Culture And Identity In A Muslim Society

Hardcover | March 1, 2007

byGary S. Gregg

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In the last fifteen years, psychologists have rediscovered culture and its influence on emotion, thought, and self. Many researchers have come to the conclusion that the world's cultures can be ranked according to the degree to which they are individualist or collectivist, with Westerncultures falling at the individualist end and non-Western cultures at the collectivist end. These scholars argue that while individualist cultures give rise to "independent" selves, leading Westerners to think and act autonomously, collectivist cultures foster "interdependent" selves, leadingnon-Westerners, embedded in social-relationships, to think and act relationally. Culture and Identity in a Muslim Society presents an alternative to the individualist- collectivist approach to identity. Unlike most psychological and anthropological studies of culture and self, Gary Gregg's work directly investigates individuals, using "study of lives"-style interviews withyoung adults living in villages and small towns in southern Morocco. Analyzing these young adults' life-narratives, Gregg builds a theory of culture and identity that differs from prevailing psychological and anthropological models in important respects. In contrast to modernist theories ofidentity as unified, the life-narratives show individuals to articulate a small set of shifting identities. In contrast to post-modern theories that claim people have a kaleidoscopic multiplicity of fluid identities, the narratives show that the identities are integrated by repeated use ofculturally-specific self-symbols, metaphors, and story-plots. Most importantly, the life-narratives show these young Moroccans' self-representations to be pervasively shaped by the volatile cultural struggle between Western-style "modernity" and authentic Muslim "tradition." Offering a new approach to the study of identity, the volume will be of interest to cross-cultural psychologists, anthropologists, scholars of Middle-East societies, and researchers specializing in the study of lives.

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In the last fifteen years, psychologists have rediscovered culture and its influence on emotion, thought, and self. Many researchers have come to the conclusion that the world's cultures can be ranked according to the degree to which they are individualist or collectivist, with Westerncultures falling at the individualist end and non-W...

Gary S. Gregg received a Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Michigan, and then spent five and a half years conducting fieldwork in Morocco, first on the social organization of the Imeghrane, and then a "study of lives" investigation of identity development among young adults in the Ouarzazate region. He has taught...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 1.42 inPublished:March 1, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195310039

ISBN - 13:9780195310030

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. TheoryA Model of IdentityMoroccan Culture, Personality, and Identity2. A Cultural Geography3. Mohammed4. Hussein5. Rachida6. Khadija7. ConclusionsPersonality OrganizationSelf RepresentationPersonality in Middle Eastern SocietiesCultures and SelvesEpilogueReferences

Editorial Reviews

"In this ground breaking study, Gary Gregg combines his deep understanding of Moroccan society and his engagement with a broad swath of social science thinking to offer readers a compelling portrait of the dynamic interplay between personality and culture. He also shows how individuality iscrafted in a social context and invariably shaped by the forces of tradition and modernity. Gregg's research has much interest for a diverse audience." --Paul Wink, Professor, Department of Psychology, Wellesley College