living. The University of Chicago Press. Pages c. 350. ISBN: 0226896803.

Price: c. NOK 300.

Learning Methods

Lectures and seminars. The course will take place over 12 weeks. The student must expect to work hard and actively participate in the lessons. The level and progress of the student will be continuously assessed.

Assessment Methods

The semester essay will count for 40% of the final grade. The final written examination will count for 60%. Students must receive passing grades on both in order to receive a passing grade for the course. The final course grade will be between A and F, and E is the lowest passing grade.

Minor adjustments may occur during the academic year, subject to the decision of the Dean

Publisert av / forfatter Ian Harkness <>, last modified Kristin Midtbø - 03/02/2011