chapter  17
15 Pages

The Primacy of Culture in Influence

A Dissenting View
WithKelton Rhoads

Primacy-of-culture perspectives emphasize culture as the dominant variable in cross-cultural influence. Some observers believe that cognition, judgement, and influence processes are unique within cultures, and that Western influence research cannot supply useful tools for other cultures. The primacy-of-culture perspective calls for an increasing emphasis on culture, for cultural experts as campaign managers, and for the creation of indigenous canons of psychological research, as necessary to the successful exercise of intercultural influence. This chapter offers a dissenting view, and calls for a rebalancing of the influence equation where culture is considered one important variable among many. It questions whether redoubling the effort on cultural understanding will continue to yield more successful cross-cultural influence, or whether an approach incorporating more balanced paradigms from influence psychology will ultimately prove more effective.