Appendix C
The Benefits of Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Jacqueline J. Goodnow1


Workshop on International Collaborations in Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

October 5-6, 2006


Thank you for the opportunity to speak before you today. I have been asked to focus on the benefits of cross-cultural collaborations. Inevitably, this means that I shall touch on some related topics that are also central to this workshop: topics such as the challenges this collaboration presents. In the main, however, I shall stay with benefits.

For purposes of this talk, I shall divide benefits into two main kinds: pragmatic (e.g., it becomes possible to do research that could otherwise not be done) and conceptual (e.g., our concepts or assumptions are shaken and new questions arise).

I shall also divide benefits into three sets. These are related to:

  • Tests for generality and “natural experiments.” The main gain here lies in some first moves beyond the rationales once regarded as a sufficient base for cross-cultural comparisons.

  • Export/import views of psychology. For both research and policy purposes, we often wish to move theories, procedures, or measures from one cultural group to another: the issue noted in the workshop proposal as “the applicability of American psychology to other nations.” The main gain here lies in coming to understand the possibilities and the limits of such moves.

1

Jacqueline J. Goodnow is emeritus professor and professorial research fellow at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 47
appendix C the benefits of Cross-Cultural Collaboration Jacqueline J. goodnow Workshop on International Collaborations in behavioral and social sciences Research northwestern University evanston, Il october 5-6, 2006 thank you for the opportunity to speak before you today. I have been asked to focus on the benefits of cross-cultural collaborations. Inevitably, this means that I shall touch on some related topics that are also central to this workshop: topics such as the challenges this collaboration presents. In the main, however, I shall stay with benefits. for purposes of this talk, I shall divide benefits into two main kinds: pragmatic (e.g., it becomes possible to do research that could otherwise not be done) and conceptual (e.g., our concepts or assumptions are shaken and new questions arise). I shall also divide benefits into three sets. these are related to: • tests for generality and “natural experiments. the main gain here lies ” in some first moves beyond the rationales once regarded as a sufficient base for cross-cultural comparisons. • Export/import views of psychology. for both research and policy pur- poses, we often wish to move theories, procedures, or measures from one cultural group to another: the issue noted in the workshop proposal as “the applicability of american psychology to other nations.” the main gain here lies in coming to understand the possibilities and the limits of such moves. Jacqueline J. Goodnow is emeritus professor and professorial research fellow at Mac- 1 quarie University in sydney, australia. 

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C • gaps in current theories. Cross-cultural analyses help fill gaps in several areas of theory. singled out as a particular case are gaps in our un- derstanding of collaboration or “joint activity”: a conceptual area relevant to problem solving, research practices, and social policy. some general points need to be made before I start. the first is the need to ask what is specific to cross-cultural collaboration. benefits can stem from other forms of collaboration. they may stem, for example, from col- laboration across disciplines, between people within a discipline who hold different views, and between researchers and policymakers. We need then to consider what is specific to collaboration across cultural groups and how analyses of cross-cultural collaboration and of collaboration in general can feed into one another. the second general point is the need to consider collaboration, of any kind, as always between people. It is not “between cultures,” and it is not an abstract or depersonalized process. people bring views about how collabora- tions and relationships should proceed: views, for example, about benefits, reciprocity, tradeoffs, obligations, the recognition of status, and the kinds of relationships that should apply. across cultural groups we are especially likely to find variations in such views. Understanding those variations can affect the success of cultural interactions. It can also feed into the general development of theories of obligations and relationships: areas not yet well supplied with studies of expectations in situations where people work to- gether or make decisions together. the third and last general point has to do with the benefits that chal- lenges or difficulties can bring. difficulties can bring with them, for example, an awareness of new questions and a second look at practices or assumptions that we usually take for granted. let me anchor that in a specific example. I am one of a large steering committee that is working toward establishing a longitudinal study of indigenous children in australia (a study initiated and funded by a government department). the committee itself is a collabora- tive venture. It is a mixture of indigenous and nonindigenous members, social scientists, and community spokespersons. beyond the committee is a cadre of people selected as liaison workers with some selected communi- ties (another set of collaborations). We have been in operation for over two years and are experiencing what is now common in research that involves australian indigenous groups: long delays in what researchers see as “getting started.” that “delay,” however, brings with it a vivid awareness of the need to look more closely at our understanding of several aspects of research, in

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C particular at concepts of “consent,” “refusals,” “expected benefits,” and the “ownership of data.” In effect, the difficulties bring with them a benefit, in the form of opening up some major research questions. TESTS FOR gENERALITy AND “NATURAL EXPERIMENTS” for cross-cultural comparisons, two large benefits have often been proposed. one is that they provide tests for the generality of a behavior or a theory. the other is that they provide “natural experiments”: variations in conditions that we cannot alter or that we would seldom think of altering. both arguments can be upgraded, providing us with a more effective picture of what is possible and what may be gained. Upgrading Tests for generality at one time, all that needed to be said about cross-cultural analyses was that they offered “tests for generality.” that view of benefits, however, is too gross to be really useful. It does not, for example, tell us what countries or what points of comparison we might best turn to, especially if we wish to check on processes: on how particular events come about rather than simply whether they occur or not. It is also very one sided. the benefit is considered only for the explorer or the originator of the theory. Can we do better? one alternative—an alternative that gives us a more specific view of what we may gain—is to regard benefits as lying in various forms of access: access, for example, to: • physical resources (e.g., the tools or equipment needed for various kinds of analysis) • funding (from grants to lower-cost materials or labor) • know-how or expertise • populations, records, or historical material • Circumstances that provide “natural experiments” those forms of access are not all of one kind. the first four, for exam- ple, are essentially pragmatic. they are also double sided, in the sense that they cover forms of access that either party in a collaboration may be able to provide. between the two parties, there may also be some understanding of what each can contribute and—an issue as yet not well explored—some sense of reciprocity or “tradeoffs.”

OCR for page 47
0 APPEndIX C the last form of access on the list has some different features. It is more readily thought of as offering conceptual benefits. the benefits are also more likely to be one sided. they apply more to the party that has the stronger theoretical interest or is the originator of a theory that might now be tested or extended. for those reasons, and because this benefit has so often been proposed, I give it separate space. Upgrading “Natural Experiments” turning to cultures other than one’s own often provides variations in circumstances that we would either not introduce or might not even consider. examples of building on naturally occurring variations could be drawn from many areas, ranging from schooling to health or disease, environmental or social change, legal systems, state regulatory systems, or social supports. from a potentially long list of examples, let me select one. this consists of turning to settings that provide variations in family patterns: variations in family size, family composition, divisions of labor or responsibility, lines of authority, the perceived value of children, arrangements for child care, parental care, or inheritances. the work of Marc bornstein and ken Rubin illustrates many of these variations, with an eye mainly to child develop- ment or well-being. Interest is not confined, however, to developmentalists or psychologists. at the population level, for instance, variations in family patterns (e.g., the “pyramids” of age distributions) are attracting attention from family theorists, demographers, and economists. do we then need any upgrading to this argument for the value of cross-cultural analyses? there are, I suggest, some ways of viewing “natural experiments” that can yield a more complete picture of benefits. two steps to consider are (1) ways to distinguish among the several forms that “natural experiments” may take and (2) ways to maximize their value. distinguishing among “natural experiments.” let me distinguish four. they vary in their starting points, in the kind of benefit they bring, and in the extent to which they shake our assumptions or change our theories. In the first, we start from something that is already a question in our minds. We are not sure whether a particular behavior depends on particular conditions or not, or whether a hypothesis will hold. Cross-cultural analysis provides the opportunity to find out. the result, either way, is acceptable.

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C We started with both possibilities in mind, and so no real change in our ideas is called for. In the second, we start from positions that are regarded as moderately well established but open to some modification or added subtlety. Cross-cultural analyses may then provide this enrichment. as examples, take the distinc- tions between “authoritative” and “authoritarian” parenting or between so- cieties oriented toward “autonomy” or “interdependence.” Cultural analyses have left both distinctions intact but have modified them. Interestingly, most of the reservations and changes related to these concepts have come from outside the “West”: from psychologists who think that the contrasts proposed do not adequately fit their settings (e.g., Chao, 1994, on author- ity distinctions; kagitcibasi, 1994, on autonomy/interdependence). In this case, then, benefits may accrue to people from two cultures. for one, some richness is added to existing accounts. for the other, there has been the op- portunity to argue against a “Western” description that is thought to be a poor fit with their own cultures. In the third way of building on “natural experiments,” we begin to change our ways of thinking: we develop an awareness of questions we had not thought of asking or had been slow to ask. let me give some examples. one has to do with recognizing the need to distinguish among social contexts. psychologists especially often use terms such as “social context,” “culture,” or “ecology” without close analysis. attention to other cultural groups makes us more aware of the need to examine more carefully how one kind of context—or one way of describing contexts—differs from another (a task I found necessary for my own understanding of what “cultures” or “social contexts” might refer to). a second has to do with recognizing the interaction between two “givens”: biological readiness and the “tools” or experiences that are culturally ready- to-hand. In the course of debates over nature versus nurture we have been slow to look closely at how the two might combine: the one “given,” for example, fitting neatly with another (Cole and hatano, 2006). examining that interaction, however, is now emerging as a critical next step. the last example has to do with exploring the nature of diffusion. explor- ing the nature of diffusion is a major part of general analyses of innovation (e.g., Rogers, 1995) and of cultural spread. It appears also in biologists’ analyses of how new ways of proceeding (e.g., a new form of tool use or of food preparation) spreads across generations or subgroups in primate popu- lations. the analysis of both diffusion and innovation would benefit greatly from varied cultural materials. at least among psychologists, however—per-

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C haps because they are often more tuned in to dyads than to groups—diffu- sion and innovation have not so far been obvious research topics. In the fourth and last form of “natural experiments,” we start from a position that we take for granted and encounter surprises. We encounter cor- rections to our views of what is “normal” or “natural,” our views of what is essential, beneficial, or detrimental for development, well-being, or a reasonable way of life. the benefits now lie in the shaking of our assump- tions and in an awareness of how little analysis or evidence exists for much of what we assume is “natural,” “normal,” or “well established.” there seems again to be no need for extended examples of this kind of benefit. We have all encountered it in the course of experience with other cultural groups. all of my own reexamination of children’s involvement in tasks that contribute to the work of households, for example, stems from being told by lebanese-born mothers that they see no value in those house- hold tasks for their children and then from finding that the benefits so often taken for granted in the “West” have not been tested or examined (e.g., Goodnow, 1996). In similar fashion, my interest in the “socialization of cognition”—in bringing together cognitive and social psychology—stems from experience with the way people in other cultural groups regarded the tasks I asked them to do and with their distinctions between significant and trivial areas of competence (e.g., Goodnow, 1990). benefits in the form of shaken assumptions or “paradigm shifts” are clearly of major value. they are, however, also marked by two limitations. one is the need to find ways of persuading others to also change their as- sumptions: others who have not had the same experience. the other is that encounters with surprises are largely unplanned. Instead of multiplying examples of surprises, then, let me ask: Can we overcome those limitations? Can we find ways to maximize benefits in the form of shaken assumptions or new questions? maximizing benefits: Becoming alert to “tremors.” I shall focus on the draw- back of encounters with surprises being largely unplanned. to reduce that, suppose we ask: Are there ways of anticipating where a shaking of assumptions is likely to occur? We might, for example, become alert to what I shall call “tremors”: signs that some assumption might be shaky. We can then plan efforts in those directions, maximizing the likelihood of benefit. there is again a potentially long list of examples. I shall limit myself to two. others present at this workshop would undoubtedly offer different examples.

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C the first has to do with questions about identity. Most “Western” re- search on identity assumes an essentially secular world (work, peers, neigh- borhoods). We are now becoming aware that, in many settings, identity is often strongly religious in nature. needed now is a closer look at settings where religious orientation and training are central to the perceptions of self and others and, in the process, at concepts of identity and their bases (cf. hudley et al., 2003; sen, 2005). the second example has to do with language development. Many chil- dren live in settings where bilingual or multilingual exposure is common. the prevailing assumption in “Western” psychology is that the optimal con- ditions are those where languages are functionally separated (e.g., by parent or by setting) and code switching (especially within sentences) is infrequent. that assumption, some linguists believe, may not be valid (e.g., dispray and Wigglesworth, 2005). there seems, however, to be only one close study of settings or groups where these conditions do not apply (kulick’s 1997 study in papua new Guinea). We clearly need more. bENEFITS RELATED TO EXPORT/IMPORT vIEWS OF PSyCHOLOgy Ideas and practices often flow from one country or one cultural group to another. that flow may be strongly promoted. often, for example, we want to change how things are done in other countries, especially those we see as within our “spheres of influence” or as in need of assistance. flow may also sometimes occur without any marked promotion from the place of ori- gin. Immigrant groups and teams that combine people from various coun- tries, for example, inevitably bring other ways of thinking or other ways of doing things. some of these may be resisted, but some will be adopted. Cultural collaborations provide ways to increase our understanding of that flow, in either direction. More specifically, I suggest, they can increase our understanding of five aspects: • the conditions that promote exports • the nature of what is exported (ideas or practices) • the fate of exports (from take-up to resistance) • what is happening in one’s own country, especially in the wake of im- migration and, among scientists, increased movement and networking • what other countries can suggest in relation to what can be improved, changed, or avoided, both in one’s own country and in others

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C the conditions that promote exports. to take one aspect of this, what con- ditions make one country more likely to be involved than another? the United states, for example, is a strong exporter. It is committed to the con- cept of assistance and to the spread of its values and practices across many other cultures. It is also in a position of power that makes spread more likely. Many of the same points might be said to apply to countries such as China, at least in relation to regions such as tibet or vietnam. Comparisons across countries can help us specify what contributes to an interest in exports of various kinds. they can also help us understand the ideas people hold about appropriate exports and the places seen as appropriate target sites. the nature of exports. exports may be of many kinds. from the United states to other countries, for example, have come ideas and practices related to education (from schooling to parent education), medical care (from pedi- atrics to psychiatry), cross-generation obligations (from child care to elder care), and the regulation of paid work (from child labor to parental leave or hours of work). What do cultural analyses offer on this score? they point to both a useful concept and some useful questions. the useful concept takes the form of proposing that the export of ideas, theories, or policies is through the export of practices. I am using “practices” here in the sense emphasized by bourdieu (1977), adopted by most anthropologists. and of interest to several develop- mentalists (e.g. Goodnow et al., 1995). “practices” in this definition consist of routine ways of doing things that we come to think of as “normal” or “natural,” that we seldom think about or question, that we often find un- comfortable to change, and that may need to be changed before any shift in concepts or attitudes can occur. before we change our gender schemas and attitudes, to take a much-used example, we may need to alter our everyday ways of “doing gender.” to illustrate the exporting of practices, we could take as examples a variety of content areas. Medical care is one. When we export standard “Western” approaches to medical care, what we seek to introduce are some specific practices: some particular ways of diagnosing, advising, prescribing; some particular ways of promoting good health or of taking care of those no longer in good health. for an example that has especially attracted attention from develop- mentalists, however, I shall turn to schooling. that content area contains accounts of a variety of exported practices. these range from age grading to

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C the subjects taught and particular ways of teaching (e.g., the use of particu- lar question-and-answer formats). Introduced also are some particular divi- sions of labor (e.g., the involvement of parents in homework or “projects”) and evaluation practices: practices that range from the use of particular measures for developmental status (or teachers’ competence) to nationwide testing at specified ages. this content area has also yielded some classic accounts of a very spe- cific kind of practice: the language insisted on in classrooms (e.g., dumont, 1972; heath, 1983). those analyses detail the way that new practices may fit into relatively empty space, find a place side by side with old practices, or involve some active “dismantling” (Michaels, 1991) of old ways. these accounts not only document this particular area, taking apart what “school- ing” involves and encouraging us to examine any unquestioned assumption that schooling is always beneficial, but also point the way toward examin- ing, in any content area, the introduction of theory or concepts by way of practices. the fate of exports. Cultural analyses provide several useful questions on this score. let me point to three: • What flows easily, to what groups? • Where are the first signs of difficulty? • Where are the areas of resistance? I shall deal lightly with the first question (what flows easily), noting only one suggestion from analyses of interactions between researchers and policymakers. What may flow easily, it has been proposed, are not the “data” that researchers hopefully offer but the large “frames” suggested. the “frame” of brain development as major in the first three years, often coupled with the description of children’s brains as largely “cooked” or “sculpted” by age 5, is one example. for the second question (first signs of difficulty), I shall again take from cultural analyses only one suggestion. for many of us who have taken ques- tions or assumptions to other cultural groups, the first difficulties—and the first shaking of assumptions—begin with finding that the measures we use (the questions we ask, the interview formats we are accustomed to, the tasks we ask people to do) “don’t work.” they are regarded as “odd,” as not worth any effort, or as requests to be considered only as a matter of courtesy. this is another case, however, of a difficulty turning out to have unex-

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C pected benefits. It is out of difficulty with measures and procedures that we begin to look seriously at issues of “translatability” and at the assumptions that lie beneath the kinds of measures we use and beneath others’ responses to them. It is out of that kind of experience that there have also arisen views of competence as “situated” rather than “general” (e.g., lave and Wenger, 1991). out of that experience as well has come an interest in issues that have also attracted anthropologists’ attention: how some tasks come to be considered as worth doing (others are seen as “trivial” rather than “signifi- cant”) and how some ways of talking or of problem solving come to be regarded as “correct” or “natural” while others are “unacceptable” or “odd” (e.g., bourdieu, 1979; d’andrade, 1981, 1995). the third question (areas of resistance) is the one on which I wish to be more expansive. What conditions prompt the sense of an objectionable export? Gaining a sense of those conditions is essential to any understanding of the fate of exports, and cultural analyses offer ways to begin understand- ing and exploring them. one way to begin is to look more closely at some specific practices, with preference given to those that are central to the success of exports. one of these, for example, is the giving and receiving of advice. the nature and fate of advice given to parents have attracted some culturally oriented attention (e.g., frankel and Roer-bornstein, 1982; Goodnow, 2003). both within and across cultures, however, we give advice on matters that range from parenting to schooling, housing, and health care. In all these areas, I suggest, cultural analyses would enrich our understanding of the conditions that influence how advice is given, how it is interpreted, and the extent to which it is followed. More broadly, we can return to the concept of practices, asking: what makes some practices objectionable or resisted? three possibilities are these: • the new practice creates the sense of being “a cultural stranger.” the term “cultural stranger” comes from phenomenological analyses of experi- ences in “foreign” lands. large differences may be handled easily. they are expected. small differences in practices—parts of one’s comfortable daily routines—are likely to provide more of a sense of shock or strangeness. “foreign” breakfasts have been described as a typical experience. large dif- ferences in forms of dress or speech are often anticipated. but breakfast? Changes in practices that give people the sense of being “cultural strangers” in their own land, it would seem, are what we should especially avoid when we make export moves.

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C • the new practices give rise to a sense of threat or danger. I shall take an example from pam Reynolds (personal communication). “Western” therapeutic practice is often in favor of helping people who have experi- enced trauma to relive and reface those experiences or the emotions they provoked. In many african groups, however, that practice—that release of negative emotions—is seen as dangerous both for the individual and for the surrounding group. the preferred alternative—the safer and more effective alternative—is seen as lying in purification ceremonies. • the disruption of everyday practices is thought to be arbitrary. for an example of that, let me take a personal sense of resistance. Up to a certain point, I accept easily the request that manuscripts submitted to U.s. sources should follow U.s. formats: psychologists should follow the requirements set out in great detail by the american psychological association. (that large publication manual is itself an interesting case of diffusion.) If I were a native speaker of french, German, or spanish, I would probably lament the move toward english only as the language for all articles in journals originally designed to be international. I still balk, however, at the required placement of quotation marks at the end of a sentence rather than at the end of a quoted phrase (cf. he said, “no way.” with: “he said, “no way”.). that practice violates my sense of grammar and logic, as well as my usual practices. It is also a reminder that in this case only apa practice counts: a reminder of one-sided power and convenience that leaves no room for explanations, negotiations, or exceptions. the example is “small” within any large picture of events. In situations where we wish exports to be easily accepted, however, we might well ask how any sense of arbitrary disruption might be avoided or softened. Understanding events in one’s own country. all countries undergo change. Most countries are also marked by some degree of cultural diversity, sparked often by waves of immigration: waves of what is often referred to as “popula- tion movement.” for both the analysis of change and the analysis of movement, cultural analyses provide benefits. In other countries, for example, there can occur forms of change that are not occurring in one’s own or have occurred some time earlier. silbereisen’s work on changes in Germany (in particular, the fall of the berlin Wall) provides one example (e.g., silbereisen, 2000). out of this work has come especially the recognition that change involves both risks and opportunities. (It is not all “trauma.”) from other countries, and comparisons across them, can come also

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C the data we need to understand population movement and its effects. It is difficult, for example, to gain a full understanding of immigration effects and generation changes without attention to both the country of origin and the country to which people move. the ideal picture of “contextual effects” or of “cultural maintenance” calls for considering generational changes in both countries. Considering what might be changed, improved, or avoided in one’s own country. let me make that concrete by way of some examples. “Western” countries have learned a great deal about the effects of diet and the nature of aging by considering other countries. a great deal can also be learned about the effects of pollutants on health and development: pollutants we might now actively seek to control. those areas of possibility, however, lead us back to areas of resistance. the United states, for example, is surrounded by countries—“developed” countries—that make routine legal provisions for both paid annual leave and paid parental leave. for both practices there is also evidence of benefits to individuals and to families. those practices, however, have not spread to the United states. In effect, we are prompted once more to think about the nature of both resistance and acceptance: issues relevant to countries that “export” their ideas and practices and those that more often “import.” FILLINg gAPS IN THEORy: THE CASE OF COLLAbORATION AND JOINT ACTIvITy I suggested at the start, as a general point, that one benefit from cross- cultural collaborations has to do with filling gaps in our theories. Men- tioned so far, for example, have been ways to fill gaps in our understanding of relationship distinctions and norms, of diffusion or culture spread, of change (social, environmental, generational), of social contexts, and of the ways in which the interactions of social factors and biological readiness influence development. as an area to serve as a specific example of those benefits, I am first tempted by theories of relationships. Most of these theories focus on close or intimate relationships. With the notable exception of fiske’s (1991) work, they seldom cover as well situations where people work together. Cultural analyses could help fill that gap. I shall nonetheless focus on a larger area: the understanding of col- laboration. this is an area relevant to the specific topic of this workshop. It

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C is relevant also to the nature of research practices and to the ways in which we regard all forms of learning, thinking, or problem solving. It is as well an area where cultural analyses have already provided us with new views of behavior and could help answer questions that those new views provoke. to bring out benefits, I shall separate two lines of analysis. one of these refers primarily to “participation,” the other to “joint activity.” some analysts—for example, Rogoff (2003)—combine the two, but for the mo- ment I shall separate them. Adding to analyses of participation. Whenever any interaction is seen as in- volving people who influence one another (whenever we move away from one-directional accounts of influence), the nature of participation becomes important to understand. emerging in recent times is the addition of concerns with participation that add references to terms such as “rights” or “respect.” that combination tends to arise especially in the analysis of situations where two parties are unequal in skills, resources, or power. at the moment, most of the situations covered involve forms of social policy or any research that involves children (e.g., Joseph Rowntree foundation, 2005). Unequal parties in collaborative efforts, however, are also frequent in cross-cultural research, opening the possibility that cultural analyses can both benefit from and add to what has already been learned. a second reason is that these analyses contain several interesting pro- posals that take us beyond some relatively superficial research practices: for example, the use of terms such as “participants” rather than “subjects” or—in social policy analyses—of “clients” or “service users” rather than “target populations.” In principle, it is easy to agree that “others” have an active part to play and that we should not regard them as “objects of study.” In practice, however, we have been slow to move on to the questions and issues that such principles give rise to. Cross-cultural collaborations offer us ways to do so. to make those further steps more concrete, let me list some of the proposals offered in analyses of participation and rights. proposed first of all is that involving people as active participants will: • Improve the design and evaluation of research or intervention programs • lower the likelihood of resentment or refusals • encourage the development of “trust”

OCR for page 47
0 APPEndIX C pointed to also is the need to consider some more conceptual gaps. We are now, for example, prompted to consider: • the meanings of “consent” or “improvement” • the nature of “trust” and the conditions that influence its develop- ment or its loss • the conditions that promote a shared sense of benefits at the moment, those proposals point mainly to gaps in our under- standing and in the questions we usually explore. at the moment also those proposals lack any exploration in depth and any firm support. Cross- cultural collaborations offer ways to move forward. here, for instance, are opportunities to ask what forms of participation do have beneficial effects. here also are situations par excellence for exploring refusals, definitions of consent, circumstances that influence “trust,” or the interpretation of invita- tions to participate. let me offer one specific example. It builds on my earlier reference to the way research involving australian aboriginals prompts a closer look at the meanings of “consent.” this second example again involves an aborigi- nal group (the Warlpiri). the other party in this case consists of film and television crews seeking access to aboriginal land or the use of local people as actors or “film material.” the account of refusals, of the crews’ response to refusals, and the negotiation of real participation in production and in decisions about release is a fascinating example both of cultural interactions and of the ways in which we may deepen our understanding and exploration of “consent” and “ownership.” (a book by langton, 1993, offers a summary of interactions and of a resident anthropologist’s close observations.) Adding to analyses of “joint activity.” the term “joint activity” is becoming widely used and will be familiar to you. let me accordingly summarize briefly the main proposals attached to it and, again, highlight the gaps that cross-cultural collaborations could help fill. the basic proposal is that all actions—all “activity”—should be regard- ed as “joint” rather than “solo.” even on occasions where only one person appears to be present, others will have structured the tasks, the settings, or the possible actions. In effect, Rodin’s statue—“the thinker”—should no longer be our dominant image. that baseline proposal gives rise to some specific others. each of these redefines terms to which we usually give restricted meanings:

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C • “knowledge” now comes to be seen as “distributed” (no one person knows all) • “expertise” comes to be seen as being alert to the capacities of others (what they can do or can provide) • development stems from “experts” phasing support in or out as needed, with “novices” given a role as “agents” in the process, and the rela- tionships between the two changing as competence changes. • the analysis of any situation needs to ask who is present and in what function (e.g., as players, referees, coaches, gatekeepers). It also needs to ask what each party expects or thinks is happening: their “psychology,” their “rules, regulations, or etiquette” (Clark, 1996) Most of those proposals, and most of the research related to them, stem from the work of vygotsky. It often has a base in cultural analyses. the emphasis on rules, regulations, and etiquette is an exception. Clark (1996) starts from an interest in language, particularly in the form of conversation. he then extends the same kind of analysis to all activities, with games as a strong second example. all told, the research is extensive. there are, however, gaps that cultural analyses can help fill. at one level, cultural analyses can provide ways to test some specific proposals. an example is the proposal that changes in a nov- ice’s competence lead to changes in the social relationships between novices and the more expert. In the words of a much-quoted phrase, novices move on to join “a community of practitioners” (lave and Wenger, 1991). that progression, or the expectation of it, seems to me to be part of a society or a content area that is essentially a “meritocracy.” often, I suspect, the social progression does not occur. It may not even be expected. More broadly, cultural analyses can help fill out the very large gap singled out in Clark’s emphasis on the need to understand the rules, regula- tions, or etiquette of any joint activity. We have been slow to ask: • What are the rules or expectations with regard to appropriate con- tributions and appropriate rewards or credits? • are these shared? • how are differences expected to be resolved? • how do they differ from one setting to another, and what gives rise to the differences? those large questions provide a final example of the benefits that cul-

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C tural collaborations can bring. Cross-cultural collaborations can provide ways to explore both small and large questions about the nature of any joint activity (of any behavior, if one starts from the assumption that behaviors are never “solo”). they would help us probe the nature of any specific col- laboration and help us anticipate where difficulties or differences may lie. behind those specific gains, and relevant to any content area, is the very large benefit of discovering new ways to think about behavior: ways to go beyond an easy acceptance of conventional explanations, beyond un- questioned assumptions, beyond the unthinking repetition of our everyday practices. Cross-cultural collaborations are clearly worth the investment of our time and effort, with rewards to be gained both for theory and for effective social policy. REFERENCES bourdieu, p. 1977. Outline of a theory of Practice. new York: Cambridge University press. bourdieu, p. 1979. distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of taste. london: Routledge & kegan paul. Chao, R.k. 1994. beyond parental control and authoritarian parenting style: Understand- ing Chinese parenting through the concept of training. Child development, 65:1111- 1119. Clark, h. 1996. Using Language. new York: Cambridge University press. Cole, M., and G. hatano. 2006. Cultural-historical activity theory: Integrating phylogeny, cultural history, and ontogenesis in cultural psychology. Unpublished manuscript, University of san diego, san diego, Ca. d’andrade, R. 1981. the cultural part of cognition. Cognitive Science, 5:179-195. d’andrade, R. 1995. the development of Cognitive Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University press. dispray, s., and M. Wigglesworth. 2005. language use in three aboriginal communities. paper presented at Charles darwin University seminar (“Imagining Childhood),” alice springs, australia. dumont, R.v. 1972. learning english and how to be silent: studies in sioux and Cherokee classrooms. pp. 344-369 in Functions of Language in the Classroom, C.b. Cazden, v.p. John, and d. hymes, eds. new York: teachers College press. fiske, a.p. 1991. Structures of Social Life: the Four Elementary Forms of Human Relations. new York: the free press. frankel, d.G., and d. Roer-bornstein. 1982. traditional and modern contributions to changing infant-rearing ideologies of two ethnic communities. monographs of the Society for Research in Child development, 47 (serial no. 196). Goodnow, J.J. 1990. the socialization of cognition: What’s involved? pp. 259-286 in Cultural Psychology: Essays on Comparative Human development, J. stigler, R.a. shweder, and G. herdt, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.

OCR for page 47
 APPEndIX C Goodnow, J.J. 1996. from household practices to parents’ ideas about work and interpersonal relationships. pp. 313-344 in Parents’ Cultural Belief Systems, s. harkness and C. super, eds. new York: Guilford. Goodnow, J.J. 2003. parents’ knowledge and expectations: Using what we know. In Handbook of Parenting, 2nd ed., vol. 3, M. bornstein, ed. Mahwah, nJ: erlbaum. Goodnow, J. J., p. J. Miller, & f. kessel (eds.). (1995). Cultural practices as contexts for development. new directions for Child development (no. 67). san francisco: Jossey- bass. heath, s.b. 1983. ways with words: Language, Life and work in Communities and Classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University press. hudley, e.p., W. haight, and p.J. Miller. 2003. Raise Up a Child: Human development in an African-American Family. Chicago, Il: lyceum books. Joseph Rowntree foundation. 2005. User involvement in research: building on experience and developing standards. http//:www.jrf.uk-redirect.asp_url´findings-socialcare-0175. accessed august 2005. kagitcibasi, C. 1994. a critical appraisal of individualisnm and collectivism: toward a new formulation. pp. 52-65 in Individualism and Collectivism, k. Uichol, h.C. triandis, C. kagitcibasi, s.C. Choi, and s. Yoon, eds. london: sage. kulick, d. 1997. Language Shift and Cultural Reproduction: Socialization, Self, and Syncretism in a Papuan new guinea Village. new York: Cambridge University press. langton, M. 1993. well, I Heard It on the Radio and I Saw It on the television. sydney: australian film Commission. lave, J., and e. Wenger. 1991. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. new York: Cambridge University press. Michaels, s. 1991. the dismantling of narrative. In developing narrative Structure, a. McCabe and C. peterson, eds. hillsdale, nJ: erlbaum. Miller, p.J., and J.J. Goodnow. 1995. Cultural practices: towards an integration of culture and development. pp. 5-16 in Cultural Practices as Contexts for development, J.J. Goodnow, p.J. Miller, and f. kessel, eds. san francisco: Jossey-bass. Rogers, e.M. 1995. diffusion of Innovations, 4th ed. new York: free press. Rogoff, b. 2003. the Cultural nature of Human development. new York: oxford University press. sen, a. 2005. Identity and Violence: the Illusion of Identity. new York: Guilford. shonkoff, J. 2000. science, policy, and practice: three cultures in search of a shared mission. Child development, 71:181-187. silbereisen, R. 2000. negotiating Adolescence in times of Social Change. new York: Cambridge University press.