Shared Faculty Interests

One central concern we share is to establish and delineate the relations that exist between different discourses. This concern places some of our work firmly in the current of `postmodernism'. That is to say, contemporary humans live in, and are constituted by, many different discourses - and the symbolic resources that enable these - in a myriad of cultural and sub-cultural groups that increasingly interact with each other. These groups are engaged in struggles between each other that no longer seem best studied from perspectives that hang onto traditional presuppositions as to the nature of `truth' (that there is one true reality of nature that can be uncovered through the employment of traditional empirical scientific methods).

The `loss of faith' in the `grand narratives' and methods of western social sciences that this view has occasioned amongst academics is paralleled by the `loss of consensus' occurring in what we had previously imagine was the`real world'. We used to think that there were such things as 'societies' and 'cultures'. We used to think that they contained such things as ideal role models and values. We now recognise that, while in some sense such things do exist, in another sense we imagined a lot of them. Yet, at this point, we would be hard pushed to say which bit was real, and which was imagined.

But there has been 'a loss of concensus'. And this loss has brought the notion of competing discourses forward as an area that psychologists must address as a matter of theoretical and practical urgency.

This central concern of ours motivates us to readress many traditional areas of study in the field of psychology. Developmental psychology is one of these. A number of us share the view that the symbolic skills through which our human abilities are constituted are themselves constituted and grounded in the social life and pre-existing discursive resources we are, each one of us, born into. We thus seek to understand these processes of development-thus-conceived. Therapeutic psychology is another. `Therapy', in its broadest sense, is intimately tied up with conceptions of `right' and `wrong', because therapy is aimed at procurring change (and, one hopes, change for `the better'). But what is `better'? Who defines it? And having asked these questions, how can therapy be practised?

The above in no way are definitive of the work we are conducting, nor of our joint intentions as a `virtual faculty'. We are in the very early stages of developing this web site that is associated with our activities. Please explore further as you wish, and return again as time passes to see where we go.

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