S2: New encounters across cultures in a globalised world

This second block consists of two chapters:

CH 4: Social psychology and culture
CH 5: Contemporary cultures and intercultural encounters
CH 6: Contemporary multicultures and the politics of identity

The block comes with three specific questions:

  1. How have social psychologists and other social scientists studied culture, and what are the implications of different approaches to studying culture?
  2. How can we understand the relationship between individuals and cultures?
  3. What is the role of power in intercultural relations?


Chapter 4: For the Sociocultural Approach. Critical of the Cross-cultural Approach.

This chapter compares the study of culture between two distinct approaches: cross-cultural psychology and sociocultural psychology. The former sees culture as an external variable which can be measured by cross-national comparisons. The latter sees culture as ‘inside the mind’ – it sees person and culture as interdependent rather than separate. It discusses attribution, the self, language and studies on imagination and agency. It primarily criticises the former perspective, and advances a “dialogical” form of the sociocultural approach.

Chapter 5: Social Representations Theory

Chapter 6: Discursive and Narrative Approaches


Are the sociocultural and the cross-cultural approaches incompatible? Discuss in relation to relevant examples of research. In addition to the module material, in your answer use at least two additional academic sources published since January 2015.

Word limit: 1500 words (excluding the assignment title and references).