Psychological Anthropology

ANSS Subject and Bibliographic Access Committee Question/Answer on Cataloging Issues – February 2011
What subject headings are applied to works on psychological anthropology?

Predating the LCSH term “Ethnopsychology,” was what was known in anthropology as “Culture and Personality” and defined by Anthony C. Wallace as: “Culture-and-personality is thus significant in the field of cultural anthropology because it is concerned with certain aspects of the theory of culture process, including intergenerational transfer of culture . . . culture change, and the institutionalization of modes of coping with individual diversity (1970).” Culture and personality, a subfield of cultural anthropology, originated with the work of Ruth Benedict, Margaret Mead, and Bronislaw Malinowski in the 1920s. The subfield grew through the Great Depression and WWII when “national character” studies were in vogue. By the 1950s, anthropologists including Ralph Linton, Cora Dubois, and Weston Labarre were increasingly incorporating psychoanalytical theory into their work. In the 1960s, larger cross-cultural studies such as Beatrice Whiting, et. al.’s Six Cultures project and Harvard University’s Comparative Study of Values in Five Cultures Project were looking at bigger questions with more sophistication. Not surprisingly, considering the times, studies of altered states of consciousness in different cultures also became more prominent in the 1960s. By the 1970s, the term “Psychological Anthropology” was gaining in popularity (e.g., Erika Bourguignon’s 1979 textbook, Psychological Anthropology). Today neither culture and personality (USE personality and culture) or psychological anthropology (USE ethnopsychology) are used by the Library of Congress:

Personality and culture (May Subd Geog)

UF Civilization and personality
Culture and personality

BT Civilization

NT Ethnomethodology
–-Cross-cultural studies
Ethnopsychology (May Subd Geog)

SA subdivision Psychology under names of racial or ethnic groups, e.g. African Americans–Psychology
UF Cross-cultural psychology
Ethnic groups–Psychology
Ethnic psychology
Indigenous peoples–Psychology
National psychology
Psychological anthropology
Psychology, Cross-cultural
Psychology, Ethnic
Psychology, National
Psychology, Racial
Race psychology

BT Psychology
RT National characteristics
NT Art and race
Cognition and culture
Cultural psychiatry
Cultural relativism
Guilt and culture
Personality and culture
Race awareness

Related LCSH terms:

Psychoanalysis and folklore (May Subd Geog)

UF Folklore and psychoanalysis
BT Folklore
Primitivity (Psychoanalysis)

UF Primitiveness (Psychoanalysis)
BT Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis and anthropology (May Subd Geog)

UF Anthropology and psychoanalysis
BT Anthropology
Psychoanalysis and culture (May Subd Geog)

UF Culture and psychoanalysis
BT Culture

Cultural psychiatry
Here are entered works on the branch of psychiatry concerned with the influence of culture on mental health. Works on the branch of psychiatry concerned with the comparison of mental health and disorders in different cultures are entered under Psychiatry, Transcultural.

UF Culture and psychiatry
Psychiatry, Cultural
Psychiatry and culture

BT Ethnopsychology
Social psychiatry

NT Psychiatry, Transcultural

Psychiatry, Transcultural
Here are entered works on the branch of psychiatry concerned with the comparison of mental health and disorders in different cultures. Works on the branch of psychiatry concerned with the influence of culture on mental health are entered under Cultural psychiatry.

UF Cross-cultural psychiatry
Cultural psychiatry–Cross-cultural studies
Psychiatry–Cross-cultural studies
Psychiatry, Cross-cultural
Transcultural psychiatry

BT Cross-cultural studies
Cultural psychiatry

NT Psychology, Pathological–Cross-cultural studies
Schizophrenia–Diagnosis–Cross-cultural studies

Robert LeVine wrote in 1974, that “Culture and personality research draws upon and contributes to the growing specialties of cross-cultural psychology and transcultural psychiatry, but it is not reducible to them. Its distinctiveness, now as in the past, resides in its focus on continuities and complementarities between (a) the normal and abnormal, (b) childhood and adulthood, (c) the personality system and the social and cultural systems, and on the connections between (a), (b), and (c). Its province, though not sharply bounded, may be defined as the interrelations between life cycle, psychological functioning and malfunctioning, and social and cultural institutions.” In recent years, LC has favored psychology over anthropology and personality over culture, so now the LCSH term which most adequately covers what was once known as “culture and personality” is “Personality and culture.”

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