Marxism & Psychology
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Convulsive Times, Revolutionary Subjects: Reflections on Marxism and Critical Psychology
- Desmond Painter Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
- David Pavón-Cuéllar Faculty of Psychology, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Mexico
- Leonardo Moncada Faculty of Psychology, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Mexico
Although no single definition of critical psychology exists that could bring together under one banner the disparate and at times contradictory efforts claiming this name, there would be no meaning to the designation at all if it did not entail, at the very least, some sort of refusal of psychology in its dominant forms. What gives critical psychology the semblance of a shared agenda, of something approaching a collective practice, despite its diversity, despite often being at odds with itself, is that it positions itself and articulates its refusal of psychology from within psychology, seeking to overcome the strictures of the discipline and its practices, and to develop alternatives in and to psychology both through critique and reconstruction. Refusal, of course, can and does take many forms in critical psychology: epistemological, theoretical, methodological and political critiques cohabit in an uneasy relationship with the discipline, ranging from outright rejection to forms of institutional complicity by which critical psychology, as a more or less loyal opposition to the mainstream, plays its role in the diversification, exportability, and further academic and cultural entrenchment of psychology (Parker, 1999a)...
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||This article introduces an edition of the Annual Review of Critical Psychology made up of papers originally presented at the Second Conference of Marxism and Psychology held in Morelia, Mexico, from 911 August 2012. We begin by introducing Marxism as a resource for critical psychology, one that is uniquely positioned to link the refusal of psychology, which lies at the core of critical work in the discipline, to a broader refusal of social relations and forms of subjectivity under capitalism and the ideological role psychology itself plays in their reproduction. We then sketch a panoramic overview of critical and reconstructive encounters between Marxism and psychology in various contexts around the world ever since Marx’s own reflections on the nature of the psyche, serving as a background to the equally diverse encounters with Marxist theory and politics in the articles making up this edition of the Review. Finally, we zone in on the immediate context of the conference itself, giving substance to the idea that a Marxist critical psychology is one that both inspires and is further developed from forms of collective action, which locates its critique of psychology and capitalism not just in theory, but in practices of everyday life that already articulate and live this double refusal. [Annual Review of Critical Psychology 12 (2015)]
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||critical psychology, marxism and psychology, second congress of marxism and psychology, social movements
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