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The Self in Culture I [microform] : Person-Centered Ethnography and Psychoanalytic Anthropology / Robert A. LeVine
Bib ID 5451218
Format MicroformMicroform, BookBook
LeVine, Robert A
Description [Washington, D.C.] : Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse, 1980 
37 p. 

Concepts and methods intended to enhance the relationship between psychoanalytic theory and psychological anthropology are proposed and illustrations of the application of these concepts and methods are given based on ethnographic data on the Gusii of Kenya. Using five minimum assumptions about the universality of personality, an ethnographic approach to understanding the self is proposed--an approach that uses the methods of social anthropology to obtain empirical data of psychological as well as social significance. Emphasis is on three categories: (1) routine interpersonal encounters, in which the self is presented to another according to a conventional code of conduct; (2) public occasions, in which the self is represented to communicants through a conventional code of religious, political, or aesthetic symbols; and (3) autobiographical discourse, in which the self is represented as a personal history placed in a conventional framework of normative self-description. A discussion of these categories is followed by a description of two general hypotheses used to explain research on these three bodies of narratives about the self--the common-denominator hypothesis and the complementarity hypothesis. This research on the adult self among the Gusii of Kenya illustrates the use of psychosocial analysis of cultural materials and individual case studies as a means of: (1) exploring the experience of adults in the Gusii community; and (2) drawing valid conclusions about how individuals function psychologically in their cultural environment. A seven-page list of project research papers concludes the document. (LH)


Sponsoring Agency: Bernard Van Leer Foundation, The Hague (Netherlands).

ERIC Note: Paper from the Project on Human Potential. For other project papers, see SO 016 244-270.

May also be available online. Address as at 14/8/18:

Reproduction Microfiche. [Washington D.C.]: ERIC Clearinghouse microfiches : positive. 
Subjects Anthropology.  |  Case Studies.  |  Cultural Context.  |  Data Collection.  |  Ethnography.  |  Field Studies.  |  Interdisciplinary Approach.  |  Research Methodology.  |  Self Concept.  |  Social Science Research.  |  Gusii Psychoanalytic Theory
Form/genre Reports, General.
Other authors/contributors Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA. Graduate School of Education
Available From ERIC 


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