Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 345–358 | Cite as

Cultural Psychology of Differences and EMS; a New Theoretical Framework for Understanding and Reconstructing Culture

  • Toshiya YamamotoEmail author
Regular Article


In this paper I introduce the outlines of our new type of theoretical framework named ‘Cultural psychology of Differences’ for understanding cultural others and dialogically reconstructing interactions among cultural others. In order to understand cultural others, it is necessary for us to reconstruct a new concept which enables us to analyze dynamic generation processes of culture. We propose the concept of Expanded Mediational Structure, EMS, as an elementary unit for understanding human social interactions. EMS is composed of subjects who interacts each other using objects of some kind as mediators, and a normative mediator, NM, which mediates their interactions. It is necessary to generate, share and adjust a NM to keep social interactions stable, and culture will appear when interaction malfunction is attributed to a gaps of NMs. The concept of EMS helps us to understand how culture is functionally substantialized in the plane of collective (or communal) intersubjectivity and how cultural conflicts develop and intensify. Focusing on the generation process of culture through interactions provides us with another option to understand cultural others through dialogical interactions with them.


EMS Normative mediator Dialogical understanding of cultural other Cultural psychology of differences Collective intersubjectivity Functional substantialization 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Developmental Research Support CenterSaitamaJapan

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