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Psychosocial Studies and Psychology: Is a Critical Approach Emerging?

Frosh, Stephen (2003) Psychosocial Studies and Psychology: Is a Critical Approach Emerging? Human Relations 56 (12), pp. 1545-1567. ISSN 0018-7267.


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This article describes a brand of 'psychosocial studies' that adopts a critical attitude towards psychology as a whole, yet remains rooted in an attempt to theorize the 'psychological subject'. Principles for psychosocial studies work of this kind are discussed, arising out of the actual work of one academic centre within a university department of psychology. These principles are: concern with the human subject as a social entity; interest in the emergence of subjectivity in the social domain; interest in critique, defined as a concern with ideological issues in psychology; methodological pluralism, including an active assertion of the value of qualitative and theoretical research, as well as more traditional quantitative research; theoretical pluralism, including interest in discourses traditionally marginalized in academic psychology (e.g. psychoanalysis, systems theory, feminist theory, phenomenology); interest in inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to psychological theory and research; and interest in personal and social change, including psychotherapy. Some complicating issues relating to the process and content of this kind of work are also outlined.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): critical psychology, ideology, psychosocial studies, qualitative research
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2005
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:32

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