Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2014, 2, 178-191
Published Online August 2014 in SciRes.
How to cite this paper: Yanchuk, V. (2014) Sociocultural-Interdeterminist Dialogical Perspective of Intercultural Mutual
Understanding Comprehension Deepening. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 178-191.
Sociocultural-Interdeterminist Dialogical
Perspective of Intercultural Mutual
Understanding Comprehension Deepening
Vladimir Yanchuk
Department of Psychology, Belarus State University, Minsk, Belarus
Received August 2014
Sociocultural-interdeterminist dialogical approach focuses attention on the caused interdetemi-
nistic character of mutual relations of situational, personal and activity determinants of the beha-
viour, staticized in concrete historical cultural context. For example, a change in a situational con-
text leads to changes both in the person, and in his or her activity. Achievement of changes in the
person and his or her activity assumes creation of the special conditions promoting to their actu-
alization, etc. For understanding of the nature of progress in culture and science the theoretical
construct “cultural-scientific traditionis offered, allowing to trace changes in common cultural
and scientific worldview throughout the human history. Consideration of personality problems is
carried out in a three-dimensional continuum conscious-unc onsci ous-existential, allowing to cap-
ture all variety of displays of psychological phenomenology. Proceeding from understanding of
culture as orientational and normative structure of behaviour and as communicative matrix by
means of which the behaviour is interpreted, integrated, coordinated and authorized (R. Priest),
efficiency of use of the conceptual device of the epistemic approach of Michel Foucault and cultural
framing of E. Goffman to understanding of intercultural interaction specificity is proved. The epis-
temic differences of European (graphic), Chinese, and classic Arabic languages are demonstrated.
Intercultural competence is considered in aspect of ability of formation of shared meanings and
experiences on the basis of mastering by knowledge about originalities of language, values and
norms, experiences and behavioral algorithms of each other. The basis of such mutual under-
standing creates the dialogue that assumes unconditional acceptance of another based on toler-
ance and pluralism, the joint extension of the horizons directed on formation and development of
coordinated and mutually endured values and senses. As unit of the analysis of intercultural inte-
raction the evaluation of a sharedness of meanings and experiences is offered. Results of empirical
research of the given approach on the example of formation of interpersonal mutual understand-
ing of the Belarus and Chinese students are presented.
Cultural Competence, Cultural Framing, Culture, Cross-C ultural Comparison, Di a lo g,
Ecocultural Dialogical Educational Enviro nment, Episteme , Epis tem ology , Em ic , Ethic , Fr am i ng,
Interd ete rmi nat ion , In te gr ati on, Intgrative-Eclectic Approach, Integrative Eclectic through
Triangu la tio n, I ntersubj ec tivity, I nte rte xtu ali ty, Mutual Understanding, Shared Meani ng,
V. Yanchuk
Sociocultural-Interdeterminist Dialogical Approach
1. Introduction
Consideration of theoretical aspects of the problem of cultural competence formation in intercultural interaction
gets new foreshortenings in connection with the numerous transformations occurring as in a historical and cul-
tural context, and psychological knowledge as that. The scientific orientation on integration of interparadigm
and interdisciplinary researches of problems of the social-psychological nature of the personality development,
group, a society, necessary for the complex decision of problems of a modern psychological science, assumes a
reflection of the present for adequate self-determination in the future. It should promote development of the in-
terdisciplinary integrative tendencies peculiar to modern knowledge, carrying general methodological character
and being accompanied by the practical demonstrations supported with results of empirical researches.
For understanding of the nature of progress in culture and a science in whole and in social psychology in par-
ticular, run backing of changes in common cultural and scientific worldview throughout a human history is use-
ful. For this type analysis realisation we offer the theoretical construct c ult ura l-scientific tradition, allowed to
reveal and articulate efficiency of the postmodernist polyphony leading to expansion of horizons of vision of
problems and the dialogical coordination of their decisions [1]. Characteristic for the present stage of psycho-
logical knowledge development integrative tendencies demand not simply ascertaining, and offers of the me-
chanisms, one of which possible variants offer author’s integrative-eclectic approach to the analysis of psycho-
logical phenomenology and its development in the general methodological sociocultural-interdeterminist dia-
logical approach. In the first case it is a question of a finding of the bases for interparadigm dialogue as a me-
chanism of cultural and psychological phenomenology understanding deepening, and in the second about the
relation of an interdetermination of personal, situational and activities determinants of the behaviour, placed in a
historical-cultural context of development.
Consideration of social psychology problems is carried out in a three-dimensional continuum consciousness-
unco nsci o us nes s-existential dimension of the self, allowing capturing all variety of psychological phenomenol-
ogy manifestations.
The modern line of an original reminiscence since L.S. Vygotsky cultural historical approach the concept
“culture” in a psychological science assumes reconsideration of its maintenance taking into account achieve-
ments in various areas of knowledge (anthropology, philosophy, linguistics, sociology, etc.) Taking into account
one more sign tendencymultidisciplinary integration of knowledge about human nature. Proceeding from un-
derstanding of culture as an orientational and normative framework for behavior, and as a communicational ma-
trix through which behavior is interpreted, integrated, coordinated, and sanctioned (R. Priest), efficiency of use
of the conceptual device of the epistemic approach of Michel Foucault and cultural framing approach of Irving
Goffman for understanding of specificity of intercultural interaction and mutual understanding is proved. In a
language context as system basis of culture, epistemic distinctions European (graphic), Chinese (hieroglyphic)
and classical Arabian the languages, shown available expressed cultural distinctions in interpretation and world
experience are shown. Grasping of these distinctions are defined by generatedness of interpersonal interaction
participant’s cultural and intercultural competence. Intercultural competence is considered in aspect of ability of
divided values and experiences formation based on mastering by knowledge about originalities of language,
values and norms, experiences and behavioral algorithms each other. The basis of such mutual understanding
creates the dialogue assuming based on tolerance and pluralism, unconditional acceptance of another, the joint
expansion of the horizons directed on formation and development of coordinated and in common endured values
and senses. As unit of the intercultural interaction analysis offered estimation of a coordination of values and
sharedness of meanings. It causes promotion as unit of the analysis of divided values and the shared meanings
defining authenticity of interpretations and experiences of an event. Presence of such in common developed
units of the analysis, providing qualitative improvement of an ecological validity, puts a problem of a finding of
optimum combinations of qualitative and quantitative methods of studying of the psychological phenomenology,
found the expression in various variations of a methodological triangulation and, in particular, its author’s ver-
sion of integrative eclecticism by triangulation.
Constructio n of mutually developed shared meanings, values, norms, the coordinated activities creates pre-
V. Yanchuk
conditions for a finding of new resources of a problem of interpersonal mutual understanding and a mutual ex-
perience vision as process and result of the interpersonal interaction providing infinity of development of mutual
relations. The characteristic of the eсo-cultural dialogical developing educational environment as conditions of
formation of intercultural competence is given
2. Sociocultural-Interdeterminist Dialogical Perspective of Intercultural
Mutual Understanding Deepening
Analyzing a problem of intercultural mutual understanding comprehension deepening, it is necessary to ascer-
tain necessity and utility of the reference to the achievements, which have been saved up in different systems of
paradigm coordinates, traditions and directions of psychological knowledge. Throughout a number of years, the
author proved idea of interparadigm dialogue as resource of psychological knowledge development and dee-
pening [1]-[4]. The problem of interparadigm and interdisciplinary dialogue is a point of issue of psychological
community any more one ten years, showing the broadest spectrum of author’s positions and approaches and,
simul taneously, extreme deficiency of constructive offers. In essence, the modern psychological knowledge
represents, as mark Yanchar and Slife, “a dizzying array of irreconcilable theories, models, methods, and even
philosophies” [5], which marthe discipline’s credibility and progress. Further, they note that the problem dates
back to psychology’s modern inception and derives ultimately from the deep-seated, and perhaps ineradicable,
philosophical tensions that pervade it. Goertzen [6] supports a similar assessment, and vigorously contends that
the persistence of fragmentation constitutes a disciplinary “crisis” in urgent need of resolution. Since the status
of the problem clearly has implications for how it is responded to, let me consider why a more moderate evalua-
tion might be warranted.
Such searches were especially actualized by end of ХХ century in connection with strengthening of positions
of the postmodernist cultural-scientific tradition proclaiming a celebration of variety as a resource of an exit
from modernist deadlock in scientific knowledge development, in detail presented in the accented publications
[1] [4] [7]. In any textbook on personality psychology, theories of the personality constructive sections
representing alternative paradigm approaches have started to appear. In serious scientific periodicals, such, as,
for example, Culture and Psychology, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Integrative Psycholog-
ical and Behavioral Science, New Ideas in Psychology, Perspectives on Psychological Science, Phi lo-
sophical Psychology, Theory and Psychology, etc. the fundamental articles analyzing psychological phe-
nomenology through a prism of alternative positions and sights, with accent on revealing of the bases and ways
of interparadigm dialogue have started to be published [6] [8]-[11]. This circumstance, as well as attempts of
search of answers to sacramental questions: why there are many psychologies? Moreover, why they do not unite
in is unique true and comprehensive?has predetermined a main objective of given article. It consists in the of-
fer of the constructive decisions directed on integration psychologist’s efforts, representing various paradigms,
traditions and approaches, in a finding of a psychological science and practice development additional resources
and of psychological phenomenology understanding deepening.
All bases on which it is possible to take of any methodological position, finally, appear derivative of world
outlook installations by which the researcher or an expert is guided. And how various applicants for a substan-
tiation of the bases of “cleanliness of scientific knowledgetried to give reason for criteria of “objective know-
ledge», all of them face numerous counterarguments of the opponents shooting at them an Achillesheel: the
inevitable author’s subjectivity caused by own preferences, individual or collective experience of the concrete
scientific community which have occupied, due to various reasons, including ideological, political, the predo-
minating position in concrete area of knowledge and point of space and time. However, time changes, the
worldview including scientific that has been excellent shown T. Kuhn in his famous analysis of a science de-
velopment on an example of scientific revolutions changes also. The scientific worldview changes including in a
revolutionary way, considerably transforming it would seem firm postulates.
Changes in scientific worldview make direct impact and on worldview change as a whole. The concept
worldview last years becomes in the center of attention of the researchers working in the field of culture and in-
tercultural mutual understanding. Its importance is conditioned that cultural worldview answers ultimate ques-
tions about humanity and the universe—the triworld of humans, nature, and the supernatural [12]—and their re-
lationships (e.g., Who are we? Where have we been before birth? Where will we go after death? For what do we
live? What should we do in this secular world? How should we relate to other humans, nature, and the spirits?).
V. Yanchuk
Samovar, Porter, and McDaniel [13] define a worldview as “a culture’s orientation toward God, humanity, na-
ture, the universe, life, death, sickness, and other philosophical issues concerning existence” [14]. A worldview
should be regarded [as] neither completely static nor completely fluid. It is always evolving and transforming
and yet maintains the contours of the culture. Different portions of the worldview are instilled in the minds of
different members of the culture [15].
It is obvious that the worldview changes in time and should influence on interpretation of cultural phenome-
nology and intercultural mutual understanding in particular. The understanding of worldview evolution in his-
torical prospect has demanded working out of the special construct cultura l -scientific tradition, representing
polysemantic and dynamically flexible depending on a historical, social and national context complex of philo-
sophical, epistemological, scientific-theoretical and emotionally-aesthetic representations … the characteristic of
the certain mentality, a specific way of world perception and interpretation, world experience and an estimation
both cognitive possibilities of the person, and its place and a role in world around [7]. Introduced construct al-
lowed to track dynamics of the worldview bases of various cultural-scientific traditions (syncretism, cosmocen-
trism, teocentrism, anthropocentrism, modernism, postmodernism), found the higher embodiment in a postmo-
dernist celebration of variety as propeller of culture and science [1]. It has been convincingly shown, what ex-
actly presence of alternatives including at paradigm level, allows to overcome inevitable for any knowledge
constructed on the universal, invariable dogmatic basis of deadlock, its heuristic potential defined by an ex-
haustness, a bright illustration of that are scientific revolutions.
The concept of culture is central in designated context of analyzed problem area. Detailed consideration of
existing variety of approaches to its definition offers Jahoda [21]. He starts analysis from Kroeber and Kluck-
hohn’s [22] classic monograph, which listed some 160 definitions and added their own. For Kroeber & Kluck-
hohn definition “Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted
by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiments in artefacts;
the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i. e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially
their attached values; culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other as
conditioning elements of further action” [22]. The following is an analysis of different authors approaches ad-
hering alternative theoretical positions and paradigmatic coordinate for the period from 2009 to 2011 years end-
ing with the conclusion about principal impossibilities of finding exclusively true and necessity “simply to use
the term without seeking to define it. However, if either for a theoretical or empirical reason clarification is es-
sential, then the author should explain the specific manner in which she employs the term ‘‘culture’’ in that par-
ticular context” [20]. Presented critical reflection has not constructive nature, once again confirming necessity of
essentially new theoretical-methodological bases finding considering of modern situation singularity in culture
and science, characterizing of diversity and polyphony existence, including multiculturalism.
In my own analysis I’m proceeding from definition of culture introduced by R. Priest as learnt configuration
of categories, images, assumptions, beliefs, values, norms, and other symbolic elements widely shared among
members of a given society or social group which functions as an orientational and normative framework for
behaviour, and as a communicational matrix through which behaviour is interpreted, integrated, coordinated,
and sanctioned, which we take as basic at carrying out of own analysis of problem area. In supplement, I will
note the productive line of last years formulated in frameworks dynamic constructivist approach to culture of
Hong. He proposes to pin down the causal mechanism through which culture exerts its influence and defines
culture “as networks of knowledge consisting of learned routines of thinking, feeling, and interacting with other
people, as well as a corpus of substantive assertions and ideas about aspects of the world ... it is ... shared ...,
among a collection of interconnected individuals who are often demarcated by race, ethnicity, or nationality; (b)
externalised by rich symbols, artefacts, social constructions, and social institutions (e.g. cultural icons, adver-
tisements and news media); (c) used to form the common ground for communication among members; (d)
transmitted from one generation to the next ...; (e) undergoing continuous modifications ... “[19]. Especially in-
teresting is an intersubjective consensus approach to culture Wan and Chiu. According to this view culture
consists of symbolic elements that members of a culture generally believe to be important to or characteristic of
the culture. Authors underline When people in a culture agree on what symbolic elements are important to the
culture, these elements become the core elements of the culture” [20]. In thus giving priority, when defining
culture, to people’s consensual perceptions of what is important in their culture.
Ishii [21] proposes a three-laye r-structure model of culture. According to him, culture consists of three layers
material, behavioral, and mental. The most external, overt, and visible layer of culture is the material one,
V. Yanchuk
which is represented by various artifacts (e.g., food and clothing) produced, operated, and controlled by the be-
havioral layer. The semi-overt layer of culture is the behavioral one, which is [composed] of verbal and nonver-
bal behaviors as symbols (e.g., words and gestures) and reflects the mental layer. The most internal, covert, and
invisible layer of culture is the mental one, which functions in the form of values, beliefs, and attitudes. For his
opinion “understanding the mental layer is the most important in intercultural communication situations because
it is the core of culture which operates and controls the two outer behavioral and material layers” [29].
Ascertaining of a multyparadigmality and multyvoicesness of culture definition puts extremely difficult task
self-determination challenge in it. Complexity of its decision is caused also by traditional propensity of domestic
consciousness (and not only) to a finding is unique true and, it is desirable unique decisions. The evidence to
that is proceeding opposition of positivistic and constructivist research traditions.
The decision of this not a simple problem also has predetermined working out of the author’s integra-
tive-eclectic approach to the analysis of the social and psychological phenomenology, directed on a finding of
the bases for interparadigm dialogue. The integrative eclecticism is understood as phenomenon nature compre-
hension through integration accompanied by critical reflection, eclecticism of various traditions, approaches,
logics and tools, at maintenance of their autonomy in the subsequent development [1 ]. Its essence consists in the
multiplane, multidimensional, multivectoral analysis creating possibility of qualitatively other insight, assuming
inclusion in a plane of the analysis aspects of plurality, dialogicity, and diatropicity of analyzed phenomenon.
Standing in alternate position, inclusion in a competition of ideas, the critical reflection, critical positioning
gives possibility of the out-of-body analysis turning to one more «the eternal propeller» of knowledge progress.
It is a question not of integration, as inevitably generating tendency to monopoly on the truth with all that it im-
plies, and about free operating by the multifacetness, multivectoral knowledge connected with traditions most
productively working in problem area and their toolkit.
The methodological foundations of integrative eclecticism are concepts of multialternativeness of truth, onto-
logical pluralism, dialogic and diatropic. The integrative eclecticism assumes involvement to the analysis the
findings and achievements of those traditions, those approaches that most productively work in concrete phe-
nomenal area. The integrative eclecticism offers following mechanisms of psychological knowledge develop-
ment: paradigm positioning; integrative-eclectic dialogue of alternative traditions; and critical reflective posi-
tioning (an alternative circle). These mechanisms are actualized in a number of necessary conditions providing
increase of scientific research potential of efficiency enhancement:
clear-cut definition of paradigm coordinates in which frameworks and the possibilities connected with them
and restrictions research is conducted in extrapolation of results;
creation of the maximum information base of theoretical and empirical elaborateness of problem field in dif-
ferent systems of paradigm coordinates in the presence of such possibilities and claims for high level genera-
passing of a critical reflective circle of alternative positioning as conditions of paradigm frameworks exten-
sion and clearing of bias and transition to higher order metatheoretical level.
Interparadigm dialogue that it did not become dialogue for the sake of dialogue, should assume definiteness of
the subject, it is desirable, covering the greatest possibilities of researched phenomenology manifestations and
descriptions in all constituted paradigms coordinate systems has stood the test of time and possessing highest
creative potential. The general object for all psychological paradigms coordinates systems is the person in its in-
teraction with social and natural environment, namely interrelation of internal world inaccessible for direct ob-
servation and measurement, with its external manifestations actualized in behaviour, activity, etc. Initially hav-
ing issued as the doctrine about a spirit (psyche), the psychology in the subsequent was transformed to a science
about behaviour, mentality, cognition, etc. General for given psychological constructs is person internal world or
overt behavior which manifestations are extremely diverse and versatile. The person lives in the world, endures
it, definitely operates, comprehends, and makes decisions. On all of this influences variety of factors: the natural
and social environment, life history and many other things. Something from the causal bases occurring with
person is conscious, and something unconscious. Anyway this internal underlying reason of outwardly observa-
ble behaviour remains mystery inaccessible to objective measurement as for the subject, and the observer that, in
aggregate, and creates the bases for the plural interpretation assuming forming of various assumptions and their
subsequent verification in practice, resulting in hypotheses confirmation, or to the concrete problems decision.
The finding of psychological phenomenology and phenomenology of intercultural mutual understanding
comprehension deepening resources in particular in conditions of existing paradigm and cultural diversity as-
V. Yanchuk
sumes also working out of the psychology subject definition including the greatest possible quantity of these di-
versity manifestations. It makes necessary basis for interparadigm dialogue between existing paradigms coordi-
nates field considered as a condition and mechanism of psychological knowledge development. The variant of
the given problem decision represents author’s psychology subject definition as being -in-the-world of the Self
as bio-psych o-social socioculturally-interdeterminated dialogical essences in interaction with a social and natu-
ral environment in consciousness-unco nsc io us nes s -existential dimensions” [24]. The category “being-in-the-
world” focuses attention on existential aspect of the person life underlining human enweavenessin the life, its
experience. Ego-involvement defines as event interpretation soon as its experience and reaction sometimes un-
expected manner as for outsider and insider. Without empathetical approximation for existential feelings is im-
possible, evaluate importance of occurrent for the subject his attachment with it. The category “Self” concen-
trates on the aspect of interconnectedness of the internal and external in personal world manifested in dynamic
interrelation of human with its internal and external environment (social, natural), necessary for understanding
its behavior in this concrete point of time and space, conditioned by past personal experience, relations with
proximate social surroundings, political regime, and so on. There is stressed the important role of ego-extension
in the world experience not always been aware by the subject. The three-dimensional bio-psycho-social conti-
nuum focused on complexity of interaction of three diverse qualitative naturesbiological, psychical and social.
Sociocultural interdeterminism underlines aspect of persons, activity and its situational context reciprocal inter-
determination, shown that any change in one of them leads to change in two others. At last, the psychological
phenomenology is historically analyzed in dimensions of consciousness, unconsciousness and existential.
The designated multidimensional maintenance of psychology subject, from my point of view, also should set
frameworks of psychological research, an explanation and understanding of the intercultural mutual under-
standing phenomenology assuming a finding of coordination, giving relative definiteness (orderliness) in itself
and relation to the world. Such qualitative multinatureness demands also the special type of psychological phe-
nomenology explanation assuming, first, initial tolerance, plurality and reflexivity of the researcher conscious-
ness; secondly, processuality; thirdly, sociocultural interdeterminationality and constructiveness; fourthly, coex-
istence of qualitatively diverse natures; fifthly, existential beingness; at last, sixthly, mechanisms of special type
of integration both multiqualitative natures, and the knowledge which has been saved up in alternative traditions
and approaches.
The decision of such problem assumes presence and other type of logicdialogical, putting forward alterna-
tively classical “or/or” dialogical and/ and at which alternative approaches start to be considered not as mu-
tually exclusive, and as complementary. Development of ways and means of adjustment of the productive inter-
paradigm and interdisciplinary dialogue directed on a mutual enrichment and reciprocal growth in the field of
psychological phenomenology understanding deepening becomes the purpose of development of scientific
knowle d ge .
Realisation of dialogical logic and/a nd demands working out of essentially new methodological approach,
allowing to create the bases for the original dialogue inherently initially assuming mutual acceptance and de-
velopment of joint decisions of consensual type. The sociocultural-interdeterminist dialogical addition offering a
number of conditions of psychological phenomenology understanding deepening:
plurality and tolerance inherently, realised in the initial acceptance of the fact of possibility and utility of ex-
istence of alternative explanations of the nature of analyzed phenomena;
coordination initial ontological and epistemological bases defining the relation to the most fundamental
questions, connected with cognoscibility of the researched and explained reality accompanied by ascertain-
ing of coincidence and a mismatch of positions;
sociocultural interdeterminacy expressed in a recognition of interference and interconditionality of all factors,
present at process of a studied phenomenon functioning;
dialogicity, manifested in ability of joint knowledge creation taking into account the individual and cultural
distinctions, based on the logic of a mutual enrichment and reciprocal growth.
There is one way to avoid a paradigm-specific focus in psychological theorizing is to search for more integra-
tive accounts of empirical phenomena across different paradigms [25]. Narrow concentration on one paradigm
in the theoretical analysis and research can cause rather essential damage to science development. The predictive
and explanatory range of a theory should be extended to different paradigms, because testing the implications of
a theory across multiple paradigms allows one to provide converging evidence for the underlying concepts and
to demonstrate the theory’s universality and external validity [26]. In many respects resounding with described
V. Yanchuk
above, conditions of interparadigm dialogue offers Healy: 1) investigative openness; 2) equal partnership; 3)
mutual understanding and potentially transformative learning; 4) critical intersubjectivity and accountability [27].
Sternberg and Grigorenko cite some eight epistemological “reasons to change” centered on the insight that, like
the proverbial elephant, psychological phenomena need to be understood from multiple perspectives, not just
one [28]. Moreover, they are optimistic that over time recognition of the knowledge fragmentation limitations
and the corresponding benefits of an enhanced, collaborative understanding of psychological phenomena will
motivate psychologists to adopt a more integrative approach. Example of such integration with reference to per-
sonality psychology is author’s attempt of integration of the trait theory and worldview approaches A. Nilsson,
underlining that “by developing integrative frameworks of abstract personality constructs and generalities that
strip away individuality and context, we can thereby, in fact, facilitate the integration of different strands of evi-
dence about personality into idiographic personality portraits, both within psychological studies and everyday
life” [29].
Within the framework of the sociocultural-interdeterminist approach author’s attempt of transformation of the
known Levinian formula of the behaviour description В = f (P,
S), describing behaviour as derivative of the
person and a situation in a condition of an interdetermination personal, situational and activitistic a determinant
of the behaviour, being in a condition of processual interference and the mutual change (Figure 1).
In the interdetermination basis the principle reciprocal determinism [30] according to which personal, activi-
tistic and situational determinants of behaviour are in the relation of interconditionality. The interdetermination
principle focuses attention not only on a condition of interdetermination, but also reciprocal growths in a soci-
ocultural context. The classical formula of the description of behaviour В = f (P, S) takes the following form
where A designates activity; Р—personality; S—a situational context; Chisto rical-cultural context.
Any change in a situational context is inevitably reflected both in features of the personality, and on character
of its activity and on the contrary. For example caused by a constancy of activity and a situational context pro-
fessional deformation are expressed in personal deformations, in turn, reflected in perception surrounding and
character of interaction with it. As consequence, overcoming of professional deformation with necessity as-
sumes creation of the alternative environment promoting expansion of “vision horizons” surrounding, in turn
assuming possession alternative activity, promoting adaptation to the changed environment etc. With reference
to a problem of intercultural mutual understanding deepening of comprehension of their nature is a question of
necessity of inclusion for a studying plane interdeterministic relations of situational, personal and activitistic
components of social behaviour creating possibility as expansion of representations about studied phenomenol-
ogy, and deepening of its nature understanding.
Realisation of the sociocultural-interdeterminist dialogical approach in methodological aspect assumes clear-
ing of some the connected problem areas: the theoretical argumentation and a research method. There is obvious
a limitation of explicitly structured argumentation (based on necessity of empirical acknowledgement of any
element of the theorydeduction, induction, retroduction, abduction) and necessity of increase of implicitly
Figure 1. Interdeterminist triangle.
V. Yanchuk
structured confirmation role (based on smaller dependence on empirical acknowledgement and accentuation on
logic sequence and consistency, persuasiveness and acceptances by the interested and qualified readerdescriptive
explication, sensitizing, analytical induction) [1] [31].
In the field of research method search of an optimum combination of quantitative and qualitative methods
possibilities where carried out. An example of that is the methodological triangulation and its author’s modifica-
tion – integrative eclecticism through triangulation [1]. Realising ideas of dialogue in relation to research me-
thods where offered dialogical methodologies, winning the increasing popularity last years. An example to that
is the alternative democratic approach as an interpretativism of the mixed methods [1]. The given approach
chan ges a role of quantitative methods of research, giving them an auxiliary role. The interpretativism of the
mixed methods proclaims understanding of the person in its own concepts. It involves interested parties by
means of inclusion and dialogue principles. The inclusion principle represents democratic dimension, mainten-
ance how much it is possible, hearings of all participating voices. The dialogue principle establishes necessity of
involving of all interested parties and granting of that discussion possibility by it why something occurs and that
should occur. Joint critical dialogue assumes of expert knowledge superimposement in consideration of a situa-
tion and by means of it achievement of possibility of an exit for limits given at the expense of association of
professional possibilities of the researcher and access to an informant reality.
Practical realisation of joint critical dialogue inevitably faces a problem of cultural both paradigm variety as a
whole and a framing set by them in particular. Researchers of different cultural traditions, paradigm preferences,
schools and approaches are doomed to the variant of studied phenomena caused by distinctions in the epistemo-
logical bases, theoretical metaphors and ways of the proof, the conceptual device, research methods, etc. All it
predetermines necessity of a finding of the comprehensible methodological bases of the interparadigm dialogue
one of which offers author’s sociocultural-interdeterminist dialogical approach already represented above to the
anal ysis of psychological phenomenology. A bright example of productive possibilities of realisation of the ap-
proach is studying of a problem of cultural variety spent by us in a context of the cultural framing [32]. The re-
vealed features in many respects are similar to self-determination discussed above in paradigm variety. Para-
digms co-ordinates also show the original cultural frames causing distinctions in interpretation of psychological
phenomenology. These distinctions based on alternative ontological and epistemological the bases, give possi-
bility of studying of psychological phenomenology in different foreshortenings of vision and an explanation,
creating conditions for expansion of horizons and understanding deepening.
3. The Problem of Cultural and Intercultural Competence in Social and
Cross-Cultural Psychology
The worldview analysis is useful for carrying out at the epistemic level, entered into the conceptual device of
philosophy Michel Foucault. This term where firstly introduced by Foucault [33] [34] who used it in his analysis
of the archeological level of discourse. Foucault defined the episteme as an implicit structure of cultural and
historical reason that subjects all branches of knowledge to constitutive norms and postulates. His analysis ex-
plored discursive acts “from the point of view of the rules that come into play in the very existence of such dis-
course” [35]. It is an original discourse, the formation defining a way to which the world is represented or “sees”,
that cultural matrix setting vision, experience and interpretation of the social and natural world both at individual
level, and at level of the community united by given cultural tradition. The principles that compose the episteme
obey a governing rational or a group logic, which guides their action. This is similar to Pepper’s [36] idea of
root metaphors that act as the motivating force for systems of thought. Four distinct rationales are presented
which guide the behavior of all principles and which generate four separate types of epistemes. In that sense, if
more principles where added to the episteme they would function in a manner according to the same logical
guideline. Each episteme presents a distinct form of organizing knowledge. This has obvious consequences for
the way of reality understanding, which will be different for each epistemological type of self. The interpretive
framework of a certain episteme is not similar to the framework offered by other epistemes. The different kinds
of basic epistemes are hence mutually exclusive; understanding the world through lenses supplied by one type of
episteme is a whole and absolute experience. It follows that a person can be said to normally possess only one
type of an episteme and only one type of a self.
Bukobza [34] describes six categorical principles that compose the epistemes will presently be delineated:
consi st enc y-inconsistency, fixednessdynamism, form preservability-transformation, singularity-plurality, con-
V. Yanchuk
text independent-context dependent, other independentother dependent. Each principle can be applied in four
different ways according to the four basic governing rationales. For analytical reasons the two poles of each
principle will presently be exhibited, and later they will be further elaborated in terms of the four types of epis-
temes. For the same reason the principles are distinguished from one another and discussed separately, though
within the actual episteme they exist and function in a collaborative and interactive manner. The four funda-
mental epistemes were named monolithic-monoformal (MM), relative-relational (RR), dialectic-deconstructive
(DD), and integral-inclusive (II). They will presently be delineated, with reference first to the assumption of
their guiding rationale and then to each of the aforementioned principle s.
Variety of the Self-researches in various cultures shows their variative character. If the western researches
describe Self as defined principles of continuity, stability, the uniformity, in corresponding MM to episteme
southeast cultures are described RR by the episteme considering it as possessing rather nontight borders, sus-
ceptible to changes and social contexts. Such Self structure is differentiated and includes independent parts.
Embodiments DD and II epistemes are less studied. As acknowledgement of this predeterminatedness the re-
searches spent in neurosciences, showing essential cultural distinctions at level of brain activity, and at morpho-
logical level act also numerous empirical cross-country-cult ur al
In the d esi gna te d c ont e xt, productivel y apply the conceptframi n g” entered into p syc ho lo gic al u se by E.
Goffman. The general characteristic of the cultural framing as caused accepted in concrete community language,
values, norms, schemes, values, concepts, physical artefacts, cultural activity and psychological phenomena so-
ciocultural-interdeterminist dialogical structure setting an originality of the relation, experience and event inter-
pretation, was represented in a number of the accented publications [32] [37].
Comprehension cultural framingness of consciousness caused by distinctions in epistemes, language, structure
of values and norms, repertoire of activities does actual a problem of cultural competence. The construct cul-
tural competencerepresents possession interacting parties learned configuration of categories, images, assump-
tions, beliefs, values, norms, and other symbolic elements widely shared among members of a given society or
social group which functions as an orientational and normative framework for behavior, and as a commu nic a-
tional matrix through which behavior is interpreted, integrated, coordinated, and sanctioned, and as repertoire of
the activity allowing effectively to realise in practice actual behavioral problems. Introduction of the given con-
struct in the scientific conceptual device is caused by that in foreign tradition it used mainly for the description
of possession by the maintenance of other culture [38] [39]. We focus attention on aspect of possession of the
maintenance of own culture defining an originality self- and understanding the world and efficiency of its actu-
alisation in interaction with a social and natural environment.
Cultural competence in the conditions of sharp strengthening of migratory streams starts to take on special
significance in connection with competence intercultural. Moreover, the diffusive processes reflected in the
content and an originality of own culture increase in the modern world. The parity of cultural and intercultural
competence became a subject of our special analysis presented in accented article [40].
Developing dimensions of cultural competence and corresponding comprehension of existing objective dis-
tinctions in conditions (natural and social) acquirement with cultural wealth is necessary for the competence.
Attempts of working out of such dimensions intensively develop foreign researchers, besides, with reference to
an estimation of possession of another’s culture [38] [39] [41] [42]. So Sue [39] in the review of researches of
components of cultural competence allocates the following from them: cultural sensitivity in the form of per-
ceptual schemes, knowledge of culture and cultural differences, awareness of one’s own cultural assumptions,
skills necessary for successful cultural, levels of worldviews, universal healing conditions moderated by cul-
ture-specific, the inclusive or exclusive nature of multiculturalism, and/or some combination of these factors.
Helms and Richardson [43] are allocating three categories of cultural competence: (a) attitudes/beliefs compo-
nentan understanding of one’s own cultural conditioning that affects personal beliefs, values, and attitudes; (b)
knowledge componentunderstanding and knowledge of the worldviews of culturally different individuals and
groups; and (c) skills componentuse of culturally appropriate intervention/communication skills.
It is especially obvious on an example of cultural variety existing in the world collision with which occurs and
in formation in connection with occurrence of foreign students, the professorates, showing evident samples of
manifestation of emic (unique differences from all other cultures) and ethics (the general for all cultures). These
cultural distinctions are boldly shown in dimensions of culture: psychobehavioural modalities, axiology (values),
an etos (directing representations), epistemology (based on what we come to knowledge), logic (knowledge de-
ducing) ontology (the reality nature), the concept of time and Self-concept [15].
V. Yanchuk
Familiarity with variety of the given dimensions manifestations in various cultures promotes overcoming of
ethnocentric tendencies in cultural development as a whole and education in particular. Ethnocentrism
represents a universal tendency to consideration of the world and the decisions accepted by representatives of
other cultures, proceeding from own cultural prospect. It explicitly or implicitly contains the idea that the proper
culture is an important and superior compared to other groups [44].
Overcoming of costs of ethnocentrism is promoted by intercultural competenceability to recognise, respect,
value and use productivelyin oneself and otherscultural conditions and determinants in perceiving, judging,
feeling and acting with the aim of creating mutual adaptation, tolerance of incompatibilities and a development
towards synergistic forms of cooperation, living together and effective orientation patterns with respect to inter-
preting and shaping the world [45]. It promotes movement prevailing in the modern world from ethnocentrism
to ethnorelativism evolving requirements, making other demands to development of educational interaction both
at level intercultural and monoculture concentrating on search of productive conditions and technologies for in-
tercultural dialogue. The prerequisites and condition of intercultural competence is intercultural communicative
competenceability to negotiate cultural meanings and to execute appropriately effective communication beha-
viors that recognise the interactants’ multiple identities in a specific environment [46]. This definition empha-
sizes that competent persons must know not only how to interact effectively and appropriately with people and
environment, but also how to fulfil their own communication goals by respecting and affirming the multilevel
cultural identities of those with whom they interact. Intercultural competence is inseparably interconnected with
transcultural competence refers to an integrative theory-practice approach enabling us to mindfully apply the in-
tercultural knowledge we have learned in a sensitive manner. Specifically, it refers to a transformation process
connecting intercultural knowledge with competent practice [47].
Formation of these competences assumes presence of the corresponding supporting social environment. For a
designation of this environment, the construct “eco-cultural dialogical educational environment” [40] has been
introduced and a number of its formation conditions were allocated:
construction of the general cultural semiotics space which are based on intersubjectivity (joint production of
meanings) and intertextuality (coherence of the text with other texts);
presence of a productive network of the dialogical (partner) communications assuming radical development
of systems of feedback between all interested parties;
creation of the information environment of mutually enriched type by means of informing and providing ex-
pert evaluations of a current state in the world educational space, achievements in the field of the theory and
practice and tools and criteria’s of independent search and accessible information resources estimation;
contribution to development of pluralism and the tolerance, through acceptance of the alternative approaches
possibility and supplying the bases and criteria of independent positioning in them;
providing for interacting possibilities of self-finding in existing educational practices richness through testing
of own features, “fittings” to itself of various ideas, approaches, educational technologies and their “agents”
for the purpose of the optimal choice [40].
Inco rporation in consideration of a problem of cultural and intercultural competence with inevitability as-
sumes reconsideration of the substantial characteristic of the person traditionally considered through the descrip-
tion of the Self-concept content. Its consideration in a context of the concept “Self” in its Jams understanding as
sets of all inherent for it is more perspective. This treatment assumes an exit for limits of the subject private
world representations through connection of resources of interdeterminating interaction with Ego-extension in-
cluding influence social and environment, individual life history, living society, direct and mediated social en-
vironment, etc. Such expansion is caused by comprehension of psychological underlying reason of the subject
activity understanding possibilities limitation through results of informants questioning and self-reports which
are only partly conscioused and often put questions before them owing to exhaustive answers absence. Moreo-
ver, reaction is often set by situational context originality, concrete person life history and its social environment,
mediating translation of meanings, values and norms, the means of activity actualized in direct behaviour. Self is
not for the last time given invariable structure, to identify which are mainly aimed traditional empirical studies.
She is dynamical also multivoices, is multipositioning that visually shows dialogical Self approach Hermans [48]
[49]. She is spatially structured and embodied, occupied by voices of other people, decentralized with widely
open borders, historically and is cultural contextualized, possesses plurality of I-positions [49], interdetermi-
nated, existential and dialogically integrated [ 7]. Innovationality of the given approach consists in introduction
of the new positions joining in the Self-organisation; positions movement in the Self-space from a core to peri-
V. Yanchuk
phery and, on the contrary, by means of new cultural metaphors use; the cooperation of various positions leading
to reorganization of system of Self.
The presented context of the sociocultural-interdeterminist dialogisity assumes revision of the interpersonal
interaction problem, traditionally considered without the context of dialogue. Interpersonal interaction starts to
be considered as process of mutually developed meanings and senses, values and norms, empathy, formation
and development defining interacting subjects’ mutual understanding. Removal on the foreground of a problem
of interpersonal mutual understanding and event experience puts a problem of their tool “grasping” complicated
by traditional static character of classical research toolkit. Inherent in interpersonal mutual understanding me-
diated sign character faces with the problem of interpretation and of the received sign content experience au-
thenticity. The sign behind which stays concrete subjects life history, cultural competence, experience of the vi-
tal experiences accessible to him, but not transmitted in the communicated sign in essence representing only top
of an iceberg of individual experience. From here the problem of the intertextuality focusing attention on the
given text coherence with other texts, an ignorance with which leads to communicated meanings misunders-
tanding. Problem of hypertextuality, characterized by the presence of well known for the culture and subcultures
represented in it texts, determining mutual understanding authenticity. Finally, the problem of intersubjectivity
that characterizes synergy of dialogically co-concordant meanings creating mutual understanding foundation and
its development in endless prospects. Being agreed on the stage of mutual familiarizing, shared meanings are
creating foundation for subsequent reciprocal growth and mutual definiteness in its endless development. From
here renewal of interest to dialogue in its Bachtinian understanding, increase of interest to dialogical research
methodologies, etc. Bakhtin argued that dialogical relations ‘‘must cloth themselves in discourse, become utter-
ances, become the positions of various subjects expressed in discourse, in order that dialogic relationships might
arise among them’’ [50]. It is likely that this point meant that dialogue involves the engagement of people from
different language communities when they engage in conversational rejoinders. Conversational rejoinders are
the site of expression where socially constituted embodied experience comes into relation with another. The po-
lyphonic condition of society makes dialogue so conceived unavoidable.
In discussing context of intercultural mutual understanding especially interesting are two propositions on
globalization, proposed by Tu [51]. First, globalization can be hegemonic homogenization without cultural di-
versity and sensitivity, but through dialogue, it may lead to a genuine sense of global community. Second, the
search for identity can degenerate into extreme ethnocentrism and exclusion, but through dialogue it may lead to
an authentic way of intercultural communication and to a real respect for diversity. It is then up to us whether we
will further risk our lifeboat by imposing the ethnocentric version of humanity on others and dividing the world
with the clash of ignorance, or we will engage in mutual dialogue with the principle of “multiculturalism with-
out hierarchy” toward “harmony without uniformity.”
The presented sociocultural-interdeterminist dialogical prospect for problem of social and educational psy-
chology development consideration, articulating an author’s sight and theoretical baggage, it is initially focused
on the constructive discussion directed on a finding of those agreed ways of vision and directions of researches,
possessing in heuristic potential
4. Conclusion
Summarizing, once again, I focus attention to necessity of problems of social and educational psychology de-
velopme nt hori zo ns expansion, by means of: 1) multyparadigmality and multidisciplinarity applying resources
accumulated in the related systems of paradigm coordinates and knowledge areas via the mechanism of interpa-
radigm dialog; 2)comprehension of interdeterminatedness and reciprocity of personal, situational-contextual and
activities components of interpersonal interactionand necessity of their interference detailed research; 3) psy-
chological knowledge culturalisations by means of conceptual apparatus of modern cultural psychology, apply-
ing, ideas of interpersonal interaction subjects cultural cognitive activity framingness, incorporation questions of
cultural and intercultural competence; 4) outgoing from frameworks of personocentrism by means of incorpora-
tion in analysis area of ego-extensions interdeterminating influence, including the social and natural environ-
ment placed in a concrete historical-cultural context; 5) considerations of interpersonal interaction as processual
and dynamic phenomenon, presuming shared meanings fields and experiences formation mutually constructed
and changed on the extension of mutual relations and living history; 6) designating of meanings and experiences
sharedness as the intercultural interaction phenomenon’s analysisunit using dialogical research methods and
V. Yanchuk
methodologies. The culture is not transmitted in itself, and shows soil of development, which will bear grateful
growth under condition of the active and elaborated participation of all concerned participants. The cultural her-
itage content should be internalized in the most productive way with participation of all interested participants,
that in the subsequent to be transformed to the cultural and intercultural competence, intending their optimum
actualization in interaction of the person, subcultural groups and communities within social and natural envi-
ronment, forming that eco-cultural and developing environment, promoting of mankind progressive and huma-
nitarian development.
The author initially occupies tolerant, dialogical constructive criticism of the stated ideas and evaluative deci-
sions, which it is possible to direct to the E-mail:
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