Subjectivity and Method in Psychology: Gender, Meaning, and Science
Sage Publications, 1989 - 150 páginas
This important and exciting book makes a major contribution to methodology in psychology and the social sciences generally. Its main purpose is to show how psychology can be done differently'. From a standpoint which views knowledge as produced and reproduced within specific historical conditions and power relations, Wendy Hollway criticizes the almost intentional blindness of psychology to its own conditions of production'.
She describes her own method in her research on subjectivity and gender difference as well as the subjective, cultural and theoretical conditions within which it was developed. She outlines a theory of how meaning is achieved within discourses and discusses how the theory can be used to understand and analyse accounts and their production.
She explains how her theory helped her to understand the production and reproduction of gender difference in adult relations. Then, using a framework which connects psychodynamic processes, power relations and gender-differentiated positions, she analyses the production of a range of mainstream psychologies.
Central to the book is a radical reappraisal of the concept of subjectivity and its use as a tool for psychological understanding. The author concludes with an analysis of the way in which gender difference and subjectivity are involved in dominant conceptions of psychology as a science. She explores the implications of this analysis for feminist psychology and other psychologies with emancipatory goals.
About the Author
Wendy Hollway is a lecturer in the Development Studies and Project Planning Centre, University of Bradford. Previously, she taught in the Department of Occupational Psychology atBirkbeck College, University of London. She is currently preparing a book on the history of industrial//organizational psychology from the point of view of the conditions of its production. She is co-author (with J Henriques and others) of "Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity "(1984).
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It is not my intention to give a detailed history , but rather to illustrate the theme of power / knowledge relations in psychology . The orthodox answer to the question ' How did psychology come to be what it is ?
Prior to the seventeenth century , knowledge of nature did not involve the principle of difference from nature which dominates in modern science . Knowledge was rather seen as a joining with nature ; getting close enough ...
If knowledge and power are as inseparable as I have been arguing , these attempts will tend to produce new knowledge . However , by the same token , the uncritical use of theoretical assumptions undermines its attempts at transformation ...
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