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Politics and ‘Applied Psychology’: Theoretical Concepts that Question the Disciplinary Community

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-05-07, 10:31 authored by Ian A. Parker
This paper responds to a set of problems in contemporary psychology that cluster around the notion that the discipline might be ‘applied’ to the real world, and that such application would thereby serve as the methodological and conceptual grounding for ‘political psychology’. The specific problems addressed comprise ‘interpretation’ of material in the quantitative and qualitative traditions, the notion of ‘application’ as such which rests on the prior modelling of individual and collective psychological phenomena, the conceptions of ‘politics’ that operate in disciplinary interventions, the idealisation of ‘community’ in different traditions of community psychology in the US and Europe, and finally ‘psychology’ itself as the background against which these other problems are elaborated. In response to these problems the paper describes political theoretical concepts from feminist interventions in Left practice and brings them to bear on the discipline of psychology, turning the direction of travel of concepts around so that psychology itself rather than the outside world becomes the object to which ideas are ‘applied’. The five political theoretical concepts described here are ‘performativity’, ‘standpoint’, ‘the personal as political’, the ‘tyranny of structurelessness’ and ‘intersectionality’.

History

Citation

Theory and Psychology July 21, 2015 0959354315592173

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/School of Management

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Theory and Psychology July 21

Publisher

SAGE Publications

issn

0959-3543

eissn

1461-7447

Copyright date

2015

Available date

2015-08-21

Publisher version

http://tap.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/07/20/0959354315592173

Language

en

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