Cultural Pluralism

Cultural Pluralism and Psychoanalysis: The Asian and North American Experience

Alan Roland, a distinguished cross-cultural psychoanalyst, turns his focus in Cultural Pluralism and Psychoanalysis to the complex interface between Asians and other Americans. He lays the ground work for this analysis by first showing how Western psychology in general and psychoanalysis in particular are rooted in the modern Western culture of individualism.

He then discusses the cultural/psychological dissonances and misunderstandings between Asians from South or East Asia and Euro-Americans. A bi-cultural self develops in Asian Americans that can generate considerable inner turmoil in the immigrant generation and often confusion in the second generation, as well as resulting in new integrations in an expanding self. Two other psychoanalytic therapists and an anthropologist supplement Roland’s work on Indians and Japanese with essays on Chinese and South Koreans.

“Timely, insightful, and provocative, Roland zeroes in on the central problem of relationships between Asians and Americans. His analysis of the causes of the misunderstandings leads him to the living roots of Asian cultures and how they clash with the expectations of Westerners. Roland’s work challenges psychoanalysis to come out of its Euro-centric straitjacket and embrace a comparative, pluralistic, cross-cultural paradigm.”

— S. N. Sridhar, Director, Center for Indian Studies, State University of New York at Stony Brook

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