Culture and Psychology: Conceptual, Investigative and Methodological Strategies - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Culture and Psychology: Conceptual, Investigative and Methodological Strategies PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 2dd99-MDNiY


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Culture and Psychology: Conceptual, Investigative and Methodological Strategies


... (1986), Writing Culture; Marcus & Fisher, (1986) Anthropology as Cultural ... (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) Grounded Theory: Basic ideas ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:339
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 112
Provided by: jimne6
Learn more at:


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Culture and Psychology: Conceptual, Investigative and Methodological Strategies

Culture and PsychologyConceptual, Investigative
and Methodological Strategies
  • James M. Nelson
  • Department of Psychology
  • Valparaiso University

Presentation Overview
  • Conceptual issues the nature of culture
  • Definitions
  • History and current role of culture studies in
  • Traditional approaches and critique
  • Investigative issues
  • the scientific epistemological cycle
  • cross-cultural vs. cultural psychology paradigms
  • emic vs. etic strategies

Overview (cont.)
  • Methodological issues
  • quantitative approaches and limitations
  • qualitative approaches
  • Quantitative example
  • Qualitative example
  • Conclusions and further directions
  • Appendix Specific qualitative approaches
  • Bibliography
  • Notes at

Conceptual IssuesThe Nature of Culture
  • Widely varying uses of the term culture in
    Western scholarship (see e.g. Tanner, 1997)
  • Originally related to aesthetics
  • Changed and broadened with birth of Anthropology
    in 19th century
  • E.B. Tylor (1871) Culture or Civilization,
    taken in its wide ethnographic sense, is that
    complex whole which includes knowledge, belief,
    art, morals, law, custom, and any other
    capabilities and habits acquired by man as a
    member of society

Definitions (cont.)
  • Change to meaning-construction and symbolic
    action with Clifford Geertz
  • Believing with Max Weber, that man is an animal
    suspended in webs of significance he himself has
    spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the
    analysis of it to be therefore not an
    experimental science in search of law but an
    interpretive one in search of meaning. (Geertz,
    1973, p. 5).
  • Possibly more popular outside of Anthropology
    than within attacked by both traditional and
    postmodern anthropologists.

Definitions (cont.)
  • Overall we can say that culture is a matrix of
    things that
  • is helpful in understanding the behavior of
    groups and individuals within the group
  • includes internal characteristics like beliefs
    and values
  • includes external things like behavior,
    practices, rituals and physical artifacts
  • emphasizes social/interpersonal relationality and
    meaning-making as human characteristics
  • has a profound interrelationship with language

Definitions (cont.)
  • Study of culture has used different metaphors
    examples include
  • Early American historical particularists (e.g.
    Franz Boas) and British functionalists (e.g.
    Bronislaw Malinowski) and Salvage Ethnography
  • British social anthropology (e.g. E.E.
    Evans-Pritchard) and Cultural Translation
  • Later American anthropology (e.g. Margaret Mead,
    George Marcus Michael Fischer) and Cultural
  • Postmodern anthropology (e.g. Stephen Tyler) and
    Interreferential Dialogue

History of the Culture Conceptin Psychology
  • Prior to 1960s, mostly only a little work by
    social psychologists
  • In 1960s development of two movements
  • Cross-cultural psychology, with focus on culture
    in international context, fueled by
  • proliferation of work outside of US
  • expansion of interest outside social psychology
    to clinical/psychiatric, educational and I/O
  • Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (1970)
  • Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry (1977)
  • Ethnic psychology, with focus on culture and race
    in US, fueled by domestic concerns (civil rights,

History (cont.)
  • Work in psychology begun at a time when old
    paradigms in anthropology were being reworked but
    modernist/objectivist assumptions were largely
  • some new writers like Geertz (Interpretation of
    Cultures, 1973) or Levi-Strauss (Structural
    Anthropology, 1963), or the cognitive
    anthropologists (e.g. Ward Goodenough) espoused
    views of culture that were in part compatible
    with psychological approaches

History (cont.)
  • cultural ecology (e.g. Marvin Harris) was a
    prominent theory in American anthropology, which
    was oriented toward the etic approach and
    influenced some psychologists (e.g. John Ogbu in
    early 1980s)
  • postmodern questioning of reflexivity/subjectivity
    in anthropology didnt really begin until the
    writings of James Clifford and George Marcus
    (e.g. Clifford Marcus (1986), Writing Culture
    Marcus Fisher, (1986) Anthropology as Cultural
    Critique) this now dominates mainstream
    anthropology and has had some more recent
    influence in psychology (e.g. Shweder, 1991 or
    Ratner, 1997 cultural psychology)

Current Role of Culture in Psychology Why Study
  • Changes in makeup of the American population and
    corresponding mental health needs have increased
    need for study and clinical training in
    culture-related issues
  • Integration in clinical training programs
  • Large recent immigration has opened dialogue
    between cross-cultural and ethnic studies

Current Role (cont.)
  • Globalization has vastly increased the number and
    visibility of psychologists outside of North
  • Numerous international associations and journals
  • Largely based on Western methods and issues (e.g.
    organizational psychology, but some indigenous

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
Traditional Views of Culture in Psychology
  • Culture as national group studying culture
    studying Chinese, Native Americans etc.
  • Culture as monolithic entity a cultural
    description involves fundamental beliefs and
    practices held by all members of the group
  • Culture as crisp set (Valsiner, 2000) cultures
    are clearly defined and not intermixed
  • Culture as static entity cultural features are
    relatively unchanging

Critique of Traditional View
  • Culture as group
  • This view promote simple group comparisons, which
    easily find differences but provide no helpful
    explanation or understanding of the differences
  • Alternative culture is a system or cluster of
    systems related to meaning, thought and behavior
    the systems should be the variables, not the
    group thus simple descriptive group comparisons
    are not as useful as complex inferential or rich
    thick descriptive models

Critique (cont.)
  • Culture as monolithic entity within group
    variance is greater than between group variance
    in many cases
  • Culture as crisp set cultures have complex
    intermixing due to globalization they are fuzzy
    sets (Valsiner)
  • Culture as static entity situation undergoing
    constant change--culture can be seen as
    adaptation of a group to a set of social and
    environmental circumstances

Investigative Issues
Investigative IssuesSection Overview
  • The scientific epistemological cycle
  • Investigative approaches in culture research
  • Cross-cultural psychology
  • Cultural psychology
  • Types of Studies
  • Emic and etic
  • The Cultural Quadrilateral

Scientific epistemological cycle
  • Data
  • --induction to
  • Theory and Model
  • --specification to
  • Hypotheses
  • --deductive testing with
  • Data

Scientific Cycle (cont.)
  • Important issue empiricism
  • Science is empirical so we ultimately base our
    conclusions about the world on data
  • All parts of the cycle are important but not
    always used
  • the process of an inductive openness to the data
    in the creation of our theories is weak in
  • can produce misleading or trivial results
  • the deductive process of specification and
    hypothesis testing is weak in anthropology
  • Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa (1928) vs.
  • Derek Freeman, Margaret Mead and Samoa (1983)

Scientific Cycle (cont.)
  • Important issues quantification
  • Since Galileo, science has sought mathematical
    models to help understand the world, in part
    because these models best facilitate the goals of
    prediction and control
  • A mathematically based process of inquiry is
    naturally more open to quantitative methods of
  • However, some parts of the research process (e.g.
    induction from data) may require non-mathematical
    approaches for their full treatment
  • Mathematical models have other limitations, e.g.
    dont address issues of meaning, context

Investigative Approachesin Culture Research
  • Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • concerns the explanation of differences--and
    sometimes similarities--in the behavior of people
    belonging to different cultures using the
    scientific method as practiced in psychology
  • focus on the individual in group context
  • different methodology (deductive, quantitative)
    from sociology (theory focused), anthropology
    (description focused)

Investigative Approaches (cont.)
  • Cultural psychology
  • the study of the way cultural traditions and
    social practices regulate, express, and transform
    the human psyche, resulting less in psychic unity
    for humankind than in ethnic divergences in mind,
    self, and emotion. (Shweder, 1991, p. 73)
  • Impossible to separate sociocultural environment
    and the individuals process of deriving meaning,
    so the independent, objective investigator cannot

Types of Studies
  • Emic vs. etic (Ken Pike, anthropological
    linguistics) ontology of culture
  • Emic models view behavior as culture-specific
    behavior must be understood in the context of a
    particular culture
  • Etic models view behavior as universal behavior
    must be understood in comparison to other
  • Objective vs. subjective epistemology of
    culture studies
  • Objective models assume an independent observer
  • Subjective models assume the observer is embedded
    in culture

Types of Studies (cont.)
  • Thus, four approaches (or combinations thereof)
    are possible, all of which can be productive,
    especially at certain points in the scientific
    knowledge cycle
  • Objective cross-cultural (cross-cultural
    psychology model) traditional positivist,
    scientific testing of group differences
  • Example Costa McCraes 5-factor personality
  • Objective single-culture (cross-cultural
    psychology model) traditional positivist,
    systemic modeling
  • Examples Cheungs theory of Chinese personality
    structure quite a bit of indigenous
    psychological theory

Types of Studies (cont)
  • Subjective single-culture (cultural psychology
    model) cultural understanding, appreciation of
  • Example Shweder et al.s study on the cultural
    relativity of middle age as a developmental phase
    (Shweder, 1998) in some ways, McAdams work on
    narrative and personality (e.g. McAdams, 1993).
  • Subjective cross-cultural (postmodern
    anthropology) dialogue, increased understanding
    of other and self
  • Example Hard to find in psychology in
    psychological anthropology, Lutz (1988) on Ifaluk
    emotions in Micronesia and Western societies

Methodological Issues
Methodological Issues Section Overview
  • Quantitative methods Practical issues
  • Objects of study
  • Methodological problems and bias
  • Interpretive problems
  • Quantitative methods Theoretical critique
  • Qualitative methods

Quantitative MethodsObjects of Study
  • Construct (hypothetical) a phenomenon that is
    important for the understanding of human
    behavior which cannot be directly observed.
  • Universe--set of conditions for observation or
    items of measurement, usually indicated by the
    hypothetical construct
  • Populations--larger groups of people that are the
    ultimate object of interest

Quantitative MethodsMethodological Problems
  • See van de Vijver Leung (1997)
  • Many methodological problems in quantitative
    culture research revolve around the problem of
    Bias--when a study because of design, measurement
    or sampling problems, is destined to find
    differences when none occur (or to find no
    differences when differences actually exist).
  • Leads to incorrect interpretation of results
  • Can lead to adverse affects on individuals

Methodological Problems (cont.)
  • Types of bias
  • Stimulus--study does not collect a representative
    sample of behaviors from the universe, e.g. using
    a measure of intelligence that only uses timed
  • Methodological--the process of study and
    measurement has a differential effect between
    groups, e.g. interviewer-subject interaction
  • Universe--different groups have different
    behavioral universe, e.g. what may be adaptive
    life skills in two different cultures

Methodological Problems (cont.)
  • Universe bias can be caused if the universe(s) in
    the study are improperly or incompletely defined
  • Appropriate behaviors that are related to the
    construct of interest must be selected
  • Three types of universe problems
  • Group Equivalence Are they the same (identical
    vs. nonidentical universes)?
  • Sampling How are they sampled (representative
    vs. selected)?
  • Variables selection and measurement What will
    be measured attributes (internal, hypothetical
    constructs) vs repertoire (external)
  • Most common and difficult situation
    nonidentical universes sampled with selective
    measures of attributes

Methodological Problems (cont.)
  • Design (experiment conceptualization/layout) and
    control (excluding external variable) problems
  • Subject Exchangeability--equivalent subject
  • Confounds changing one independent variable
    actually changes more than one independent
    variable, either of which can have an effect on
    the dependent variable, e.g. culture and SES
  • Measurement equivalence do similar behaviors or
    values have the same meaning in each group?

Quantitative ApproachesInterpretive Problems
  • Because of methodological problems, there are
    interpretive problems with most quantitative
    cross-cultural data
  • Classical model same instrument in each culture
  • assumes no bias, differences between groups mean
    differences in the level of the construct in each
    culture this unlikely
  • Contemporary model pilot-tested instrument
  • more defensible than traditional model, but still
    does not verify that constructs are equivalent
  • Emic model different instruments in each
  • less bias, but cant compare groups
  • Adjusted model instrument includes both
  • limits bias to some items, allows group comparison

Quantitative ApproachesTheoretical Critique
  • Carl Ratner (1997). Cultural psychology and
    cultural methodology gives critique of
    quantitative methods in culture studies and
  • General concerns
  • In studying psychological phenomenon, need to
    find a balance between objectivism and
  • Cant just combine, need to objectively analyze
    subjective phenomena this best done with
    qualitative methods
  • Psychological methods dependent on positivism
    (Feigel, Boring, Skinner and Stevens meeting in
    1930) which has been largely discredited outside
    of psychology

Theoretical Critique (cont.)
  • Bases of Methodological positivism
  • 1. Atomism psychological phenomena exist as
    independent variables consisting of discrete
  • Critique Psychological and cultural phenomena
    are complex configurations must understand
    personal and cultural context
  • 2. Quantification psychological phenomena can
    be expressed as numbers that represent their
    strength or degree and that mathematical
    operations on these data reveal some
    psychological significance
  • quantification ignores the psychological
    significance, e.g. do equal frequency counts
    represents the same quality/intensity?
  • implies statistical significance psychological
  • Critique Psychological and cultural phenomena
    are best expressed through extended responses

Theoretical Critique (cont.)
  • 3. Operationalism psychological phenomena can
    be defined as simple, overt behaviors
  • Operational definitions overlook the fact that
    the relationship between psychological activity
    and behavior is variable. Hitting does not
    always express aggression and aggression is not
    always expressed by hitting.
  • questionnaires suffer from same problem as
    behavioral measures
  • Critique Psychological and cultural phenomena
    are primarily mental and have no fixed behavioral
    expression best studied through qualitative
    methods because these are sensitive to meaning
    within a specific event and context

Theoretical Critique (cont.)
  • Cultural character of psychology
  • Psychological phenomena are the subjective
    processes of practical cultural activity, and
    cultural activity is the practical, objectified
    side of psychology phenomena
  • Concepts are the link between culture and
  • Concepts are constructed collectively these
    concepts are cultural and organize psychological
  • Concepts objectify understanding and enable
    communication organize thinking, perception,
  • Behavior as a link between culture and psychology
  • Culture involves activities psychological
    phenomena dependent on these practical social
  • There is a dialectical, reciprocal relationship
    between activity and psychological functioning,
    e.g. strategies

Qualitative Methods
  • Definition (Mason, 2002)
  • Grounded in an interpretive philosophical
    position that sees elements of study existing in
    a complex social world
  • Uses data generation methods that are sensitive
    to the social context and flexible, rather than
    rigidly standardized or structures, or entirely
    abstracted from real life contexts.
  • Uses analytic methods which are holistic,
    sensitive to context and detail quantification
    may be used but statistical analysis is not

Qualitative Methods (cont.)
  • Primary principles
  • Humility there is an assumption the people you
    talk to know more about the topic than you do or
    have a unique knowledge set as valuable as your
  • Flexibility
  • Standardization is suspect, and cant really be
    achieved anyway
  • people interpret the same question in different
  • need to ask different people different questions
    to access their knowledge of a topic

Qualitative Methods (cont.)
  • Triangulation Combining methods
  • Reflexivity The person doing the interpreting
    (researcher or participant!) affects the
  • Listening and voice
  • Understanding is more important than prediction
    and control
  • Validity is more important that reliability
  • Sampling is selective rather than random use of
    expert informants

Qualitative Methods (cont.)
  • Purposes This method especially useful where
  • You dont know much about an area and need to do
    inductive work and theory/model building
  • Context is important
  • Understanding is more important that prediction
    and control
  • Quantifiability is difficult
  • Data cant be obtained by other methods (e.g. in
    participant observation)

Qualitative Methods (cont.)
  • Specific approaches
  • Grounded theory development of knowledge that
    is grounded in data
  • Ethnography cultural description interviewing
    and participant observation
  • Analysis of visual and material culture
  • Phenomenological analysis description and
    analysis of individual experience
  • Hermeneutic analysis interpretation of
    discourse, textual materials and narrative with
    the goal of increased understanding, e.g. of life

Qualitative Methods (cont.)
  • Characteristics of specific approaches
  • Often more a philosophy or attitude rather than a
    specific technical methodology
  • While specific approaches have developed
    separately in terms of theory and application, in
    practice there is considerable overlap between
    the methods
  • Often have more problematic ethical issues in
    terms of the collection and use of data
    usefulness of the results to the people
    participating in the study is key

Qualitative Methods (cont.)
  • Since knowledge is contextual, a primary goal is
    to provide relevant information about the context
    of the phenomenon being studied
  • Most methods make use of individual or group
    interviews of various levels of structure and
    pre-planning skills are often similar to those
    required in psychotherapy
  • Data recording and organization is a major task
    software is available to assist
  • relational databases
  • qualitative/anthropological software with
    multimedia capabilities (see

Qualitative Methods (cont.)
  • The process of writeup and making arguments from
    your data and analysis are more open, and thus
    involve greater choices
  • Since procedures and choices are more open, you
    must keep methodological records and be prepared
    to defend your choices
  • As in quantitative research, your questions
    should be clearly formulated, although
    clarification is a normal outcome of the research

Quantitative ExampleEtic Study of Depression
  • Cultural differences in depression between
    Americans and Chinese have been debated
  • Kleinman Chinese depression is expressed
    through somatization
  • Cheung No difference in depression between
    groups, but people tend to selectively report
    certain aspects of their experience

Background (cont.)
  • Beginning in the 1980s, quantitative instruments
    were translated and formed the basis of
    cross-cultural comparisons on the topic
  • Studies using the BDI by Lin (1989) indicated no
    differences later work by Byrne (e.g. Byrne
    Baron, 1991) using European groups also indicated
    cultural invariance

Background (cont.)
  • BDI was found to have 3 factors
  • Negative attitude sad, discouraged, feeling
    guilty, self-conscious, suicidal
  • Performance difficulties Loss of interest,
    trouble making decisions, trouble working,
  • Somatic concerns Sleep, appetite, weight,
    sexual problems

  • Data was collected on US and Chinese college
    students using the BDI and several other
    measures the data was then screened for outliers
    and subjected to a two-group confirmatory factor
    analysis using the EQS implementation of
    structural equations modeling
  • 175 Chinese, 168 after outlier screening
  • 147 US, 143 after outlier screening

US Results
  • Good fit to a 3-factor model with some limited
    modifications (CFI .949, RCFI 1.0)
  • Factor 1 (negative attitude) Feeling sad (.56),
    discouraged (.51), failure (.37), guilty (.51),
    disappointed in self (.42), worse than others
    (.52), suicidal (.33), crying (.37)
  • Factor 2 (performance difficulties) Irritable
    (.52), lost interest (.44), trouble making
    decisions (.51), appearance (.47), trouble
    working (.60), tired (.54)
  • Factor 3 (somatic concerns) Sleep (.29)
    appetite (.60) and weight (.74) problems

China Results
  • Fair to poor fit with 3-factor model after
    substantial post-hoc modifications (CFI .87,
    RCFI .92)
  • Factor 1 (self-blame and discouragement)
    discouraged (.51), feel like failure (.54),
    self-disappointment (.80), worse than others
    (.66), suicide (.45), feel
  • Factor 2 (loss of energy or interest cf.
    neurasthenia) sad (.58), no satisfaction (.60),
    irritable (.61), lost interest (.47), trouble
    making decisions (.52), appearance (.45), trouble
    working (.52), tired (.50), health worries (.36)
  • Factor 3 (melancholic state) sleep (.65),
    appetite (.60), suicide (.30) also feel punished
    (.25), appearance (.25)

  • The internal structure of the BDI was not
    invariant between cultures, suggesting that the
    underlying construct of depression may not be
    culturally invariant
  • Due to poor model fit and limited universe
    sampling, we cant be sure of the differences,
    although appearances of factors related to self
    blame and neurasthenic symptoms are not
  • Construction of a more broadly based instrument
    using qualitative methods and repeat testing
    could be helpful

Qualitative Example
  • Ethnographic and Hermeneutic Study
  • Culture and Spiritual Development

Overview of Study
  • Interested in the relationship of spiritual
  • Spiritual development defined in Christian
    tradition target population is church members
    and regular attenders
  • Culture defined as congregational, denominational
    and community/environmental context
  • Very little previous work in this area, so
    theory-building/qualitative methods approach
  • Study is currently in pilot phase, testing
    methods in two mainline churches, one rural, one

Overview of Study (cont.)
  • One focus of pilot work has been looking at the
    relation between physical environment and
    individual spiritual growth. Investigation of
    this has included
  • Unstructured interviews about peoples conception
    of sacred spaces and places
  • Free drawings of perceived and ideal space use in
    the individuals local church

Interview Data Transcript
  • Well, the first thing is nature, natural places
    like mountains and forests.
  • The ocean is another side of God, a more powerful
  • Prayer gardens, deliberatively peaceful places
    like the courtyard where there is water.
  • In churches or church services.

Transcript (cont.)
  • Next getting into the community which is another
    important part of Gods presence although its
    sometimes harder to feel it there.
  • For myself and other people sometimes in the
    shower, its isolated from everything else its
    relaxing and you cant do anything else
  • The real place or space has to be inside yourself
    so you can fell the presence of God everywhere.
    Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesnt.

Transcript (cont.)
  • Sometime when Im at the homeless shelter. If
    Im doing what God wants me to do or Im
    surrounded by like-minded people who are close to
  • Snuggling up to a baby or child when they are in
    a snuggly mood.
  • Do you want to know about how places do that?
  • SURE.

Transcript (cont.)
  • Well, take nature, I think thats what I started
    with. Take mountaintops, mountaintop
    experiences, you can see everything and each
    other in a Gods eye view. You can appreciate
    how creative God was and is, the power of what
    God is able to do. It is peaceful, exhilarating,
    quite. You feel good for having got there in the
    thin air. It helps you feel what it is like to
    be close to God. Any kind of nature can be that
    way. I first thought of mountains because thats
    about what I first knew. It can be inspiring or
    awful scenery. You cant control things, they
    can be dangerous. God is more than you think, a
    little pet to put in your pocket.

Transcript (cont.)
  • I didnt mention closets. sometimes in my life
    they have been a place where you can go to block
    out the world, you cant really hear or see
    anything else.
  • When my child was a baby I had read in a book
    that talked about closet time. I picked times
    when he was nursing and had fallen asleep.
  • I think there is a lot of individual variation.
    Wal-Mart is wild and overstimulating, but maybe
    some people feel closer there.

Transcript (cont.)
  • If I was to design my own placeyou dont have to
    that for real you can do it in your mind like
    with imagery we can draw close and get wisdom.
    My images would involve the outdoors, water,
    breeze, nice.
  • Musicfor me thats probably the fastest way to
    get close to a feeling of Godmusic that can suit
    whatever I need spiritually at the time. If I
    dont know what to day I start by singing and
    work from there, whatever way God takes me.
  • Also often when I have sex with my husband.

Transcript Summary/Questions
  • Conceptualization of sacred places apparent
    through linguistic taxonomy
  • e.g. nature or natural places appears to be
    an organizing category, with included terms like
    mountaintop and ocean what is the complete
    list of included terms?
  • there appear to be other organizing categories,
    but these are unclear, e.g communal situations
    what is the complete taxonomy? more questions and
    data are required

Transcript Summary (cont.)
  • An interrelationship between place, emotion and
    activity seems to surface
  • e.g. mountaintop (place), exhilarating (emotion)
    and getting there (activity)
  • how/why are these related?
  • A relationship between place and early
    experiences appears (mountains and what I
    first knew)
  • Home and family relationships (shower, closet,
    child, marital/sexual relationship) appear

Free Drawing Data
  • Participants were asked to draw a sketch of the
    layout of their church and then a sketch of their
    ideal church
  • Wide variety of quality of data some were much
    more able to verbally describe the layouts than
    draw them

(No Transcript)
  • Significant differences between the actual
    physical layout of the church and individual
    ideals, especially among more active church
  • Question is there a pattern/taxonomy to
    individual ideas why the discrepancy?
  • Relationship between frequently named sacred
    places and proposed modifications
  • Church architecture was originally supposed to
    foster the feeling of sacred place, but this
    relationship seems weak compared to others
  • Question what are the negative and positive
    factors related to considering church as a sacred

(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
  • Specific Qualitative Strategies

Qualitative Methods
  • Specific approaches reviewed in this appendix
  • Grounded theory
  • Ethnography interviewing and participant
  • Phenomenological analysis
  • Hermeneutic analysis Narrative analysis and life

Qualitative Methods
  • Grounded Theory
  • (Strauss Corbin, 1998)

Grounded Theory Basic ideas
  • Begin with field data, not theory theory comes
    from data and offers explanation
  • Research questions should provide flexibility so
    phenomenon can be studied in depth.
  • Research design, methods and concepts must be
    allowed to emerge during the research process as
    a result of developing theory and analysis.
  • As a qualitative research technique, grounded
    theory uses nonmathematical process of
    interpretation, carried out for the purpose of
    discovering concepts and relationships in raw
    data and then organizing these into a theoretical
    explanatory scheme. (p,. 11)

Basic Ideas (cont.)
  • Analysis a continuous process of conversation
    between researchers and data
  • Description is used to identify the categories of
    phenomena, interrelationships among conditions
    (structure), unfolding action (process), and
  • Focus of research should attend to respondents
    concerns as well as those of the investigator.
  • Need to take into account the interviewees
    interpretations in any analysis or theoretical

Grounded Theory Beginnings
  • Need to maintain a balance between objectivity
    and sensitivity.
  • Technical and nontechnical literature can be
  • Need to use microanalysis The detailed
    line-by-line analysis necessary at the beginning
    of a study to generate initial categories (with
    their properties and dimensions) and to suggest
    relationships among categories a combination of
    open and axial coding. (p. 57).

Beginnings (cont.)
  • Researchers experience can be used to sensitize
    them to properties and dimensions in the data,
    but it is not data itself it helps researchers
    to be aware of their own assumptions.
  • Basic operations in the initial data collection
    process asking questions, making comparisons.
  • Rather than random sampling, use theoretical
    sampling Sampling on the basis of emerging
    concepts, with the aim being to explore the
    dimensional range or varied conditions along
    which the properties of concepts may vary.

Grounded Theory Coding
  • Coding The process of identifying concepts,
    their properties and dimensions through data
  • Coding is a continuous process that is both prior
    to and part of analysis
  • Ultimate purpose of coding help explain and gain
    understanding of issues explored in the research
  • Can use standardized (e.g. Outline of Cultural
    Materials codes) or custom coding schemes
  • Coding and organizing schemes can be assisted by
    organizing software, e.g. database and
    qualitative/anthropological analysis programs

Coding (cont.)
  • Grounded theory schemes
  • open coding generation of categories (phenomena
    and basic linguistic description)
  • axial coding categories developed, linked with
  • selective coding integrates and refines

Coding (cont.)
  • Open/Category Coding
  • First step in theory building is
    conceptualization, which leads to classifying and
  • Basis of category scheme lies in analysis of the
    range of potential meanings in respondents words
  • Concepts derived from these meanings can then be
    grouped into categories which stand for phenomena.

Coding (cont.)
  • Axial Coding
  • Properties and dimensions of categories are
    derived and and used to relate categories and
  • Subcategory information about who, when, where,
    why, how and with what consequences helps relate
    structure with process (structure why process
    how) and give concept greater explanatory power
  • Tasks in axial coding
  • 1. Laying out category properties and dimensions
  • 2. Identifying conditions, action, consequences
    associated with a phenomenon
  • 3. Relating a category to its subcategories
  • 4. Looking for clues to category relationships

Coding (cont.)
  • Selective Coding
  • decide on a central (core) category that
    represents the main theme of the research
  • write a storyline about what seems to be going
    on here
  • draw a diagram if necessary to help explain the
    category and its importance
  • collect additional information necessary to
    further explicate or test your idea

Grounded Theory Refining Theory
  • Key Tasks
  • Review for internal consistency
  • Refine categories fill in poorly defined ones,
    trim excess ones
  • Validate
  • Stop collecting data at point of theoretical
    saturation the point in category development
    at which no new properties, dimensions, or
    relationships emerge during analysis (p. 143).
  • Outliers will exist and can be ignored, but need
    to explain some variability
  • Group meetings for analysis critical when a team
    analyzing the data

Grounded theory Sampling
  • Sampling must evolve during the process
  • Theoretical sampling Data gathering driven by
    concepts derived from the evolving theory and
    based on the concept of making comparisons,
    whose purpose is to maximize opportunities to
    discover variations among concepts and to densify
    categories in terms of their properties and
    dimensions. (p. 201).
  • Relational/variational sampling looking for
    things that demonstrate variation or range, or
    relationship between concepts
  • Selective sampling choose cases to minimize or
    maximize differences according to the needs of
    the study

Grounded Theory Conditional Analysis
  • Key concepts in analysis
  • Conditions become part of situational context
  • Relations are rarely linear or direct, with
    multiple, diverse patterns of connections
  • Look for repetition in finding conditional
  • Conditions and consequences usually exist in
    clusters and can associate or covary in many
    different ways, both to each other and to the
    related actions/interactions. (p. 186)
  • Actions can be by groups or larger units
  • Use diagram with global areas on outside,
    individual on inside, intermediate units between

Qualitative Methods
  • Ethnographic Approaches

Ethnographic Methods
  • Research method developed for investigating
    culture thus
  • Its ultimate aim is the collection of
    information about a group
  • It is primarily inductive in philosophy
  • Traditionally, ethnography results in an
    ethnology, that is a description of a culture
    through text and perhaps visual means
  • Issues
  • Separation of description and analysis
  • Involvement of locals in analysis and
  • Use of visual materials (photographs, video) as
    data collecting method, final product

Ethnographic Methods Primary techniques
  • Involves
  • Fieldwork traveling to and living in or in
    proximity to the culture of study emphasis on
    direct observation
  • Analysis off-site break for perspective
  • Specific techniques
  • Ethnographic interviewing of informants selected
    for their knowledge of culture and ability to
    talk about it
  • Linguistic analysis
  • Participant observation
  • Analysis of material culture

Primary Techniques (cont)
  • Participant observation
  • Rationale (Bernard)
  • Opens up data that would not otherwise be
  • Reduces reaction of people to being studied--you
    blend in
  • Helps ask sensible questions--get feedback
  • Gives intuitive understanding
  • Skills
  • Explicit awareness of things that are normally
    taken for granted objectivity and neutrality
  • Easier to do if you are in an unfamiliar
  • Naiveté
  • Interviewing skills rapport building, language
  • Writing field notes and journal

Qualitative Methods
  • Phenomenological Analysis

Phenomenological Analysis Processes
  • Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research
    methods. Thousand Oaks, CA Sage.
  • Epoche An unbiased, open stance on the part of
    the investigator that allows for description
  • Phenomenological reduction fresh perception of
    the source of the meaning and existence of the
    experienced world (phenomena).
  • Imaginative variation Looking at the issue from
    different perspectives to isolate core elements
    of the experience.

Processes (cont.)
  • Method of data collection informal interviews,
    open-ended questions, topical-guided questions
  • Interviews often begin with asking for
    descriptions of specific incidents
  • Additional questions can be asked to get more
  • What parts of the experience or people involved
    stand out for you?
  • How did the experience affect or change you?
  • What feelings stood out? Thoughts?
  • What bodily changes or states were you aware of?

Processes (cont.)
  • Aspects of reduction
  • Bracketing the topic or question other things
    are set aside so the phenomenon can be focused
  • Horizontalization equal value of statements
  • Delimited Horizons or Meanings Horizons that
    stand out as invariant qualities of the
    experience boundaries of conscious experience,
    the grounding or condition of the phenomenon
    that gives it a distinctive character the
    textural meanings and invariant constituents of
    the phenomenon

Processes (cont.)
  • Invariant qualities/themes nonrepetitive,
    nonoverlapping constituents clustered into themes
  • Individual textual descriptions An descriptive
    integration of the invariant textual constituents
    and themes of each research participant
  • Composite Textual Description An integration of
    all of the individual textual descriptions into a
    group or universal textual description

Processes (cont.)
  • Imaginative Variation
  • Vary possible meanings
  • Vary perspectives From different vantage points
    like opposite meanings and various roles
  • Free fantasy variations Consider freely the
    possible structural qualities or dynamics that
    evoke the textural qualities

Processes (cont.)
  • Construct list of structural qualities
  • Develop structural themes Cluster the
    structural qualities into themes
  • Employ universal structures as themes Time,
    space, relationship to self or others, bodily
    concerns, causal or intentional structures
  • Devise individual structural description
    Integrate structural qualities and themes for
    each person into an individual structural
  • Composite structural description Integrate the
    individual descriptions
  • Synthesize composite textural and structural

Qualitative Methods
  • Hermeneutic Approaches

Hermeneutic Approaches
  • Long philosophical and theological tradition,
    most recently in the work of Gadamer and Ricoeur
  • Hermeneutic methodology has not been popular in
    psychology, but interest is currently on the
  • As a general approach to psychology (Packer
    Addison, 1989).
  • In psychology of religion (Belzen, 1997)
  • In analysis of narrative for psychotherapy,
    family therapy and psychoanalysis.
  • In analysis of development of cultural identity
    and meaning-formation through narrative (Howard,

Hermeneutics (cont.)
  • Key issues
  • Material is interpreted via a circular process
    involving speaker and hearer. Interpretation
    /understanding is not independent of the beliefs
    and values of the interpreter, but though
    openness of the listener one can take away new
    ideas or ways of looking at the world
  • Life narratives may include multiple narratives
    which may not fit harmoniously together.
  • Oral and written material should be used, as
    different genres have different interpretive
  • Since views of a situation can be influenced by
    factors such as the acquisition, justification or
    maintenance of power, the use of triangulation
    can be helpful.

Hermeneutics (cont.)
  • Questions to be explored
  • How does physical or bodily identity affect their
    sense of self and spirituality?
  • What are current or possible life directions?
  • What are the key events in the story? How were
    they viewed at the time, and how are they
    interpreted now?
  • How does the person see themselves as being
    formed? Choice or circumstance? Learning or
  • Are there things that dont fit? How does the
    person deal with these?
  • How have others affected their story, and what
    role has the person played in their stories?
    What is their ethical stance?

Culture and Psychology
  • Ratner, C. (1997). Cultural psychology and
    cultural methodology Theoretical and empirical
    considerations. New York Plenum.
  • Shweder, R. (1991). Thinking through cultures
    Expeditions in cultural psychology. Cambridge,
    MA Harvard University.
  • Shweder, R. (Ed.). (1998). Welcome to middle
    age! (And other cultural fictions). Chicago
    University of Chicago.
  • Valsiner, J. (2000). Culture and human
    development. London Sage.

Anthropological Perspectives
  • Clifford, J. Marcus, G. (Eds.). (1986).
    Writing culture. Berkeley, CA University of
  • Freeman, D. (1983). Margaret Mead and Samoa
    The making and unmaking of an anthropological
    myth. Cambridge, MA Harvard University.
  • Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of
    cultures. New York Basic Books.
  • Levi-Strauss, C. (1963). Structural
    anthropology. Tr. C. Jacobson B. Schoepf. New
    York Basic.
  • Lutz, C. (1988). Unnatural emotions. Chicago
    University of Chicago.

Anthropology (cont.)
  • Marcus, G. Fischer, M. (1986). Anthropology
    as cultural critique. Chicago Univ. of
  • Mead, M. (1928/2001). Coming of age in Samoa.
    New York Perennial.
  • Salzman, P. (2001). Understanding culture An
    introduction to anthropological theory. Prospect
    Heights, IL Waveland.
  • Tylor, E. (1871). Primitive cultures. London
    John Murray

  • Belzen., J. (1997). Hermeneutical approaches in
    psychology of religion. Amsterdam Rodopi.
  • Gadamer, H. (1989). Truth and method (2nd. rev.
    ed.). Tr. Joel Weinsheimer D. Marshall. New
    York Continuum.
  • Packer, M. Addison, R. (Eds.). (1989).
    Entering the circle Hermeneutic investigation
    in psychology. Albany, NY State University of
    New York.
  • Ricoeur, P. (1981). Hermeneutics and the human
    sciences J. Thompson Ed. Tr. Paris
    Cambridge University.

  • Husserl, E. (1954/1970). The crisis of European
    sciences and transcendental phenomenology. Tr.
    David Carr. Evanston, IL Northwestern
  • Moustakas, C. (1994). Phenomenological research
    methods. Thousand Oaks, CA Sage.

Ethnographic Methods
  • Atkinson, P., Coffey, A., Delamont, S., Lofland,
    J. Lofland. L. (2001). Handbook of
    Ethnography. London Sage.
  • Bernard, H. (2002). Research methods in
    anthropology. (3rd ed.). Walnut Creek
  • Malinowski, B. (1922/1984). Argonauts of the
    western Pacific. Prospect Heights, IL
  • Spradley, J. (1979). The ethnographic
    interview. Belmont, CA Wadsworth.
  • Spradley, J. (1980). Participant observation.
    New York Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Other Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
  • Mason, J. (2002). Qualitative researching. 2nd
    ed. London Sage.
  • Strauss, A. Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of
    qualitative research Techniques and procedures
    for developing grounded theory, 2nd ed.
    Thousand Oaks, CA Sage.
  • Van de Vijver, F. Leung, K. (1997). Methods
    and data analysis for cross-cultural research.
    Thousand Oaks, CA Sage.

Other Sources
  • McAdams, D. (1993). The stories we live by
    Personal myths and the making of the self. New
    York Guilford.
  • Tanner, K. (1997). Theories of culture A new
    agenda for theology. Minneapolis Fortress.