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Çiğdem Kağitçibaşi has long been at the forefront of research in developmental and cultural psychology, and is one of the world's most highly respected cross-cultural psychologists. This collection of essays has been produced in honor of Professor Kağitçibaşi's retirement and to commemorate her contribution to the field. The volume examines social, developmental, and cultural psychology and intervention policies. A select group of international expert scholars explore those aspects of human behavior that are observed in all cultures, as well as those that are unique to each. They also examine changes in the family across socio-cultural contexts and generations in order to understand the factors precipitating these changes. Representing developments in theory and research in the field, this volume that will appeal to researchers and students of developmental and cross-cultural psychology across the world.
I regard it a special privilege to be invited to participate in this volume honoring Professor Kağıtçıbaşı, whose distinguished career I have followed with admiration since its early stages. In the 1950s, I knew her first as an able graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley. Çiğdem Çizakça, as she was then called, shared my interest in the important though faulted study of The Authoritarian Personality (Adorno et al. 1950), which had been carried out at Berkeley more than a decade earlier. She thought the negatively valued correlates of authoritarianism in American society would not hold for authoritarianism in Turkey, where authoritarian attitudes were supported by traditional social norms.
In due course, I supervised her doctoral research, in which, against my cautious advice, she undertook a cross-cultural study comparing the responses of Californian and Turkish high school students to the F-scale, the measure of authoritarianism developed by Adorno et al. (ibid.). Before she had completed the analysis of her data, she married Oğuz Kağıtçıbaşı and returned with him to Turkey to take charge of the secondary school in Bursa that her father, just deceased, had established. Her challenges were heightened by the birth of their first child. Naturally, I could not be hopeful about the prospect of her completing the dissertation. Most doctoral students could not have done it under such circumstances. But I didn't really know Çiğdem yet. To my pleasant surprise, she sent me excellent drafts by mail for my comments.
This book covers issues ranging from the status of psychology as a science in the majority world to policy implications that can be derived from it in the form of intervention programs. Within this range from theoretical to practical applications are issues concerning the relation between culture and parenting, self-development in a cultural context, and effects of social change on family and gender roles, which all are among the core concerns of the discipline of human development as well as the cultural perspective. The chapters explore these issues either by comparing the western world with the majority world, or focus on a single culture from the latter. Thus the book addresses questions of interest for developmental psychologists, cross-cultural psychologists, community psychologists, intervention researchers, and policy makers in life span education.
A major reason for putting together this book was to present the state of the art from the perspectives of the western and majority world contributors to the study of culture and development. A second motivation was to recognize the developments that have taken place in this area in the majority world, and particularly in Turkey. One of the driving forces in this development has been Çiğdem Kağıtçıbaşı, who has undertaken significant cross-cultural research and posited theoretical models of self-development and family change. Her work has provided an alternative to the models prevalent in the western world by showing that urbanization and socio-economic development need not necessarily have a single outcome in the form of an autonomous–separate–self.