8 Cultural Conflicts That Make Us Who We Are

Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781594630989
  • 320  Pages
  • Hudson Street Press
  • Adult


What kind of person are you?

Are you independent—individual, unique, and in control of your world? Are you interdependent—relational, similar to others, and good at adjusting to situations?

Or are you both?

In Clash!, leading cultural psychologists Hazel Rose Markus and Alana Conner show us how our cultural backgrounds create and reflect these two basic ways of being a self, which then shapes everything from how we run our governments to how we raise our children.

Markus and Conner also demonstrate how clashes between independence and interdependence fuel many of today’s most pressing conflicts, including tensions between East and West, the Global North and Global South, men and women, blacks and whites, conservative and liberal, religious groups, rich and poor, and businesses, governments, and nonprofits.

Provocative and entertaining, Clash! offers solutions to many of the problems that plague our workplaces, schools, and relationships. For readers of The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille and The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki, it doesn’t just explain who we are, it also envisions who we could become.


This book is a passkey that opens many doors. Using one simple principle, Clash! explain some of the most bedeviling cultural divides in our workplaces and communities.  It’s mandatory reading for teachers, managers, and parents who want to raise their kids to succeed in a multicultural world.  
—Chip Heath, PhD, coauthor, Decisive: How To Make Better Choices in Life and Work and Switch: How To Change When Change Is Hard
Clash! offers deep insights into how our cultures and culture clashes make us who we are, and how that matters for success in the 21st century. Everyone should read this book.”
—Carol S. Dweck, PhD, author of Mindset
If you fear that cultural, political, and class differences are tearing America apart, read this important book to learn how we can turn some of our differences into strengths.
–Jonathan Haidt, PhD, author of The Righteous Mind;
What a brilliant, eye-opening book!  Filled with insight, and based on fascinating original research, Clash! offers a way to understand and break through some of the deepest cultural divides of our time. It’s a page-turner — fun, witty, engagingly written.”
—Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
“In these days of heedless enthusiasm for gene maps and brain scans, Clash! reminds us that human beings are, above all, culture-bearing, culture-sharing, and culture-shaping animals. This thoroughly engaging book shows that to know a person, one must know a culture.”
—Barry Schwartz, PhD, author of The Paradox of Choice and Practical Wisdom
“Better than any book I know, Clash! illuminates the cultural influences in our everyday lives and how they underlie the major identity clashes of our times. This delightfully written book also imparts a better understanding of ourselves.
—Claude Steele, PhD, author of Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do
“A brilliant and highly accessible exposition of new scientific findings about profound cultural differences. As the world grows smaller and flatter, the wisdom of Clash! will prove essential for effective functioning.” 
—Richard E. Nisbett, PhD, author of Intelligence and How to Get It
Finally! An entertaining and scientifically rigorous explanation of how our cultures work on us and how we can work on them.  Clash! is a must-read for crafting effective personal change strategies that work within and across most cultures.
—Philip Zimbardo, PhD, author, The Lucifer Effect
In the conflict of cultures lies, paradoxically, the ability to construct a self with integrity, agility, and the potential to grow in ways previously unimagined. Full of good science and sage advice, Clash! provides the evidence and strength to approach the hard question, “Who am I?”
—Mahzarin Banaji, PhD, author of Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People