What damage does psychology do to people's lives, and what can we do about it? How do we recognise and support resistance? Written by expert practitioners-researchers, this co-authored book explores how psychology legislates on normality and then uses its "expert" knowledge to turn social marginalisation into pathology.
Chapters address a range of cultural and institutional arenas in which inequalities structured around categories of gender, "race", class and sexuality are reproduced by psychological practices: from self-help books to special hospitals, from school exclusions to Gender Identity Clinics, from mothering magazines to mental health services. But far from just documenting the damage, this book identifies the ways in which both professionals and users of services can act to counter psychology's abuses. As practical intervention as well as theoretical critique, Psychology, Discourse and Social Practice offers tangible examples of how change can be effected. This book will be of interest to advanced undergraduates and postgraduates in psychology, health, education and welfare disciplines. It is also relevant to social workers and education and health professionals, as well as professional psychologists.
' ... there can be no doubting the commitment to change and subversion of oppressive practices in psychology which the co-authors of this book display, and in this respect if puffs fresh air into those dark, dusty cloisters of mainstream psychology.' - Alexa Hepburn, Staffordshire University, in Feminism and Psychiatry 1998
'I am deeply moved by the messages of this book which convey sharp and focused information regarding the regulatory power of psychological practices and resistance to receiving customary psychological knowledge. I do not remember reading a book with such interests and energy in recent months, the most attractive part of this book is that each paper takes the readers to an exciting ride, in which the readers are given the choice of either taking a selection route, or a route of tension of resistance. I would like to congratulate each author for delegating such powerful analysis across and beyond the boundary of psychological knowledge and practice.' - Manfusa Shams, University of Luton in BPS Psychology and Women Section Newsletter No.21 1998
'... this is an important polemical and predagogical text which is aimed at an audience of readers who are engaged with the practice and theory of psychology. This would include psychologists of various persuasions, professionals who draw on psychological concepts and methods, and postgraduate students seeking a more reflexive and institutionally located analysis of the psycholgical discipline. It deserves analysis of the psychological discipline. It deserves no less that to be read, and talked about, and used, and resisted.' - Lindy Wilbraham, Rhodes University, Grahamstown in PINS No 25 1999.