Researchers and persons interested in culture almost inevitably are asked questions such as: “When did interest in this area begin?” “Why did it start, and how?” “Who were the main people in this area?” “What is its current status, and where is it going?” Of course, answering these questions, and many more like them, would take hours and hours of lectures, visits to libraries and hundreds of books, and other excursions into the history of psychology, anthropology, sociology and other fields.
With respect to cross-cultural psychology, there were definite significant events and developments that contributed to its current status. One of the more recent developments – and indeed a very noteworthy one – is the new three-volume Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural Psychology (ECCP). Edited by Kenneth D. Keith and published by Wiley-Blackwell, this set of books covers hundreds of terms and concepts as well as brief biosketches of hundreds of scholars who have made important contributions to modern cross-cultural psychology in theory, research, applications, teaching, and service. Ken Keith, as editor of the ECCP, invited me to write the Foreword to this ground-breaking effort. He gave me free reign in this project, and I decided it would be appropriate to provide a chronological perspective. Toward the end of the project I thought it would be appropriate for the ORPC. With thanks to him, Danielle Descoteaux (Senior Editor at Wiley-Blackwell) and of course the publisher, my Foreword follows. By agreement, it appears here exactly as it appears in the ECCP. The six articles in subunit 1.1 provide additional information about events leading to the development of the IACCP.
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