This groundbreaking new textbook takes a different perspective on social psychology, focused on the social and cultural worlds we inhabit, and encompassing a wide range of core social psychology topics – from the self to relationships, gender to health, racism to mental distress.
Taking a critical approach, this book explores how qualitative methods and interpretational analyses can be used to examine human behaviour and what it is like living in today’s media-led world. It explicitly challenges all forms of Othering, taking a fresh look at human values, embodiment, agency, communication, thinking and feeling. It goes beyond the individualising scientific approach taken by traditional psychology, instead concentrating on the psychology of what makes us human – qualities like empathy and compassion, courage and dignity, kindness and sympathy – and how we can nurture them. Offering a fascinating alternative to existing resources and enhanced by carefully chosen full-colour illustrations, the book and associated companion website include original pedagogical features such as reflective exercises, further resources and a glossary, offering opportunities for readers to customise their learning experience.
Featuring a course mapping section that sets out how the text can be used in relation to psychology curriculum requirements and common course structures, this interdisciplinary resource provides accessible and engaging reading for students studying psychology and other disciplines, including sociology, cultural studies, politics and media studies, as well as applied areas such as nursing, policing and management. It is also for anyone who is interested in what psychology can tell us about our lives and place in the world.
Table of Contents
Different Ways to Use This Book
Mapping the Book
Chapter 1: Human Psychology and what it can do for us
Chapter 2: Who am I? – Selves and Identities
Chapter 3: Bodies that Matter
Chapter 4: Being in relationships
Chapter 5: Being Different
Chapter 6: Human Gender and Sexuality
Chapter 7: Human Thinking
Chapter 8: Human Feelings
Chapter 9: Human Communication
Chapter 10: Human Welfare
Chapter 11: World Changing
Wendy Stainton Rogers is Professor Emerita at the Open University, UK. In retirement she continues to contribute to the development of critical psychology and qualitative research in psychology. Her most recent publication was co-editing (with Carla Willig) the second edition of The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology (2017).
‘Wendy Stainton Rogers has an extraordinary ability to bring large swathes of theory and research together in original form. Drawing on her prodigious readings and wealth of experience as an academic, she has produced a book that is a must-read for students and academic alike. The style of writing is gripping, and easily blends theory with everyday life across a range of domains. It truly is a book on *human* psychology, a very timely contribution in troubled times.’ - Professor Catriona Macleod, SARCHI Chair: Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction; Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Rhodes University, South Africa.
‘We need to talk about ‘psychology’ very differently, and, at last, Wendy Stainton Rogers shows us how, in this innovative left-field approach to matters social and psychological. This amazing book interrupts the discipline and opens the way to something new, to an approach that respects what we are as human beings and the manifold ways we together engage in personal and cultural transformation.’ - Ian Parker, University of Manchester, UK; Co-Director of the Discourse Unit.
‘This radical and humane book draws on decades of scholarship from one of our leading social psychologists. Asking fundamental questions about what it means to be human, it offers a new vision for social psychology centred on kindness, compassion and respect. A fresh, comprehensive and accessible read.’ - Rosalind Gill, Professor of Cultural and Social Analysis at City, University of London, UK.
‘At a moment of rising nationalisms, swelling inequality gaps, state violence against immigrants/refugees/asylum seekers, bloody bursts of misogyny and homophobia, and as we bear witness to the eruption of vibrant protests dotting the globe, we are gifted with Perspectives on Social Psychology: A Psychology of Human Being, by the brilliant, passionate and so smart Wendy Stainton Rogers. In this lively and accessible text, Stainton Rogers invites us to understand our complex personhood, recognize how our lives are situated in history and structure, appreciate relationships loving and fraught, examine the spectacular and banal processes of Othering, consider how we embody and enact desire and dwell on how we cope with, organize, and become activists as we contend with the precarity of tomorrow. This volume is a secular bible on understanding structural violence and radical possibility; a way to re-view what is, and imagine what could be. A gift at just the moment we need it.’ - Michelle Fine, Distinguished Professor of Critical Psychology, The Graduate Center, CUNY, US.