Reconstructing the Psychological Subject: Bodies, Practices and Technologies
Publication Year: 1998
Reconstructing the Psychological Subject offers a comprehensive overview of key debates on subjectivity and the subject in psychological theory and practice. In addition to social construction's long engagement with social relations, this volume addresses questions of the body, technology, intersubjectivity, writing, and investigative practices. An international cast of contributors explore the tensions and opposing viewpoints raised by these issues and shows how analyzing the psychological subject interrelates with reforming the practices of psychology. Drawing on perspectives that include feminism, dialogics, poststructuralism, hermeneutics, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and cultural or social studies of science, readers are guided through pivotal debates in the field. Reconstructing the Psychological Subject will be invaluable reading for students and academics in psychology, social constructionism, communication studies, and social studies of science.
- Front Matter
- Subject Index
- Introduction: Reenchanting Constructionist Inquiries
- Chapter 1: Life as an Embodied Art: The Second Stage - Beyond Constructionism
- Chapter 2: Social Construction as Social Poetics: Oliver Sacks and the Case of Dr P
- Chapter 3: Feminism and Psychoanalysis Consider Sexuality and the Symbolic Order: Would Social Construction Join Us?
- Chapter 4: Two Ways to Talk about Change: “The Child” of the Sublime Versus Radical Pedagogy
- Chapter 5: Positioning a Dialogic Reflexivity in the Practice of Feminist Supervision
- Chapter 6: The Ordinary, the Original, and the Believable in Psychology's Construction of the Person
- Chapter 7: Repopulating Social Psychology: A Revised Version of Events
- Chapter 8: Repopulating Social Psychology Texts: Disembodied “Subjects” and Embodied Subjectivity
- Chapter 9: Between Apparatuses and Apparitions: Phantoms of the Laboratory
- Chapter 10: The Return of Phantom Subjects
Inquiries in Social Construction[Page ii]
Kenneth J. Gergen, John Shotter and Sue M. Widdicombe
Inquiries in Social Construction is designed to facilitate across disciplinary and national boundaries, a revolutionary dialogue within the social sciences and humanities. Central to this dialogue is the idea that all presumptions of the real and the good are constructed within relations among people. This dialogue gives voice to a new range of topics, including the social construction of the person, rhetoric and narrative in the construction of reality, the role of power in making meanings, postmodernist culture and thought, discursive practices, the social constitution of the mental, dialogic process, reflexivity in theory and method, and many more. The series explores the problems and prospects generated by this new relational consciousness, and its implications for science and social life.
Also in this series
Derek Edwards and Jonathan Potter
Therapy as Social Construction
edited by Sheila McNamee and Kenneth J. Gergen
Psychology and Postmodernism
edited by Steinar Kvale
Constructing the Social
edited by Theodore R. Sarbin and John I. Kitsuse
edited by H. Lorraine Radtke and Henderikus J. Starn
edited by Herbert W. Simons and Michael Billig
The Social Self
edited by David Bakhurst and Christine Sypnowich
Eero Riikonen and Gregory Smith
Introduction and Chapter 9 © Betty M. Bayer 1998
Chapter 1 © Edward E. Sampson 1998
Chapter 2 © John Shotter 1998
Chapter 3 © Kareen Ror Malone 1998
Chapter 4 © Ben Bradley 1998
Chapter 5 © Susan E. Hawes 1998
Chapter 6 © Kenneth J. Gergen 1998
Chapter 7 © Michael Billig 1998
Chapter 8 © Henderikus J. Starn, Ian Lubek and H. Lorraine Radtke 1998
Chapter 10 © Jill Morawski 1998
First published 1998
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission in writing from the Publishers.
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British Library Cataloguing in Publication data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 08039 7613 5
ISBN 0 8039 7614 3 (pbk)
Library of Congress catalog card number 97-068908
Typeset by Type Study, Scarborough
Printed in Great Britain by The Cromwell Press Ltd, Broughton Gifford, Melksham, Wiltshire
Contributors' Notes[Page vi]
Betty M. Bayer is Assistant Professor of Social Psychology and teaches in women's studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York, USA. She has published papers on feminist theory and questions of the body in psychology, and is engaged in research on the history of gender constructions in small group research and on the human-technology remakings of the scientist and scientific practices in twentieth-century psychology.
Michael Billig is Professor of Social Sciences at Loughborough University, UK. His early work was in the field of experimental social psychology, investigating intergroup relations. Subsequently, he has conducted research into the psychology of prejudice, extreme right-wing ideology and nationalism. Together with fellow members of the Discourse and Rhetoric Group at Loughborough, he has been interested in developing new ways of approaching psychology, based on the study of language and rhetoric. His recent books include Arguing and Thinking, Ideology and Beliefs, Talking of the Royal Family, and Banal Nationalism.
Ben Bradley works as Reader in Psychology at James Cook University of North Queensland, Australia, and in private practice. His interests are focused on strengthening traditions which link psychology with political action. His current research funding is for projects on depression during pregnancy, changes in infants' blood-circulation during en face social interaction with adults, the letters of William James, and indigenous understandings of development among Australian aborigines and islanders of the Torres Strait. His publications include Visions of Infancy: A Critical Introduction to Child Psychology (1989), and a Special Edition of Theory & Psychology called “The Future of Developmental Theory” which he edited with William Kessen (1993).
Kenneth Gergen is the Mustin Professor of Psychology at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, USA, where he also coordinates an interdisciplinary program in Interpretation Theory. He is a co-founder of the Taos Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to the realization of social constructionist ideas in societal practices, and an Associate Editor of Theory & Psychology. Gergen is the author of Toward Transformation in Social Knowledge, The Saturated Self, and Realities and Relationships.
Susan E. Hawes is a faculty member and Director of Research at the Clinical Psychology Department of Antioch New England Graduate School, New Hampshire, USA. She is responsible for the doctoral level research [Page vii]curriculum in this “practitioner-scholar” program, and also teaches courses in the historical and social contexts of psychology, qualitative research methods, and postmodern feminist theories. She is currently exploring the following areas: woman-to-woman clinical supervision, and popular discourses on adolescent girls. A practicing clinical psychologist, she maintains a part-time clinical practice in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Ian Lubek, Professor of Psychology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and visiting researcher at the GEDISST/IRESCO/CNRS, Paris, France, follows research interests in theory, meta theory and epistemology; violence; history of social psychology; and gender and mentoring issues in the social psychology of science. He has previously written with H.J. Stam (1995), on “ludicro-experimentation,” co-edited two books on theoretical issues in psychology (1995, 1996) and two special journal issues on the history of social psychology (1992, 1993), and is the author or co-author of numerous book chapters, journal articles, and after-dinner ephemera.
Kareen Ror Malone is Associate Professor of Psychology and on the Women's Studies faculty at State University of West Georgia, Georgia, USA. She has published in the areas of feminist studies, depth psychology, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and social construction. She has recently developed psychological performance pieces that address issues of representation, subjectivity, and body.
Jill Morawski is a Professor of Psychology at Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA, whose research includes work in the psychology of gender and the history of psychology. She is author of Practicing Feminisms, Reconstructing Psychology: Notes on a Liminal Science (1994) and editor of The Rise of Experimentation in American Psychology (1988). She currently is working on a study of reproductive technologies and a history of the experimenter and experimental practices in twentieth-century psychology.
H. Lorraine Radtke is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Her current research involves the use of a discursive approach in the study of gender and social psychology. She is co-editor of Power/Gender: Social Relations in Theory and Practice (1994).
Edward E. Sampson is Professor of Psychology at California State University in Northridge, California, USA. In addition to teaching four undergraduate courses each semester, he has somehow found time to write a dozen books and numerous articles, including Celebrating the Other, Justice and the Critique of Pure Psychology, and, forthcoming, Dealing with Differences: An Introduction to the Social Psychology of Prejudice. During the last 25 years, most of his work has contributed to the development of a critical and transformative rather than a traditional psychology.[Page viii]
John Shotter is Professor of Interpersonal Relations in the Department of Communication, University of New Hampshire, USA. He is the author of Social Accountability and Selfhood (1984), Cultural Politics of Everyday Life: Social Constructionism, Rhetoric, and Knowing of the Third Kind (1993), and Conversational Realities: Constructing of Life through Language (1993). Currently, he is an Overseas Fellow at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, and Visiting Professor at the Swedish Institute for Work Life Research in Stockholm.
Henderikus J. Starn is Professor of Psychology at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is the founding and current editor of Theory & Psychology and writes on the history of the body in psychology.
For the many ways contributors' chapters pushed the bounds of the initial conception of this volume, and for their patience and kindness of spirit throughout its evolution, our thanks. We also extend our gratitude to our editor Ziyad Marar for his encouraging support and critical insights into changing directions on psychology's disciplinary compass.
As the first editor of this volume, I thank my co-editor John Shotter for his guidance and assistance, many thought-inspiring conversations, and enlivening contributions to the introductory chapter. I am also deeply indebted to Susan Henking whose sparkling intellect and mindful suggestions invigorated both the introduction and my own chapter. My gratitude also goes to Lee Quinby for her helpful comments on the introduction, as well as for her warm and enthusiastic support. Warmest thanks also to Elena Ciletti for her generous gift of art for the book cover. For his reassurances all along the way, and for giving hope to “the good” in academic life, I thank Jeffrey Greenspon. To Jill Morawski, my appreciation for making this project conceivable. And, lastly, I want to recognize Lloyd Strickland for being a constant source of ideas and discussion on social psychology, reminding me that sometimes tangents are the most direct route, and showing me time and again how to meet critical challenges with grace and intellectual courage.[Page x]