The Middle East: A Cultural Psychology

Hardcover | July 31, 2005

byGary S. GreggForeword byDavid Matsumoto

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For over a decade the Middle East has monopolized news headlines in the West. Journalists and commentators regularly speculate that the region's turmoil may stem from the psychological momentum of its cultural traditions or of a "tribal" or "fatalistic" mentality. Yet few studies of theregion's cultural psychology have provided a critical synthesis of psychological research on Middle Eastern societies. Drawing on autobiographies, literary works, ethnographic accounts, and life-history interviews, The Middle East: A Cultural Psychology, offers the first comprehensive summary of psychological writings on the region, reviewing works by psychologists, anthropologists, and sociologists that have beenwritten in English, Arabic, and French. Rejecting stereotypical descriptions of the "Arab mind" or "Muslim mentality,' Gary Gregg adopts a life-span- development framework, examining influences on development in infancy, early childhood, late childhood, and adolescence as well as on identityformation in early and mature adulthood. He views patterns of development in the context of recent work in cultural psychology, and compares Middle Eastern patterns less with Western middle class norms than with those described for the region's neighbors: Hindu India, sub-Saharan Africa, and theMediterranean shore of Europe. The research presented in this volume overwhelmingly suggests that the region's strife stems much less from a stubborn adherence to tradition and resistance to modernity than from widespread frustration with broken promises of modernization--with the slow and haltingpace of economic progress and democratization. A sophisticated account of the Middle East's cultural psychology, The Middle East provides students, researchers, policy-makers, and all those interested in the culture and psychology of the region with invaluable insight into the lives, families, and social relationships of Middle Easterners asthey struggle to reconcile the lure of Westernized life-styles with traditional values.

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For over a decade the Middle East has monopolized news headlines in the West. Journalists and commentators regularly speculate that the region's turmoil may stem from the psychological momentum of its cultural traditions or of a "tribal" or "fatalistic" mentality. Yet few studies of theregion's cultural psychology have provided a cri...

After receiving a Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Michigan, Gary Gregg spent five years in southern Morocco, conducting ethnographic research on the partly nomadic Imeghrane confederation in the High Atlas-Dades Valley region, and then a Fulbright- and NSF-sponsored study of identity development among young adul...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:472 pages, 6.42 × 9.21 × 1.1 inPublished:July 31, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195171993

ISBN - 13:9780195171990

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Table of Contents

Foreword by David MatsumotoIntroductionPart I. Cultural context of development1. Misunderstandings2. The social ecology of psychological development3. Honor and Islam: Shaping emotions, traits, and selvesPart II. Periods of psychological developmentIntroduction to Part II4. Childbirth and infant care5. Early childhood6. Late childhood7. Adolescence8. Earlt adulthood and identity9. Mature adulthood10. Patterns and lives: Development through the life-spanAfterword: A research agenda

Editorial Reviews

"...a thoroughly researched analysis of the cultural psychology of people in the Middle East." -- The Muslim World Book Review