Re-Envisioning Psychology: Moral Dimensions of Theory and Practice

Re-Envisioning Psychology: Moral Dimensions of Theory and Practice

Re-Envisioning Psychology: Moral Dimensions of Theory and Practice

Re-Envisioning Psychology: Moral Dimensions of Theory and Practice

Synopsis

Do the science and practice of psychology make a significant and positive contribution to human welfare and the struggle for a good society? Is it possible that modern psychotherapy subtly reinforces a narrow and ultimately self-defeating individualism? Can psychology unwittingly perpetuate such modern social ills as the loss of community and emotional isolation? In the twentieth century, the practice of psychology has usually been based on a scientific or objective theory of human behavior. Today, an influential countermovement, often called social constructionism, argues that there is no basis for our beliefs or values beyond the swirl of meanings and practices in a particular community or era. Re-envisioning Psychology examines the increasing dissatisfaction with both scientific and social constructionist viewpoints and presents a sweeping new vision of theory and practice in psychology. In this persuasive new book, Frank C. Richardson, Blaine J. Fowers, and Charles B. Guignon explore the moral underpinnings of the practice of psychology, question its social meaning, and offer a powerful vision of an interpretive and cultural psychology for the new millennium. This original approach attempts to get at the root of fragmentation and confusion in modern psychology. It shows how practitioners and researchers can acknowledge and even prize their social and moral commitments while still taking a rigorously critical approach to examining their theories and practice. The authors argue that this reframing of psychology in terms of interpretation and dialogue can propel psychology to greater social relevance and responsibility. Moreover, it suggests new ways of thinking and social involvement that can enrich professional practice. A Powerful New View of Psychology Re-envisioning Psychology offers a provocative examination of contemporary psychology and its role in society and presents a bold new philosophical perspective from which clinicians and researchers can re-imagine their work."Re-envisioning Psychology is a breath of fresh air, a clear and resounding voice that provides an intellectual and moral direction that, if heeded and built upon, could lead psychology out of the confusion and political collusion in which it is currently mired. Richardson, Fowers, and Guignon have imaginatively applied interpretive and dialogic concepts to the most troubling aspects of theory and practice. If psychology is going to be saved from its own worst tendencies, this book will be an indispensable element in its turning."_Philip Cushman, associate professor, California School of Professional Psychology and author of Constructing the Self, Constructing America: A Cultural History of Psychotherapy"Richardson, Fowers, and Guignon bring together a valuable integrated examination of psychology's entanglements with twentieth century ideologies. The book provides a cogent argument for the importance of social theory in the understanding of the cultural and moral underpinnings of modern psychology and psychological practice. A commendable ethical imperative drives the authors' ideas and provides a model for others."_Rachel T. Hare-Mustin, diplomate in clinical psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology; author, Making a Difference: Psychology and the Construction of Gender"This book is a frank and insightful assessment of the unacknowledged culture and moral values that pervade modern psychotherapy practice and theory. This book not only diagnoses the problem but offers us an 'interpretive psychology' as a thought-provoking treatment."_Brent D. Slife, professor of psychology, Brigham Young University; author, What's Behind the Research?: Discovering Hidden Assumptions in the Behavioral Sciences

Excerpt

—T. S. Eliot

AS TEACHERS, WE SEE at first hand the cracks in the foundations of academic and professional psychology. We find that thoughtful undergraduates, committed graduate students, and many of our colleagues have serious doubts at times about the intellectual value or social significance of the theories and research findings of modern psychology. They are often genuinely fascinated with the topics under discussion, including such things as self-esteem, human development, gender differences, group dynamics, human psychopathology, and schools of psychotherapy. But they often worry whether research reported on these topics really sheds much light on them or comes up with more than what one philosopher of social science calls “wordy elaborations of the obvious” (Taylor, 1985a, p. 1). They may be uncomfortable with mainstream psychology's claim to be a value-neutral science of human behavior. If it is strictly neutral, they wonder, how can it be relevant to human affairs except as some sort of manipulative behavioral technology? Moreover, they see few signs that the social disciplines will ever even approach the natural sciences in explanatory or predictive power. If that is not discouraging enough, it may strike them that even if we had more raw predictive and technological prowess, we might only compound some of our biggest problems. After all, influential critics and commentators throughout the twentieth century have been saying that we seem to diminish in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.