Culture and the structure of personal experience: Insider and outsider phenomenologies of the self and social world

Dov Cohen, Etsuko Hoshino-Browne, Angela K y Leung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This chapter argues for the importance of understanding the role of culture in structuring people's personal phenomenological experience. Such an understanding is (1) important per se and (2) important for elucidating the feedback loops between culture and self, between macro-level ideology and micro-level experience. To illustrate, we contrast the "outsider" perspective on the self of Asian-Americans with the "insider" perspective on the world for Euro-Americans. We examine (1) the outsider versus insider perspective by looking at the phenomenology of memory imagery, online imagery, visualization and embodiment of narratives, and relational versus egocentric projection; (2) the implications for cultural differences in egocentric biases that derive from dwelling too much in one's own internal experience; and (3) the emergence of developmental differences in characterizing the social world. We argue that the lessons of experience and cultural ideology cocreate each other, and we illustrate this by describing some ways that distinct phenomenological experiences are intimately tied to cultural norms, beliefs, and ideals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in experimental social psychology
PublisherElsevier
Pages1-67
Number of pages67
Volume39
ISBN (Print)0120152398, 9780120152391
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology
Volume39
ISSN (Print)0065-2601

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  • Cite this

    Cohen, D., Hoshino-Browne, E., & Leung, A. K. Y. (2007). Culture and the structure of personal experience: Insider and outsider phenomenologies of the self and social world. In Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 39, pp. 1-67). (Advances in Experimental Social Psychology; Vol. 39). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2601(06)39001-6