Culture Blindness and Academic Capitalism
Summary. The advancement of a genuinely global science beyond Euro-American mainstream, the reduction of international research inequalities, and the mitigation of adverse effects of academic capitalism are important to make progress in understanding and helping humanity worldwide.
Culture influences how values, socialization processes, and behavior significantly vary across the human species . American psychology tended to consider cultural context merely as a variable that ideally needs to be controlled for . An overemphasis on comparative studies comparing different cultural contexts to the Euro-American standard of mainstream (developmental) psychology would leave science blind to cultural specifics . Globalization should be rather a global inclusion of diversity than the enrollment of dominant cultures across the globe.
Euro-American Mainstream Psychology and Cultural Diversity
The majority of people worldwide live in hugely different contexts than Americans. The samples of the research published in APA journals was assessed to be predominantly representative only for rich urban Euro-American populations and did not cover more than 12% of the human population at maximum across all the articles from 2003–2007 . However, cultural studies have started to increase, especially psychological topics such as human development and acculturation are, potentially because of globalization, on the rise. Culturally diverse demographics are not yet well represented by the dominance of Anglo-American researchers . Culture as a conceptually relevant factor is required to better understand also the cultural diversity within a population like the U.S. with its Latino, African, and Asian immigrants .
Almost Non-existent Integration of Knowledge About the Developing Majority World
Research from socio-economically less powerful nations can’t afford the promotion of the same global visibility. Also, educational policy research in most countries is focusing on country-level and does rarely address the fostering of understanding international inequalities . UN organizations like the UNICEF’s global data sets are essential for increasing cross-cultural knowledge and addressing the needs of the children in the developing Majority world . As for developmental psychology research, it is vital to consider entire lifespans as children are more adaptable and better suited to test universalities, while adults provide for a clearer insight into cultural diversity .
Academia is not immune to the pressure to publish more frequently with more visibility, following the capitalist principle of competition for growth . As over the last 300 years the number of scientists and publications had been increasing exponentially, one can easier find supporting evidence to cite, regardless of the source’s quality . More than one third of researchers in psychology were estimated to have falsified data in their research, a practice that can never be justified . In conclusion, the advancement of a genuinely global science beyond Euro-American mainstream, the reduction of international research inequalities, and the mitigation of adverse effects of academic capitalism are important to make progress in understanding and helping humanity worldwide.
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