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Sociocultural perspective

Sociocultural Perspective
Breann Coleman
University of Belize
Psychology is defined as the discipline concerned with behavior and mental process and
how they are affected by an organism physical and mental state, and also the external
environment. When studying or pursuing a career in psychology, you will always have to have
an open mind to why people have different reactions to certain situations. There are five main
perspectives to look at when studying the human body and mind, however, the most interesting
perspective is the sociocultural perspective. Wade (2008) and Tavris (2008) stated that this
perspective focuses on social and cultural forces outside the individual, forces that shape every
aspect of behavior from how we kiss to what and where we eat (Wade p. 9).
The sociocultural perspective was first introduced by Lev Vygotsky (1986) who, according to
Cherry (2018) (p.
), believed that parents, caregivers, peers, and the culture at large was
responsible for developing higher order functions. It is said that the society we grew up in is
responsible for shaping our personalities and the way we respond to certain incidents. Vygotsky
also stated that each culture provides what he referred to as tools of intellectual adaption (Cherry
2018). These tools allow children to use their mental abilities to remember certain things that
will accommodate their culture. For instance, one child may use not taking as a basis to
remember what was taught while others may use objects and visual aids to remember what they
need. They do this because of the culture and environment they grew up in and only know how
to learn if they use the strategy that re accustomed to.
The sociocultural perspective is of interest for anyone because there is something that
influences our behavior. Whether it is race, ethnicity, religion, gender, social class, family
traditions, peer groups, or age. Our ethnicity is one of the main reasons as to why we do most of
the things, one would consider normal, different. When we link about social class we tend to
have, any different ideas and questions such as, does students from the impoverished areas learn
differently from those who come from a wealthy area? With ethnicity and beliefs everyone
perceives the simplest of things in a different manner. For instance, if you take a look out of your
window and see someone talking to an object, what would you think of that person? Perhaps you
might argue that they have a mental illness and may need medication, but what if the person is
Jewish and Jews believes that if you talk to an object it will answer if listen? Would your view
and assumptions change if you knew they were a part of the Jewish community?
When In the working environment the race, ethnicity and beliefs of someone plays a
significant role. To be aware and knowledgeable of the different practices and beliefs of
someone in the work force can serve as a plus for you as an individual. You are eager to learn
about practices of a different culture an how to treat others based on how they respond to altered
The sociocultural perspectives not only improve your performance in the
working environment, but it generally improves your life. Every function in the child’s cultural
development appears twice; first on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first
between people and then inside the child (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 57). It is through working with
others on a variety of tasks that a learner adopts socially shared experiences and associated
effects and acquires useful strategies and knowledge (Scott & Palincsar, 2013). When both of
these functions are acquired then, and only then would one find it easier to live and have the
sociocultural perspectives] as an aid for the very complex lessons in life.
Cherry 2018
What is Sociocultural Theory?
Retrieved from https;//www.verywellmind.com/what-is-sociocultural-theory-2795088
Scott & Palincsar, 2013.
Sociocultural Theory
Retrieved from- https;//www.education.com/reference/article/sociocultural-theory/
Vygotsky, 1978, p. 57
Retrieved from- http;//www.proactiveteaching.org/pdfs/91.pdf