Self as Cultural Product: An Examination of East Asian and North American Selves

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Abstract

In the past decade a wealth of research has been conducted on the cultural foundation of the self-concept, particularly with respect to East Asian and North American selves. The present paper discusses how the self differs across these two cultural contexts, particularly with respect to an emphasis on consistency versus flexibility, an intraindividual vs. an extraindividual focus, the malleability of the self versus world, the relation of self to others, and self-enhancing versus self-critical motivations. These differences reveal the manifold ways that culture shapes the self.

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