This edited volume is intended to broaden the psychology of culture in two ways.

First, the chapters discuss an impressive array of cultural influences — not just country of origin, East–West, or collectivism–individualism — but professional and disciplinary cultures, historical changes in cultures, social class, frontier settlement and geographical regions, political cultures, religion, and gender. While this is not an exhaustive list of the kinds of culture that psychology should be interested in, it is an exciting and fruitful new direction for psychology.

Second, this book advances several new theories about the origins and processes of cultural development, from biological evolution to the division of labor and other aspects of social class.

Among the contributions to cultural psychology as a whole, individual chapters offer insights into:

  • How to improve interdisciplinary collaboration in universities
  • Why some groups are relatively disadvantaged in various academic and professional fields
  • What methods are useful in studying temporal changes in cultures
  • How to avoid perpetuating hegemonic styles of thinking; for example, assuming that upper class people only influence lower class people
  • How regional differences in individualism–collectivism, well-being, honor and retribution, and personality persist over time
  • Why cosmopolitan cities may productively be viewed as modern frontiers
  • What cultural psychologists can learn from food
  • Why some people favor suites of political views that seem incompatible
  • How culture can be an expression of evolutionary processes

This book will help students explore directions for their research and inspire generations of psychologists interested in culture.

Table of Contents


Hazel Rose Markus

Adam B. Cohen

  1. Professional and Disciplinary Cultures
    Chi-yue Chiu, Letty Y.-Y. Kwan, and Shyhnan Liou
  2. Generational Cultures
    Brittany Gentile, W. Keith Campbell, and Jean M. Twenge
  3. Culture and Social Class
    P. J. Henry
  4. Regional Culture
    Joseph A. Vandello, Vanessa E. Hettinger, and Kenneth Michniewicz
  5. Frontier Settlement and Cultural Change
    Shinobu Kitayama, Michael E. W. Varnum, and A. Timur Sevincer
  6. Political Culture and Democracy
    Ariel Malka
  7. Food and Culture
    Benoît Monin and Lauren M. Szczurek
  8. Gendered Sexual Cultures
    Angela G. Pirlott and David P. Schmitt
  9. Religions as Cultural Solutions to Social Living
    Azim F. Shariff, Benjamin Grant Purzycki, and Richard Sosis


About the Editor

Editor Bio

Adam B. Cohen, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at Arizona State University.

Dr. Cohen's research fuses cultural and evolutionary approaches to religion. He is the author of more than 40 peer-reviewed articles (including "Many Forms of Culture," published in the American Psychologist in 2009).

He is associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Personality Processes and Individual Differences and is a former associate editor of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Reviews & Awards

This is an important book that will help make culture a relevant subject for psychology by showing how the concept can be applied to a variety of important areas of study.

This much-needed review of the state of cultural psychology serves as a road map for future research. Readers of all stripes will find exciting ideas and thoughtful analyses of the cultures people engage with every day.