© 2018

A Psychology of Culture

  • Looks at culture and its function through the lens of a unique and empirically supported theory that emerged from social psychology

  • Identifies core human needs and cultural responses to satisfying those needs

  • Provides a micro, meso, and macro perspective


Part of the International and Cultural Psychology book series (ICUP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Michael B. Salzman
    Pages 1-18
  3. Michael B. Salzman
    Pages 19-29
  4. Michael B. Salzman
    Pages 31-42
  5. Michael B. Salzman
    Pages 43-54
  6. Michael B. Salzman
    Pages 55-65
  7. Michael B. Salzman
    Pages 67-78
  8. Michael B. Salzman
    Pages 79-93
  9. Michael B. Salzman
    Pages 95-105
  10. Michael B. Salzman
    Pages 107-122
  11. Michael B. Salzman
    Pages 123-124
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 125-128

About this book


This thought-provoking treatise explores the essential functions that culture fulfills in human life in response to core psychological, physiological, and existential needs. It synthesizes diverse strands of empirical and theoretical knowledge to trace the development of culture as a source of morality, self-esteem, identity, and meaning as well as a driver of domination and upheaval. Extended examples from past and ongoing hostilities also spotlight the resilience of culture in the aftermath of disruption and trauma, and the possibility of reconciliation between conflicting cultures. The stimulating insights included here have far-reaching implications for psychology, education, intergroup relations, politics, and social policy. 

Included in the coverage:


·         Culture as shared meanings and interpretations.

·         Culture as an ontological prescription of how to “be” and “how to live.”

·         Cultural worldviews as immortality ideologies.

  • ·         Culture and the need for a “world of meaning in which to act.”
  • ·         Cultural trauma and indigenous people.
  • ·         Constructing situations that optimize the potential for positive intercultural interaction.
  • ·         Anxiety and the Human Condition.
  • ·         Anxiety and Self Esteem.
  • ·         Culture and Human Needs.

A Psychology of Culture takes an uncommon tour of the human condition of interest to clinicians, educators, and practitioners, students of culture and its role and effects in human life, and students in nursing, medicine, anthropology, social work, family studies, sociology, counseling, and psychology. It is especially suitable as a graduate text.         


Terror Management Theory construction of an intercultural sensitizer cultural anxiety-buffer cultural empathy cultural identity developement cultural recovery cultural trauma culture in context decolonization existential anxiety human development inter-cultural conflict inter-cultural cooperation internalized oppression perspectives of Aristotle perspectives of Bhagavad Gita perspectives of Buddha perspectives of Confucious self-esteem motive social identity

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of Hawai‘i at ManoaHonoluluUSA

About the authors

Michael B. Salzman is Professor and Chair in the Department of Educational Psychology. He has published in the areas of cross-cultural psychology, cultural psychology, intercultural training and counseling. A licensed psychologist, he has worked with cultural diverse populations as a teacher in “inner city” Brooklyn, counseling in the Navajo Nation, and serving as a clinician in a CMHC in South Tucson, AZ. He has worked with Alaska Natives coordinating a model rural mental health program and most recently with the Native Hawaiian Leadership Project and the Native Hawaiian Education Association. Dr. Salzman is interested in psychological functions of culture, consequences of traumatic cultural disruption, intercultural conflict, indigenous psychologies, movements of cultural recovery, and processes of psychological decolonization.

Bibliographic information