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Postmodern challenges to the conservative anchoring of critical psychology

Postmoderne Herausforderungen für die konservative Verankerung der kritischen Psychologie
[conference paper]

Mattes, Peter

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Abstract As an outcome of the West German students movement critical psychologies in German-speaking countries have developped as marxist critiques of society and science. Above all, Holzkamp used Marx' and Engels' doctrines of natural and societal progression as foundations of a unifying categorical and closed epistemological system. Part of a political movement, psychologists were forced to link with discourses originating in the late twenties and early thirties, then cut off by National Socialism and postwar ideologies in Germany and Austria. They were forced to make up for a lag. They were to reify Marx' ghosts . For a long time they ignored the experiences of left critics in other western cultures, especially France, where critiques had been differentiated in a post-marxist manner. Up to the late eighties, this critical-psychological ignorance happened even to feminism, poststructuralism and constructivism. With the breakdown of so-called 'real socialism' Critical psychology after all had lost the last social and communitarian foundations as a reference. It had left trends of historic progression and had become conservative in a paradox way. Finally, the defeat has opened actual chances of critique, potentially in fragmented postmodern discourses.
Keywords critical psychology; discourse; science; postmodernism; development; Marxism; social criticism; critical theory; historical development
Classification Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Psychology
Method basic research; theory formation; historical
Free Keywords Psychologiekritik; critical psychology; critics of psychology
Collection Title Challenges to theoretical psychology : selected/ edited proceedings of the seventh biennial conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology, Berlin, 27 April - 2 May 1997
Editor Maiers, Wolfgang; Bayer, B.; Esgalhado, B.D.; Jorna, R.; Schraube, E.
Document language English
Publication Year 1999
Publisher Captus Univ. Publ.
City North York
Page/Pages p. 434-440
ISBN 1-89669-175-7
Status Postprint; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works