Academic Discussion Groups

The faculty is establishing a number of discussion groups along the lines of those currently operated by Psycholoquy. Unsolicited commentaries on discussion papers are invited, and these will be available via this site.

Papers are currently only available here as html documents, rather than what the Guttenberg Project calls 'plain vanilla ascii' files. Our apologies for any inconvenience this might cause. However, we have taken this route so as to use this first batch of materials as an 'anchor point' for subsequent linked developments of teaching and/or research resources. At this point in time (October 1995), the framework for these developments can best be grasped by looking at the Against cognitivism paper


Psychology and Culture

This inoccuous title actually invokes a vast range of issues in this context: is psychological science 'culture free'?; what are the relations between idigenous and academic psychologies; what role does psychology play in a post/neo colonialist world; how is intercultural communication to be sustained within psychology?; and so on. Then there are the really important questions to be explored here: what is the nature of identity? how is it constructed? and how is it maintained? And finally, what methods are there that allow such questions to be addressed? At this point, we are beginning to gather resources to enable such issues to be considered.

M. Cole: The world beyond our borders: What might our students need to know about it?

K.J. Gergen, A. Gulerce, A. Lock and G. Misra: Psychological science in cultural context

T. McCreanor: Mimiwhangata: Media reliance on Pakeha commonsense in interpretations of Maori actions

A.Lock: A framework for understanding 'selves' provides an outline of the conceptual analysis put forward by the American anthropologist A.I.Hallowell for a logical framework within which to consider 'selves' in their cross-cultural manifestations.

For a wider perspective and listing of resources in this general area, The Multicultural Pavilion at the University of Virginia is the focal resource.


Discussion of M. Billig (1994) Sod Baudrillard! Or ideology critique in Disney World. In H. W. Simons and M. Billig (Eds) After Postmodernism: Reconstructing Ideology Critique. London: Sage. pp. 150-71.

Unresolved copyright negotiations mean that this paper is not presently available here, so you will have to go and photocopy it in a library. A synopsis will be available later. But you can take a virtual trip to Disney World if you like.


Discussion of A. Lock (1994) Against cognitivism: the discursive construction of cognitive mechanisms.

This is a revised version of a paper given at the conference 'The Discursive Construction of Knowledge' held in Adelaide in February, 1994. It puts the view that human discursive practices have played a central role in the evolutionary establishment of a majority of the so-called cognitive abilities of modern human beings, including, by implication, the ability to conceive of these abilities through theoretical concepts such as 'cognitive mechanisms'. While this is a revision of an earlier paper, it is still very much a work-in-progress, and comments, suggestions and criticisms would be welcomed and thought about.


Discussion of B. Davies and R. Harre (1990) Positioning: The discursive production of selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior20:43-63.

A web-readable version of this paper is available through this site, and a synopsis will be available shortly.


Discussion of N. Budwig: Language and the construction of self: Developmental reflections
A list of contents for this discussion paper is also available.


Wittgenstein and Psychology: Papers by John Shotter. 2 papers are currently available here. A third, a reading of Vygotsky's work from a Wittgensteinian position, can be accessed under one of our developing projects.

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Department of Psychology, Massey University , New Zealand
last changed Tuesday, 5 December 1995

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