For a long time psychology's main concern was to become another natural science, from where it borrowed concepts, ideas, and methods. It evolved its theoretical structures based on models used in the Western world of science, and the laboratory became the best site for the study of a variety of micro-level phenomena with little concern for problems requiring global or macro-level treatment - such as the role of social, cultural and economic variables.
With the development of cross-cultural psychology in the 1960s - through the efforts of Durganand Sinha, Gustav Jahoda, Jan Deregowski and John Dawson - culture came to be regarded as the context or system, and human behaviour as adaptive to this context. This collection of essays pursues this line of thought admirably. Consisting of an introduction and thirteen articles by eminent scholars, the book deals with the following issues:
. new lines of thinking about cognition, emotion, personality, and mental health;
. the language and practice of the "real people" in real or concrete interactional or transactional situations;
. the shift in methodology from experimentation to the use of observational and ethnographic methods;
. the movement from mainstream psychology to applied social psychology;
. the recent concern in development psychology with quality of life (QOL).
An important collection that demonstrates how a culturally appropriate psychology can only be developed and practised on the basis of a cultural understanding of individuals or groups."