Cultural Realities of Being: Abstract ideas within everyday lives, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Cultural Realities of Being

Abstract ideas within everyday lives, 1st Edition

Edited by Nandita Chaudhary, S. Anandalakshmy, Jaan Valsiner


212 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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Cultural Realities of Being offers a dialogue between academic activity and everyday lives by providing an interface between several perspectives on human conduct. Very often, academic pursuits are arcane and obscure for ordinary people, this book will attempt to disentangle these dialogues, lifting everyday discourse and providing a forum for advancing discussion and dialogue.

Nandita Chaudhary, S. Anandalakshmy and Jaan Valsiner bring together contributors from the field of cultural psychology to consider how people living within social groups, regardless of how liberal, are guided by collective reality and interconnected with life circumstances. The book discusses experiences and events in the lives of people of Indian cultures covering topics including family, food, pilgrimages, social dynamics and truth, in order to expand the material on human phenomena under the broad frame of cultural psychology.

The book builds upon rich cultural traditions present in India, and precisely because of this focus, the book has much larger implications and relevance to the field and aims to orient the academic reader from around the world to viewing India and Indian society as a valuable area for research.

Divided into three sections, the book covers:

• Social presentation in culture

• Representing relations

• Children and youth in culture

This book includes commentaries from expert academics from outside of India, providing a bridge between academic reality and cultural discourse and throwing fresh light on the everyday events presented in the text. Cultural Realities of Being will be essential reading for those studying Cross Cultural Psychology as well as those interested in social representation and identity.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Social Presentation in Culture Introspections on Culture S. Anandalakshmy. Feasting and Fasting in Hindu India Devdutt Pattanaik. Commentary Alan Roland Part 2: Representing Relations Negotiations with Patriarchy: Gender and Childhood in India Shraddha Kapoor. Parental Reconstructions about the Care and Development of Young Children Mila Tuli. Cultural Situatedness of Cognitive Development and its Assessment Nandita Chaudhary. Commentary Ana Cecilia Bastos Part 3: Children and Youth in Culture ‘I Have a Family, Therefore I Am’: Children’s Understanding of Self and Others Pooja Bhargava. Children’s Understanding of Multiple Layers of Truth Punya Pillai. Challenging Tradition and Negotiating Modernity: The Lives of Contemporary Indian Youth Sujata Sriram. Commentary Meike Watzlawik. Conclusion Nandita Chaudhary, S. Anandalakshmy and Jaan Valsiner.

About the Editors

Nandita Chaudhary is Associate Professor at Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, India.

S. Anandalakshmy is a consultant in Chennai, India.

Jaan Valsiner is Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark, and Professor of Psychology and English at Clark University, USA.

About the Series

Cultural Dynamics of Social Representation

The series Cultural Dynamics of Social Representation is dedicated to bringing the scholarly reader new ways of representing human lives in the contemporary social sciences. It is a part of a new direction – cultural psychology – that has emerged at the intersection of developmental, dynamic and social psychologies, anthropology, education, and sociology. It aims to provide cutting-edge examinations of global social processes, which for every country are becoming increasingly multi-cultural. Therefore, social sciences need new ways of considering how to study human lives in their globalizing contexts. The focus of this series is the social representation of people, communities, and – last but not least – the social sciences themselves.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology