By Allen Frances
Softcover model of a instruction manual to the simpler use of DSM-IV.
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Additional resources for Dsm-IV Guidebook
Statements of this kind suggest that the term culture is used to summarise personal attributes of the members of a group. FINAL 3/3/03 12:39 PM Page 26 Assessing Mental Health Across Cultures There is an implication that such cultural attributes are stable and that, by extension, culture is stable. However, reference to our definitions suggests that culture is a process that is constantly defined and redefined through people’s interactions. What is not so evident in this statement is that the person is drawing a cultural contrast, and in the process, making a value-laden judgement from a particular cultural vantage point.
This is a private emotion that involves a person’s inability to reconcile his own actions with reference to his own private moral standards. In collectivist cultures where emphasis is on social experience, shame rather than guilt is more typically experienced under similar circumstances. Here the experience reflects an inability to reconcile one’s actions with reference to the collective’s moral standards and transgressions represent breaches in the obligation of members of the ingroup to uphold the honour of the ingroup (Hofstede, 1991).
Attitudes towards the powerful are not unfavourable. Those in power are respected and obeyed, while those not in power can expect that the powerful will look after their interests and protect them. In low power distance societies the ideal is to minimise the differences between individuals in a hierarchy, whereas in high power distance societies the ideal is to maintain and observe differences in hierarchy. In low power distance cultures egalitarian values are emphasised in interpersonal relationships.