May 29, 2013 – Drs. Markus and Conner – Clash: 8 Cultural Conflicts

Clash: 8 Cultural Conflicts that Make Us Who We Are

May 29, 2013
12:00 – 1:00pm PST
Presenters: Hazel Rose Markus, Ph.D., Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University; and Alana Conner, Ph.D., a Stanford-trained cultural psychologist and science writer based in San Francisco

Download webinar slides-Part 1
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Download webinar slides-Part 3
Download webinar slides-Part 4
Download resource list and discussion guide

How can we bridge the cultural divide and harness diversity to improve both our worlds and ourselves? This webinar will explore some of the most important culture clashes from obvious collisions like East versus West and Global North versus Global South, to subtler friction between male and female, White and Black, rich and poor, and conservative and liberal. Pioneers in the field of experimental cultural psychology, Markus and Conner diagnose the root cause of many cultural conflicts as the clash between independence (individual, unique, and in control of your world) and interdependence (relational, similar to others, and good at adjusting to situations). The clash of these two selves explains many problems including:

  • Why partnerships between governments, businesses, and non-profits fail, despite the need for more collaboration
  • Why women get stuck as they rocket up the corporate ladder, while men are falling off the ladder altogether
  • Why East Asian students dominate Western schools and workplaces, yet crash into the so-called “bamboo ceiling” before reaching the top
  • Why the have-nots struggle in the classrooms of the haves, widening the gap between rich and poor

Through a process called “the culture cycle,” we can better understand the clashes around us and also avoid many of them altogether.


Hazel Markus, Ph.D. is the Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She’s a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution. She is also a founder and former director of Stanford’s Research Institute of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity and co-director of Stanford’s Mind, Culture and Society Laboratory.



Alana Conner, Ph.D. is a Stanford-trained cultural psychologist and science writer based in San Francisco. Alana is an experimental cultural psychologist and science communicator who consults, writes, and speaks about culture, class, health, and social innovation. By day, Alana collaborates with clients to design interventions and communications that enhance the well-being of diverse populations around the world. Alana also advises postdoctoral fellows in the Clinical Excellence Research Center at the Stanford School of Medicine.

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