There is expanding global interest in the relationship between the psychological and the social. The bringing together of affect, emotion and feeling with social, political and cultural forces offers a creative, innovative and rich set of ways of understanding what Charles Wright Mills called the links between personal troubles and public issues.
This book is an introduction to psychosocial studies. Drawing on different approaches to the field, the book introduces the main theoretical influences on psychosocial studies and their development and impact, through – for example – concepts such as the unconscious, self and identity, affect, emotion and the cultural and social unconscious. It explores the theoretical frameworks of psychosocial studies, and psychosocial research methods. The book offers examples of case studies which illustrate the diversity of psychosocial studies and what makes it distinctive. It asks: what is social about the inner worlds of the psychological? What is psychological and psychic about social worlds and social life?
This clear, accessible introduction will be of interest to students and researchers across the social sciences and humanities, in particular in sociology, psychology, cultural geography, social policy and politics and cultural studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Ideas 3. Methodologies 4. Selves 5. Affect 6. Intimacies 7. Risk 8. Trauma 9. Politics 10. Conclusion
Kath Woodward is Professor of Sociology at the Open University. She has published extensively in interdisciplinary fields, including those developing psychosocial approaches theoretically and methodologically. She is a founding member of the Association for Psychosocial Studies. Her publications include: Understanding Identity (2002), Embodied Sporting Practices (2009), Social Sciences: the Big Issues (2014, 3rd edition), Questions of Identity (2004), Boxing Masculinity and Identity (2006), Why Feminism Matters with Sophie Woodward (2009) and the reflexive, innovative Sporting Times (2012) written in the ‘real time’ of the 2012 Olympics, which inspired the Chasing Time exhibition at the Olympic Museum, which Kath curated.
"This book is essential reading for anyone seeking an introduction to the relatively new field of psychosocial studies. It is both scholarly and yet remarkably accessible, providing state of the art coverage of current thinking. There are few people who could produce a book of such scope and with this degree of balanced coverage. Without doubt, it is set to become a key text within the field." - Dr David Langdridge, Existential Psychotherapist, The Open University, UK
"In this timely and well-crafted book, Kath Woodward maps the chief current concerns of the expanding field of psychosocial studies, deftly illustrating what a psychosocial approach can contribute to a number of contemporary issues. The book will be invaluable to students and teachers looking for a lucid overview of the conceptual and methodological resources, drawn upon by psychoanalytically informed psychosocial scholars. Kath Woodward devotes a chapter to a psychosocial take on politics which is grounded in the personal and which carries forward the feminist inspirations which have been so central to psychosocial work. In providing a synoptic overview of the field, this book provides a valuable platform for scholars to build upon as they continue to challenge disciplinary orthodoxy." - Paul Stenner, Professor of Social Psychology and co-director of the Psychosocial Programme of the Centre Citizenship, Identity and Governance, The Open University
"Overall, this book considers the complexity of psychosocial studies, its evolution, and the impact of its key ideas. The volume covers key material in a readable way, thus providing a very good introduction for students and researchers."— Joanna Rak, Sociological Review