Autonomy and relatedness reconsidered: Learning from the inuit

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Psychology has long struggled with defining constructs while preserving their meaning within a cultural context. Autonomy and relatedness have been construed as a dichotomy, which does not contribute to the understanding of how humans can act autonomously while being attached to one another. It is more fruitful to discuss the constructs in the context of an inclusive relationship in which autonomy and relatedness are proposed to be compatible as they are located on different dimensions: agency and interpersonal distance, respectively. The nuances of the constructs and the dialogical process, which includes the middle ground between the two extremes, are crucial for a complete understanding. The presence of autonomy does not imply or negate the presence of relatedness. Autonomy and relatedness not only can but do synthesize in a variety of forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-462
Number of pages12
JournalCulture and Psychology
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autonomy
  • Collectivism
  • Individualism
  • Relatedness
  • Unity of opposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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