Susan Gelman highlights one of the important points of the book Developing Destinies: A Mayan Midwife and Town, by Barbara Rogoff, with Chona Pérez González, Chonita Chavajay Quiacaín, and Josué Chavajay Quiacaín.
[In the] United States, culture is typically essentialized (Gelman, 2003), viewed as an unchanging, inborn, encompassing identity that determines an individual's attributes.This static view of culture, to some extent, stereotypes individuals and serves as another way to confine groups to spaces and places. Yet, this was never the intent of a focus on culture. The complexity of culture and its resistance to the research requirements of precise numerical measurement have hampered our use of this construct. How can the field of psychology break out of this "box" and optimize our use of this important aspect of human life and experience?
By Susan A. Gelman
PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(38)