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.

Introduction: Reenchanting Constructionist Inquiries

Introduction: Reenchanting constructionist inquiries

Extricating ourselves from the debilitating pessimism accompanying the failure of modernist straight-line trajectories seems to involve some creative wandering. Not deterministically going forward or panglossianly staying behind means reenchanting, redoing, and reenlightening the fields of inquiry we have inherited from the past.

(Barbara Maria Stafford, Good Looking: Essays on the Virtue of Images)

By many reads of popular culture, everyday discourse and intellectual debate, social construction seems to have come of age. From those experimenting with body morphing and simulated communities in virtual worlds of the internet through to our cultural fascination with resculpting not just the face but also the body such that “something other than flesh is being altered” (Siebert, 1996: 20), talk about subjectivity as fixed, immobile, determined, essential, or integral seems at odds with the very pulses ...

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