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German 'National Character' and Cultural Profile: Some Thoughts

Scientific Essay 1984 32 Pages

Cultural Studies - European Studies

Excerpt

Wolfgang RUTTKOWSKI

German "Nationalcharakter" and Cultural Profile: Some Thoughts

I

"A German is a combination of murder and music,” someone said in a French film of the "nouvelle vogue." And although there may be some truth in this shortest of all characterizations I have found, this is not the kind of definition I am concerned with here.[i] There is some truth in all descriptions - from Tacitus' via Giordano Bruno's, Madame de Stael's, Heine's, Nietzsche's, Eduard Wechsler's, Benedetto Croce's, Bernhard Shaw's, all the way to Carl Jacob Burckhardt's or Thomas Mann's[ii]. These descriptions, focusing more or less on "the German" as a generalized person, are sometimes amusing, but more often, depressing to read. For those amongst us, who either teach or study German civilization, they are not very useful. In such courses, we are not dealing with the phenotype of "the German," but rather with German cultural achievements that demand to be seen together and to be explained as convincingly as possible.

The psychologists Alexander and Margarete Mitscherlich (1967, p. 10) pointed out a problem confronting the social psychologist who wants to analyze characteristic patterns of behavior of a nation: features that apply to a majority of its members in a private sphere might not become dominant in overt social and political behavior, and vice versa. For instance, a readiness for true communication and interaction among the Germans in a private frame of reference might seem to be contradicted by introvert social behavior in public. (Are those Germans who look right through you in their subways really capable of maintaining warm and loyal friendships? etc.)

We are circumventing these problems here by looking only at cultural traits manifested in objective achievements. They can be examined by anyone. Even this kind of evidence is open to interpretation. But it is considerably less so than the analysis of human behavior.

The notion of "national character,"[iii] even if it is used with a, sense of humor, entails a prognostic element always in doubt in times of rapid social change. When Willy Hellpach, in a popular book (1954), discerned six "Partialkonstanten" of the German national character: 1. The urge to work or create, 2, Thoroughness, 3. Love of order, 4. Distaste for social form, 5. Stubbornness, 6. a tendency towards indulging in emotions, he seems to expect these tendencies to endure.[iv] We know, however, from experience that "national characteristics" of this kind can change within one generation. For instance, the urge to work can evaporate with the development of a so-called "welfare mentality" in a system of exaggerated socialism and unionism. These traits may be very true for one generation, even for generations before, but utterly wrong for the one following.[v] If David Potter’s characterization of the Americans as a "People of Plenty" (1954) has been fitting up to now, this might soon change in a period of scarcity of energy and raw materials.

Cultural profiles, on the other hand, seek to explain the most characteristic cultural manifestations up to that moment. They are retrospective and do not project further developments.

Moreover, someone who traces a cultural profile tends to avoid the ticklish question of freedom versus determinism in national development. As we pinpoint cultural features and the way they fit together, we do not necessarily have to explain what brought them about, nor whether this was inevitable or based on free decision. Nevertheless, I personally would not hesitate to admit that I fully share Erich Kahler's (1974, p. 5ff.) Hegelian kind of determinism, which he expresses in the following way:

"Just as an individual's consciousness, reason, and free will are influenced by heredity and environment, so, in the history of a people, the thoughts and actions of leading men are influenced by the traditions of their people and the climate of their epoch. Their ways of thinking, their explorations and innovations, are determined by developments far beyond their individual range. Yet these explorations and innovations are no less their own achievements."

He especially shows this with Martin Luther, about whom he says:

"Nowhere in Europe can we find a single personality whose impact on a nation's history is comparable to Luther's. But if we look closer, we shall see that this man, who was so influential in German history, was himself subject to emotional and intellectual forces that have their origin in the social and cultural configurations of medieval Germany.”

There are mainly two ways of examining the cultural profile of a nation: the historical and the phenomenological. [vi] Both look at first at a civilization as a whole and, after a while, discover prominent features. These features may stand out, because they simply occur more often than others (e. g., the creation of musical or philosophical masterworks), or because they are markedly different from those of other nations (e. g., a pronounced tendency for "inwardness" or introvert attitudes in art). The historical approach will immediately attempt to trace such features back to their possible origins. It is interested in causal relationships. The phenomenological approach, on the other hand, will keep looking for other, related features that might possibly link up with the first into patterns or structures. We could therefore call it "holistic."

In reality, the historical and the phenomenological approaches always unite in various ways. It is impossible to look for historical causation of a feature without having an idea of what is supposed to be "typical" and, therefore, worth a historical explanation. On the other hand, the description of certain national characteristics always leads to historical perspectives.

These structures of related features, which we might observe in the cultural manifestations of a nation, resemble very much the "behavioral patterns" hinting at the underlying personality structure in individuals. It is in this sense that the philosopher Schelling (1799/1859, p. 731) already spoke of the "German temper" represented symbolically by Goethe’s Faust. And sometimes we use expressions like "typically German" in that way. In fact, if applied carefully, such generalizations can be useful as working hypotheses, helping to connect and thereby explain isolated symptoms (national features or characteristics). And, if we analyze our own thinking, we use them all the time in tacit assumptions. But, of course, they cannot be extended to all manifestations of a nation. Indeed, "cultural profiles" often embrace the antithetical ("dialectical") relationship of antagonistic features (like extreme rational and irrational behavior) and mold them into a synthesis that. can accommodate and even explain seemingly "bizarre contradictions."

Of course, if you look long enough, not only will you find many “exceptions" to such observations but also similar phenomena in other cultures contradicting the assumption that we are dealing with features exclusively German. We have to keep in mind that all concepts and categories in the humanities admit exceptions. All observations made in civilization courses carry us beyond specific cases and into generalizations. They can do nothing but set accents, accents that nevertheless might serve well as ideal points of reference.

In an attempt to tie such observations into a somewhat convincing pattern for our students we are looking for a model that would enable us to do so. Anthropology, in a similar predicament, has developed two points of reference for establishing cultural profiles, the value-system approach[vii], and the culture-personality-theory. The first, which derives a cultural profile from an analysis of the conscious and unconscious value-hierarchies effective in a society, does not carry us very far, since very similar value hierarchies direct most European nations. It is exactly the characteristic mode in which these same values are pursued that we are after. Differences of temperament more than differences of values determine those cultural characteristics we try to explain. Therefore, a careful applied comparison of cultural traits with personality traits seems to me to be more promising in our search for a helpful model for a synthesis.[viii]

After psychology has done its duty in helping us pull together isolated observations into something resembling personality types that we call a cultural profile, we have to ask how far this analogy should be allowed to go. Personality types, especially those based on qualities of temperament, are often based on biological determinants. Should we assume that "the German national character" is based on racial factors[ix], or on historical determinants (including climate and environment)[x]? I think there is no scientific proof for the first assumption, and all the evidence speaks for the second. The first, the myth of the "race soul" was, of course, propagated by the Nazis[xi], and its devastating consequences have instilled in us fears against attempting any synthetic aspect at all, at least programmatically. Latently, and partly unconsciously, we are working with cultural cliches all the time.

Helmut Plessner, in his study Die verspätete Nation (The Belated Nation, 1959) points out that German writers have made German national characteristics, seen as racially determined, responsible for Germany's achievements and failings, apologetically or reproachfully, as needed. This view is dangerous because it does not allow for the possibility of change, re-learning, or improvement. It is utterly pessimistic. And even though historically ingrained national habits can also be seen as fairly permanent, views of racial determination are certainly not justified as scientific evidence.

Often "Völkerpsychologie" bases its observations on Comparative Linguistics[xii], since language is the prime instrument in our relations with the world. However, language is also shaped by the historical experience of a nation. Therefore, linguistic evidence of national characteristics does not prove that they are biologically based, nor unchangeable.

Since we neither can nor want to avoid cultural generalizations altogether[xiii], we should rather attempt to make the best use of them, and to see clearly their limitations. The latter are:

1. Cultural profiles can, as the name indicates, only be applied to cultural manifestations and achievements of a nation, not to its single members.[xiv] 2. They are at best useful generalizations, providing us with points of reference for a better understanding of isolated cultural observations. They always aim at a synthesis. In that respect they resemble type concepts in personality theory (German: Charakterologie[xv]). 3. They should, if at all, be explained historically[xvi], not biologically. 4. They are basically retrospective[xvii]. Their limited value for our own time of intense political, economical, and cultural change and exchange should always be kept in mind. 5. They are not tied to any philosophical positions, as, e.g., concerning freedom versus determinism. 6. They combine by necessity a phenomenological with a historical perspective,, but stress, the former. 7. They use as points of reference either value-hierarchies or psychological models. The latter approach seems to promise more subtle insights into differences in style and temperament between cultures. 8. If they are more psychologically oriented, cultural profiles can embrace and explain seemingly antagonistic features within a culture. 9. Tracing "cultural profiles" we avoid most of the methodological problems pertaining to the concept of "national character."[xviii] We consciously shun familiar questions tied to the culture-personality type approach, like: Does each "Kulturnation" have its own "basic personality type”[xix], ? How can the latter be separated from traits, of other group affiliations, "status personalities", "prestige series"[xx], occupations, etc.? What exactly is the connection and interaction, between "national character" and "culture"[xxi]. 10. For the purpose of drawing isolated observations together into patterns that we call "cultural profiles" it is not necessary to move from description to causal analysis[xxii]. Reasons for observed patterns - be they geographical, historical or biological - will offer themselves frequently, but should be dealt with cautiously, especially the last group. In any case there is no need to ignore the observation of useful patterns if they cannot be explained causally[xxiii].

Our approach is a pragmatic one. We look at cultural manifestations of a nation, which to a considerable degree of agreement are perceived as being "typical", and we ask ourselves whether any pattern can be discovered, and how it could be described. It is not surprising that in most cases metaphors[xxiv] from psychology seem to be the most adequate. In the last analysis, cultural profiles are projections, just as are psychological types. They are both systems of categories we impose on phenomena. The only justification for applying them is their usefulness in creating order in a multitude of formerly unconnected impressions, and in stimulating further comparative observations.

II

After having outlined some basic considerations of the concept of cultural profiles in general, I would like to apply these to the task of sketching a German cultural profile in particular. We start with some random, but not atypical, observations, the kind that are made over and, over again in our civilization courses:

First, of course, the difficult written style of the Germans with its complex sentence structures and frequent use of "Nebensätze" and especially split predicates that embrace the remainder of the sentence, also the inclination to appear "profound" ("heavy") by using lots of abstract nouns and classifications;

Their desire to construct comprehensive systems that explain everything with a few basic principles, not only in philosophy (Kant, Hegel, Hartmann, Heidegger), but also in categorizing their dreams (Freud);

Their unrivaled dominance in pure (absolute) music from Bach to Stockhausen;

Their unique achievements in certain art movements (Romanticism, Expressionism)[xxv], art styles (the self portrait) and literary genres ("Bildungsroman");

Their predilection for highly sensitive and introspective heroes ("German inwardness") often joined to a temperamental antipode (Faust - Mephisto, Walt and Vult, Narziss and Goldmund, Tonio and the blond Hans), or posited between two female counterparts, symbolizing extreme aspects of womanhood (Tannhäuser between Frau Venus and Elisabeth, Faust between Helena and Gretchen, Hofmannsthal's Andreas between Maria and Mariquita, etc.).

These typical observations seem to suggest a cluster of attitudes associated in psychology, and, characteristically, first and foremost in German psychology[xxvi], with the introvert personality type[xxvii]. The introvert type, as described most prominently by Gustav Jung (1921) is usually associated with the "schizothyme" type, as defined by Ernst Kretschmer (1921) and his school. There are many other names for, and descriptions of, this basic type and its opposite, the extrovert or "cyclothyme", ranging from observations in brain physiology to philosophical and artistic attitudes[xxviii], but a simplified view will suffice for our purposes here: "introvert" means socially inhibited, channeling emotional energies back to one's own inner life, rather than to the outside; "schizothyme" means an inclination towards a dissociation of personality components, mainly of the rational from the irrational impulses. ("Schizophrenic" is the pathological extreme of this basic tendency.) In isolation, both kinds of impulses, the rational and the irrational, tend to become more extreme. The connection between introversion ("inwardness") and dissociation can be explained easily: The extrovert, who lives in constant contact with his environment, is always in touch with reality. His emotional energies as well as rational interests constantly relate to the exterior world, are shaped by it, and are discharged into it. Tensions within the strata (or functions) of his personality will therefore not arise. Popular psychology has always known that "thou-related" persons are more "at peace with themselves" less in danger of building up tension than "self-centered" ones, that the best way of relieving inner conflict is to concentrate on your fellow man, that internal conflict goes hand in hand with social problems. Androgenic and exogene neurosis are two aspects of the same process.

[...]


[i] This paper, in an abbreviated form, was presented at the Fifth Annual Conference of the Western Association for German Studies in Seattle, Washington on October 9, 1981. It was printed in Acta Humanistica et Scientifica Universitatis Sangio Kyotiensis XIV/1, Humanities Series No. 11 (Kyoto, March 19840) 216-249.

[ii] See part II of the bibliography.

[iii] See part I of the bibliography.

[iv] Similarly, but somewhat less flattering, Don Martindale (1963, p. 237) : "A number of properties typify German national character: (1) extremism combined with stubbornness and inflexibility; (2) the expression of this extremism in monasticism or mystic, religiosity; (3) a lack of inner control and moderation, expressed in such deficiencies as the lack of taste, or form; (4) romantic sentimentality ; (5) a revolutionary spontaneity that penetrates the shell of every form imposed on it and is manifested on the one hand as a chaotic formlessness or even as a negative, form-destroying force, yet on the other--in the very fact of pressing beyond limits-in a capacity for reopening every issue for new creative development; and (6) a drive toward discipline, externally secured; ranging from delight in work for its own sake in everyday life to the willing acceptance of caesarism and totalitarian-authoritarianism in government."

[v] Against fixed notions of national character: Carlton J. H. Hayes (1928, first chapter), and Hans Kohn (1948, also first chapter). Alfred L. Kroeber (1923/48, p. 584, A3) points out that "with the Bolsheviki coming into power, Russian culture was deliberately reoriented, and Russian temperament with it. One would not describe the contemporary Soviet character as a "mooning one" as it used to be. Sir Ernest Barker (1927/48, p. xi) who otherwise seems to believe in the constancy of national character, points out that "even nations with a common language have different sets of ideas; and while they use the same words they often mean by them different things." This reminds us of the different use of political terminology in the two Germanys. For example, Barker states in reference to the use of the term "democracy" : "There are almost as many democracies as there are nations.. . Democracy is an abstraction, until it gets national content and colour."

[vi] Compare with Melford E. Spiro's (1968/72) remarks on "Explanation in Anthropology" He distinguishes four explanatory modes-historical, structural, causal, and functional-and finally reduces these to two, causal and functional.

[vii] Ralph Linton (1954, 145) : "For our present purposes we will define a value as: Anything capable of producing similar choice responses in several of a society's members..

All societies and cultures are not only continuums but continuums in a constant state of change and internal readjustment. The milieu is always unstable, presenting the society with new problems, and the culture itself is always changing under the pressure of internal as well as external forces. ...

In this situation of constant flux, the society's main guide in meeting new problems and in deciding which of the new behavior patterns brought to its attention shall be accepted and integrated into the culture is its system of values. It is this system which guides its members' choices among the possible alternatives which are always present."

[viii] Alfred L. Kroeber (1923/48, p. 587) : "It seems possible, theoretically, for two peoples to show much the same psychological character or temperament and yet to have different cultures. The reverse seems also to hold: namely, that culture can be nearly uniform while national character differs. Western Europe, for instance, has basically much the same civilization all over, yet the temperaments of its peoples are sharply distinguishable... the normal or typical personalities of these several nations appear often to be more distinct than the cultures of these same nations. Or at least, to put it with less assumption, the psychologies seem in part to vary independently of the cultures." We might replace the concepts "cultures" and "civilization" with "value systems" (in the sense of "Christian values") and we find ourselves in full agreement with Kroeber. But he goes into details of great importance (p. 591) : "Indeed, national temperaments evidently become most distinctive when peoples are contrasted whose cultures are basically alike: such as Frenchmen, British, Germans, Scandinavians, Spaniards, whose cultures are only sub varieties of the general European phase of Occidental civilization. By contrast, to compare French national character with Chinese, or Italian with Japanese, seems random and somewhat futile. Part of the futility would appear to be due to a fact already noted; namely, that the categories of psychological characterization developed among Occidentals for Occidentals break down, tend to loose their meaning, when applied to Asiatics."

[ix] See Klaus von See (1970).

[x] Sir Ernest Barker (1927/48) distinguished three groups of material factors (genetic, geographical, economic) and four of spiritual ones (political, religious, language and literature, ideas and systems of education).

[xi] See Louis L. Snyder (1976).

[xii] Since Wilhelm von Humboldt; see Wilhelm Röpke (1945/46), also Plessner (1959/69, p. 23) and especially Edward Sapir/David Mandelbaum, ed. (1949/68).

[xiii] Walter P. Metzger (1963, p. 77) states for the historians: scholarly practice accepts what scholarly theory renounces, and a venture repudiated in program is repeatedly affirmed by act." And Louis Gottschalk in the same book (p. 108) : "In sum, the historians who have written articles for this volume all agree that the historian willy-nilly uses generalizations at different levels and of different kinds. They all agree, too, that some good purpose is served when he does so, if only to present a thesis for debate... A few maintain even that, whether borrowed or independently derived, historical generalizations can in some persuasive manner be tested. The Committee shares the attitude of those authors who are more friendly to generalization in historical research. Its line of reasoning runs somewhat as follows: Historians borrow ready-made generalizations, whether they know it or not. If they were to borrow them knowingly, they might be in a stronger intellectual position. They might then undertake to assay and refine their borrowed generalizations by whatever means-definition, qualification, reservation ' .. "

[xiv] On the relationship of traits of Behavior to "national character" see Erich Fromm (1949) and David Riesman (1953).

[xv] On type concepts see Ruttkowski (1974, 1978) and the critical survey by Zerssen (1973).

[xvi] As attempted by Potter (1954), Krieger (1957), Rosteutscher (1947) et al.

[xvii] Especially the descendents of the behaviorist school often express their disappointment with all typological approaches to personality, and especially with the "culture-personality approach" which, as the name says, contains two only vaguely defined concepts. This disappointment originates in false expectations from such theories. The latter are supposed to have "predictive power," which, of course, they never do. This is the crux with Richard A. Shweder's last (1979/80) study, a comprehensive survey and analysis of the latest, mostly factor analytical, research, which otherwise impresses with its sharp-sightedness and balanced judgement.

However, while the original, mostly German, theories (be they based on psychoanalysis, "Charakterologie," gestalt psychology, or other assumptions) merely attempted to provide categories for a better understanding of usually intuitively perceived behavioral tendencies or "styles" ("verstehende Psychologie"), -Anglo-Saxon psychology, modeling itself on the natural sciences, expected immediate pragmatic results from such investigations, especially in the form of predictive power. This is evidenced in the upsurge of studies of "national character" during and immediately after the last world war. Benedict's famous study of the Japanese (The Chrysanthemum and the Sword, 1946) was commissioned by the government for the purpose of understanding (that is: sizing up) the enemy. So were many others.Cultural profiles never aim at predictive power, but rather at understanding already existing cultural facts

[xviii] The latter are summarized in Part I of David 'M. Potter's study (1954, p. 33) "The essential weakness that has always disabled historians in their effort to deal with the subject scientifically has been their failure to recognize that national character is not a separate phenomenon in itself but simply one specialized manifestation of group character. Group character in turn is but a composite of individual characters, and individual character is simply a pattern in that complex of human processes and qualities which are designated nowadays by the term 'personality.' The study of national character, therefore, is properly a branch of the study of group character and of personality. Only when it is recognized as such can it make real advances."

Against the notion of "national character": Hamilton Fyfe (1940). Most anthropologists are in favor of a careful application of the concept.

[xix] I suspect that not all nations have developed a cultural profile that can be described as clearly in psychological’ terms, albeit only "metaphorically," as that of the Germans. The more extreme cultural characteristics are pronounced, the more easily they can be defined. That is why many anthropologists were rather successful in describing small and comparatively isolated cultures, but hesitant to tackle more complex entities, like most European civilizations. This, of course, has nothing to do with the evaluation of cultures.

[xx] These terms are used by Ralph Linton (1945).

[xxi] As for the relationship between "National character" and culture, Walter P. Metzger (1963, p. 82) has asked the following question: "How is a cultural element transmitted, and how is it transformed when absorbed?" The first part of this question is the more interesting one, and there is some literature on this. Most Freudians stressed the importance of "primary institutions" of a society (methods of child care, etc.) in shaping the "basic personality structure". Kardiner (1939, p. 12) defines it as "that group of psychic and behavioral characteristics derived from contact with the same institutions, such as language, specific connotations, etc.", and "character" as "the personal variant of the basic personality structure." Linton adds in his foreword to the same book (p. xv) : a societal basic personality structure is actually a composite made up of the personality norms for groups of individuals occupying different statuses. However, all these norms will probably prove to have in common a certain value system and an organization of basic attitudes."

Erich Fromm (1949) developed the concept of "social character," common motivations implanted in children by their parents. But we need not rely on Freudian guidelines. The social behaviorism of George Herbert Mead (1934) or the developmental studies of Jean Piaget (1970) may equally well serve as an explanation for the process of social role learning within a given culture. Again, the social roles are learned primarily from parents, but later also in school, from literature, and the media, in short: "common experience" (Metzger),

More on this in Karl W. Deutsch (1953). It should be stressed that the behaviorist model and the Freudian, especially in their modernized forms, are not mutually exclusive.

Another perspective is mentioned by A. Irving Hallowell (1953, p. 459) "Reinforcement is now coming from psychologists through a renewed interest in the study of perception. Since perception is fundamental to all human adjustment in the sense that it is made the basis of judgment, decision, and action, to experience the world in common perceptual terms must be considered a prime unifying factor in the integration of culture, society, and the functioning person. "

[xxii] Potter (1954, p. 62) would disagree: "The determinants of the culture must themselves be introduced fully and carefully into the analysis, and it is at this point, if anywhere, that history should re-enter the picture."

[xxiii] Don A. Martindale (1963, p., 193) : "The concept of national character and the facts it is intended to explain require neither the supposition that human history consists in the successive revelations of an inner folk spirit nor the assumption that the art, religion, literature, and politics of a people are the reflection of the toilet training of its infants. It requires only the occurrence of distinctive configurations of traits and behaviors."

Salvador De Madariaga (1931, p. xviii) remarks in reference to causes of national character: "Such so-called causes are more often than not effects of national character. Thus, for instance, the Reformation and the Roman Catholic

Church, so often quoted against each other as the respective causes of national characteristics in various European peoples, should be more reasonably considered as the effects of these different characteristics : their effects, not their causes."

[xxiv] With Smelser and Smelser (1970, p. 13) we advocate the use of analogy and translation as "legitimate and sometimes essential operations in the conduct of disciplined inquiry into personality and social systems," and we warn against the extremes of reification and reductionism.

[xxv] Don Martindale (1963, p. 185) : "German aesthetic passion presses toward violent contrasts of unrestrained fantasy or brutal realism, a drive toward boundless subjective expression."

[xxvi] See the first part of my book, Typen und Schichten (Bern 1978).

A "psycho biographical" investigation of the personality theories of Freud, Jung, Reich, and Rank has been recently (1979) undertaken by Robert D. Storolow and George E. Atwood. See especially their first chapter ("Personality Theory, Metapsychology and Subjectivity") dealing with general aspects of the "psychology of knowledge."

[xxvii] This approach is not entirely new. Already in 1933, writing on "Personality" in the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, Sapir said: "The socialization of personality traits may be expected to lead cumulatively to the development of specific psychological biases in the cultures of the world. Thus, Eskimo culture, contrasted with North American Indian cultures, is extraverted; Hindu culture on the whole corresponds to the world of the thinking introvert; the culture of the United States is definitely extraverted in character, with a greater emphasis on thinking and intuition than on feeling ; and sensational evaluations are more clearly evident in the cultures of the Mediterranean area than iii those of Northern Europe." (Also in Mandelbaum, 1968, p. 563.)

The anthropologist Alfred L. Kroeber (1923/48, p. 323ff.) is one of the most vigorous promoters of the concept of "personalities of cultures". "Some will be more decisively one-sided than others. But all must have a psychological physiognomy of some kind corresponding to their cultural physiognomy. This is because culture is itself the product of psychosomatic activity; because in turn it conditions and molds psychology... ; and because its operation is necessarily accompanied by psychological functioning...

From what has been said about the conditioning or molding of men by their cultures, it is evident that to every total pattern or orientation of culture there must correspond a type of personality. In fact, strictly, all psychic action takes place not in the culture but in the people who participate in it, carry it, and are shaped by it. The culture, which from one angle is a sort of set of rules enabling a certain set of activities to go on, by its existence inevitably induces certain habits in the members of its society; and these habits aggregate, in any individual, into a particular kind of personality. This idea, of a type of personality always having to correspond to a type of culture, at least on the average, is after all a quite simple one, as well as, being seemingly unassailable. It is the basis of the relation of anthropology and psychology, and the reason why examination of whole-culture patterns or physiognomies inevitably suggests psychological implications."

[xxviii] See also Ruttkowski (1974), containing lit. on all aspects of typologies.

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Pages
32
Year
1984
ISBN (eBook)
9783638151757
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9783638799003
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573 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v8104
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Kyoto Sangyo University – German Department
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none
Tags
Cultural Profiles deutscher Nationalcharakter Voelkerpsychologie nationale Stereotypen Kulturpsychologie Kulturantropologie

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Title: German 'National Character' and Cultural Profile: Some Thoughts