Social psychology: discipline, interdiscipline or transdiscipline?

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    Social Psychology sits at the confluence of two disciplinary discourses: the psychology of sociological matters and the sociology of psychological processes. Of course these are not simply discourses but represent the entire disciplinary organisation of social psychology as a subject and what it counts as legitimate areas of enquiry within its academic boundaries. These boundaries cut across the apparent divide between psychology and sociology, between the individual and the social, between the intra-psychic world and the world of human actions. However, this interdisciplinary appeal can also be considered as tapping into two broader discursive frameworks based upon the maintenance of an inner-outer dualism on the one hand and a rational and emotive dualism on the other. This chapter considers the way in which these discursive dualisms have given social psychology its raison d'être and its distinct dynamic and appeal as an academic subject. However, the recent turn to discourse within the discipline has not only provided it with the radical potential to study the construction and operation of these dualisms, but has also thrown into relief its interdisciplinary tensions again. This discourse on discourse involves a struggle for explanatory power in terms of either examining the ways in which psychological accounting is implicated in a flexible way as part of social practices at a ‘local’ level, or moving up an explanatory notch to a consideration of the operation of discourses on a more deterministic ‘global’ level. The chapter concludes by considering this new discursive territory, rooted in social psychology’s origins.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationConstruction of social psychology
    EditorsBrij Mohan
    Place of PublicationLisbon
    PublisherinScience Press
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)9789899938939
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2015

    Publication series

    NameAdvances in Psychology and Psychological Trends
    PublisherinScience Press
    ISSN (Print)2183-2854


    • Cognitivism
    • Discipline
    • Discourse
    • Dualism
    • Interaction


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