Cultivating Possibilities for Cultural Psychology. Jerome Bruner in His Becoming

  • Giuseppina MarsicoEmail author
Part of the Cultural Psychology of Education book series (CPED, volume 2)


Jerome Bruner, all along his career, has been always interested in grasping the complex relationship of the human psyche with the socio cultural context. This holistic approach is the very core of the cultural psychology perspective that has nothing to do with the fragmentation of the current research in psychology, mostly focused on “discrete elements of a phenomena” or only “a portion of a behavior”. Cultural psychology, instead, deals with the goal-oriented and meaningful human conduct which is hardly modeled by standardized methods, but that is intelligible troughs narratives from which the cultural nature of meanings emerges. Bruner has been at the forefront of this current scientific enterprise that runs under the label of cultural psychology, largely contributing to its two main investigative axes: the topic of culture in human development and the dynamic of social discourses of ordinary people in their culturally organized contexts. Cultural psychology pays attention to the interconnection between mental processes and cultural and contextual dimensions. Its objects of study are the higher psychological functions and the mechanisms through which individuals form their minds and attribute meanings to their lives and to the world surrounding them. The fundamental issues of who we are as humans and how we become humans imply a holistic approach to the psyche in its complexity. The legacy of Jerry Bruner is taken over by those scholars that are working in turning psychology into a science of the human ways of being.


Bruner Cultural psychology Human being Psyche Possibilities 


  1. Anandalakshmy, S. (1974). How independent is the independent variable? Problem and perspective from New Delhi. In J. L. M. Dawson & W. J. Lonner (Eds.), Readings in cross-cultural psychology. Honk Kong: Hong Kong University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Branco, A. U., & Valsiner, J. (1997). Changing methodologies: A co-constructivist study of goal orientations in social interactions. Psychology and Developing Societies, 9(1), 35–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bruner, J. S. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bruner, J. S. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bruner, J. S. (2002). Making stories: Law, literature, life. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.Google Scholar
  6. Bruner, J. S. (2004). Life as narrative. Social Research, 71(3), 691–710.Google Scholar
  7. Garfinkel, H. (1967). Studies in ethnometodology. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  8. Geertz C. (1983). Antropologia interpretativa. Tr. it. Il Mulino, Bologna, 1987.Google Scholar
  9. Goffman, E. (1969). Strategic Interaction. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  10. Marsico, G. (2015a). The Borderland. Culture and Psychology, 21(3).Google Scholar
  11. Marsico, G. (2015b). Striving for the new: Cultural psychology as a developmental science. Culture and Psychology, 21(4).Google Scholar
  12. Marsico, G., Dazzani, V., Ristum, M., & Bastos, A. C. (Eds.). (2015). Educational contexts and borders through a cultural lens: Looking inside, viewing outside, cultural psychology of education, 1. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. Marsico, G., & Varzi, A. (2016). Psychological and social borders: Regulating relationships. In J., Valsiner, G., Marsico, N. Chaudhary, T., Sato & V., Dazzani, (Eds). Psychology as a Science of Human Being: The Yokohama Manifesto, Annals of Theoretical Psychology (Vol. 13, pp. 1–9), Cham. Switzerland: Springer.Google Scholar
  14. Mead, G. H. (1934). Mente, sé e società. Firenze Universitaria, Firenze. 1965.Google Scholar
  15. Schutz, A. (1962). The problem of social reality. The Hague: Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  16. Valsiner, J. (1995). Editorial: Culture and psychology. Culture and Psychology, 1(1), 5–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Valsiner, J. (2004). Three years later: Between social positioning and producing new knowledge. Culture and Psychology, 10(1), 5–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Valsiner, J. (2014a). Needed for cultural psychology: Methodology in a new key. Culture and Psychology, 20(1), 3–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Valsiner, J. (2014b). An invitation to cultural psychology. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Valsiner, J., Marsico, G., Chaudhary, N., Sato, T., & Dazzani, V. (Eds.). (2016). Psychology as a Science of Human Being: The Yokohama Manifesto, Annals of Theoretical Psychology, 13. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Philosophic and Education Sciences (DISUFF)University of SalernoFiscianoItaly

Personalised recommendations