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25.Slides - Morality and culture Shweder Mahapatra and...

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Morality and culture Shweder, Mahapatra and Miller (1987) Studied Kohlberg’s dilemmas in India Culture (and religion) have an important influence on moral reasoning
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Shweder et al. (1987) “But his wife is going to die! There is no way within Hindu dharma to steal even if a man is going to die .” “But doesn’t Hindu dharma prescribe that you should try to save a person’s life? Yes. And for that you can sacrifice your blood or sell yourself, but you cannot steal.” “Why doesn’t Hindu dharma permit stealing? If he steals it is a sin, so what virtue is there in saving a life? Hindu dharma keeps a man from sinning.”
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Cross-cultural study Shweder et al. (1990) – had Americans and Hindu Brahmans (in India) judge the rightness/wrongness of hypothetical behaviors
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Both Americans and Brahmans agree that these are wrong: “A poor man went to the hospital after being seriously hurt in an accident. At the hospital they refused to treat him because he could not afford to pay.” “While walking, a man saw a dog sleeping on the road. He walked up to it and kicked it.” “There was a rule in a hotel: Invalids and disfigured persons are not allowed in the dining hall.” “In school a girl drew a picture. One of her classmates came, took it, and tore it up.”
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Americans tend to view these as wrong, Brahmans tend to view these as acceptable: “A man had a married son and a married daughter. After his death his son claimed most of the property. His daughter got a little.” “A young married woman went alone to see a movie without informing her husband. When she returned home her husband said, ‘If you do it again, I will beat you black and blue.’ She did it again; he beat her black and blue.”
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