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Yang’s global psychology and beyond

Chapter in book
Authors Carl Martin Allwood
Published in In L. Sundararajan, K. K. Hwang, & K.-H. Yeh (Eds.), Global Psychology from indigenous perspectives Visions inspired by K. S. Yang
Pages 111-128
ISBN 978-3-030-35124-3
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Place of publication Cham
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 111-128
Language en
Keywords Indigenous psychologies, Yang, global psychology, equitable
Subject categories Psychology

Abstract

Professor Yang recognized early on the importance of a genuine global psychology (GP), that is, a psychology that fully represents the human being, and more specifically, a psychology that integrates mainstream psychology (MP) and all local culture-specific indigenized psychologies. Yang saw MP as based on Western culture and conditions, as describing people in the West, and as the only fully indigenous psychology. He saw Westernized psychology in non-Western countries as unproductive copies of IP (which he called WP). Finally, he saw attempts by non-Western researchers to indigenize psychology by creating scientific, usable in practice, psychologies based on the culture and context in their own societies as only partially realizable (IZPs or IPs). In Yang’s view, GP should be constructed bottom-up by integrating results and methods from different mono- and cross-cultural versions of MP and IPs. His vision for this process was inclusive and permissive. This chapter reviews Yang’s vision of GP and comments on his vision’s strengths and problems as I see them. For example, I laud the idea that GP should fully represent humans in all societies and be open with respect to methods and approaches. I also discuss some problems of integrating local psychologies based on diverse cultural frameworks related to Yang’s concept of culture. Finally, this chapter describes a broader take on the concept of GP given that people’s needs are determined not just by specific previous and current local contexts and events, but also by threats to our common destiny on this planet. Such a GP is more equitable in the sense that it focuses on research of relevance and interest to all humans. Examples are research on how people’s behavior can be influenced to be more environmentally sustainable; and research on conditions for improved, communication and cooperation between different individuals, groups and societies.

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