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Acta Psychologica Sinica
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Influence of Culture and Circumstance on Kinship Words’ Conceptual Structure
Zhang Jijia;Wang Juan;Xiao Erping;He Xiumei
(1 Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100873, China) (2 Center for Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China) (3 Department of Education Science, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou 221116, China) (4 Department of Education Science, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036, China) (5 Department of Education Science, Yunnan Dali College, Dali 671000, China)
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Abstract  Kinship words are important and intricate social concepts which convey abundant information of heredity, marriage, society and culture. Kinship system plays an important part in human culture which also inversely affects people’s cognition for kinship. Few researches focused on the problems such as mechanism of microcosmic circumstance’s influence on kinship’s cognition and the mechanism of interaction between macro-environment and micro-environment. The Moso is a matriarchal ethnic group living in the border of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces and famous for “A zhu marriage” and “Matriarchal society family”.The Han nationality’s kinship system is distinct from The Moso. The present study intends to compare the conceptual structure of kinship words of the Moso and the Han nationality under different circumstance. Natural classifying and multi-dimensional scale were used to explore the Moso and the Han nationality’s conceptual structure of kinship words under “Manyue Wine (a reception for a baby's completion of its first month of life)”, “Marriage” and “Condolence” circumstance. The subjects were 225 Moso students and 242 Han students both from Yunnan’ Ninglang district. Before classifying, different instructions were read to lead the subjects to imagine the circumstance. Results showed that: Under the “The Manyue wine” circumstance, Moso’s conceptual structure of kinship words were grouped into two dimensions: (1) grade in the family hierarchy; (2) level of intimacy among the relatives. Han nationality’s conceptual structure of kinship words were also grouped into two dimensions: (1) the nature of kinship; (2) level of intimacy among the relatives. Under the “Marriage” circumstance; Moso’s conceptual structure of kinship words were grouped into two dimensions: (1) grade in the family hierarchy; (2) level of intimacy among the relatives. Han nationality’s conceptual structure were also grouped into two dimensions: (1) grade in the family hierarchy; (2) gender. Under the “Condolence” circumstance, Moso’s conceptual structure of kinship words were grouped into two dimensions: (1) grade in the family hierarchy; (2) level of intimacy among the relatives. Han nationality’s conceptual structure of kinship words were also grouped into two dimensions: (1) level of intimacy among the relatives; (2) grade in the family hierarchy. The importance ranking of kinship has significant correlation among 3 kinds of situations. Results showed that the structures of kinship words between Moso and Han reflect the characteristics of Moso culture and Han culture, showing culture’s shape to social cognition with intrinsic difference. Compared to the Han nationality, the most distinct characteristics of Moso’s kinship words classifying was followed with four aspects: (1) Mother’s brother was classified into the same group with immediate elders under “Manyue Wine” and “Marriage” circumstance. (2) Sister’s son was alone under “Condolence” circumstance. (3) Grandchildren relatives weren’t revealed special intimacy under the “Marriage” and “Condolence” circumstance. (4) There is no “in laws/ not in laws” dimension, and also there was no “Marriage” group in the kinship words classification.Similarities and difference exist in kinship classifying between the Moso and Han no matter circumstance’s guidance, reflecting situation’s influence on kinship words’ cognition. The Moso’s “zou-fang” system and Han nationality’s condolence system can reflect the macroscopic feature of Moso culture and Han culture. The divergence of classification under microcosmic circumstance also reflects the role of work memory. All results indicated that: (1) Under different situations, the classifying result between Moso and Han has not only similarity but also divergence; (2) The importance ranking of kinship has significant correlation under these kinds of situations; (3) Culture and situation affect relatives’ conceptual structure.
Keywords the Moso      the Han      culture      circumstance      kinship words      conceptual structure     
Corresponding Authors: Zhang Jijia   
Issue Date: 25 August 2013
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Zhang Jijia
Wang Juan
Xiao Erping
He Xiumei
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Zhang Jijia,Wang Juan,Xiao Erping, et al. Influence of Culture and Circumstance on Kinship Words’ Conceptual Structure[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00825
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00825     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2013/V45/I8/825
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