Culture, Wellness, and World “PEaCE”: An Introduction to Person-Environment-and-Culture-Emergence Theory


Human experience cannot be separated from culture. Yet, distance remains between psychology’s acknowledgement of the importance of culture, and its consistent integration into psychological theory, research, and practice. Person-Environment-and-Culture-Emergence (PEaCE) Theory, an integrative, complex systems approach, is introduced to facilitate conceptualization of individual and collective wellness outcomes. It draws primarily upon cultural and community psychologies in the context of a broad humanistic orientation that holds the dignity, humanity, and interconnectedness of all persons of the world as its core value. The “Being-in-Culture-in-the-World” Transactional Field represents the infinite and complex interrelationships between multidimensional biopsychorelational (person), socioecological (environment), and cultural systems that are in ongoing and dynamic transaction. Positive (e.g., thriving, well-being) and negative (e.g., dysfunction, disease) wellness outcomes are conceptualized as emergent properties of the activity of the transactional field. PEaCE Theory is informed by a large and diverse body of conceptual and empirical literature, both within and outside of psychology (e.g., public health, cultural studies), that converge in their insistence on the critical role of culture and context for understanding human experience and improving the health of persons, relationships, communities, and nations. PEaCE Theory will require ongoing testing and refinement towards its aim of transdisciplinary and global relevance.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v1i1p16

Keywords: community psychology; complex systems; culture; human diversity; multiculturalism; wellness


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