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Psychosocial Studies and Psychology: Is a Critical Approach Emerging?

By Stephen Frosh


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

Topics: psyc, psysoc
Publisher: Sage Journals
Year: 2003
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