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Title: Politics and ‘Applied Psychology’: Theoretical Concepts that Question the Disciplinary Community
Authors: Parker, Ian A.
First Published: 21-Jul-2015
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Theory and Psychology July 21, 2015 0959354315592173
Abstract: 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’.
DOI Link: 10.1177/0959354315592173
ISSN: 0959-3543
eISSN: 1461-7447
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. Version of record:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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