The Middle East:
A Cultural Psychology



Introduction                                                     3

Part I:
Cultural Context of Development

1 Misunderstandings                                   13
2 Social Ecology of Psychological
    Development                                            44
3 Honor and Islam: Shaping Emotions,
    Traits and Selves                                     90

Part II
Periods of Psychological Development

   Introduction to Part II                                136

4  Childbirth and Infant Care                      153
5  Early Childhood                                      179
6  Late Childhood                                       212
7  Adolescence                                           252
8  Early Adulthood and Identity                  288
9  Mature Adulthood                                   325
10 Patterns and Lives:
    Development Through the Life-Span    359

Afterword: A Research Agenda                369

Notes                                                            379

References                                                  421

Index                                                             451


Pre-Publication Reviews

     "This original and timely book explores the life trajectories of men and women in the Middle East and North Africa from a psychocultural point of view. Based on the author's fieldwork in Morocco and his broad knowledge of the pertinent psychological and social scientific literature in Arabic, English, and French, this volume will prove indispensable for anyone attempting to understand how Middle Easterners and North Africans are trying to cope with the struggle between the old and the new in their respective societies and their daily lives."
--Uwe P. Gielen, Professor of Psychology, St. Francis College, Brooklyn, New York

     "At a time when stereotypes of societies and people in the Muslim Middle East and North Africa, including "the Arab mind," circulate in the American press and in popular culture and when even esteemed scholars promote theories of a clash of civilizations, Gary Gregg introduces a much needed antidote, in his book on cultural psychology in the Middle East and North Africa. Drawing on the dynamic theories of Erik Erikson, Bea and John Whiting, and Robert LeVine, Gregg contributes a superb work that combines a much needed focus on the Middle East with a wide cultural psychology framework that gives weight to emotion as well as cognition and that acknowledges the richness of ethnographies and life histories accessing subjective experience as well as the measurement of psychological attitudes."
--Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, Professor of Social Medicine and member of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

     "Gary Gregg has written a bold and fascinating, yet admirably disciplined and thorough, book about a topic on which we all need more knowledge. This book provides a compelling portrait, accessible to any reader, of dominant themes in the culture and experience of individuals in the Middle East while also attempting to reform the way we think about the relationship of individuals to their cultures. Gregg explodes existing myths and stereotypes of Middle Easterners and introduces us to ethnographic accounts of their lives, relationships, goals and identities. Deftly synthesizing a massive literature, as well as drawing on his own intensive research in Morocco, Gregg is frank about the limitations of the evidence and critical of unsupported generalizations. He is a reliable guide to a hot and controversial terrain. I found the book illuminating and full of surprises, and I recommend it to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the Middle Easterners than is available from journalistic sources."
--Robert A. LeVine, Roy E. Larsen Professor of Education and Human Development, Emeritus Harvard University

     "Gregg has provided an engaging, thoughtful, and wide-ranging discussion that should be read by students and scholars interested in the very important cultural transformations taking place in the Near and Middle East."
--Fathali Moghaddam, Professor of Psychology, Georgetown University