1st Edition

Seldom Seen, Rarely Heard Women's Place In Psychology

By Janis S. Bohan Copyright 1993
    476 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book uses a constructionist approach to explore the place of women in psychology, both as participants in the discipline and as subjects of psychological theory, research, and practice. The book provides an explanation of the principles of social constructionism and then utilizes this model as a tool for discovering the influences that have shaped psychology's treatment of women. Certainly recent works have addressed the construction of gender, but this is the first to apply the constructionist lens to psychology itself. It asks how the social construction of gender has interacted, both historically and at present, with the sociohistorical forces that shape psychology. It is the intersection of these two understandings–accepted “truths†about the nature of gender and psychology's own understanding of its role–that has framed women's place in the discipline. Utilizing readings from a variety of sources, the book explicates women's place in psychology, from early misogynist to recent feminist attempts to understand the psychology of women. This exploration reveals the tacit assumptions about gender and about psychology that traditionally have acted in concert to discount, demean, marginalize, and misrepresent women's experience. Recent feminist psychology is given an equally thorough review, demonstrating that feminist thought must also be conscientiously queried lest we inadvertently reproduce the very forms we strive to dismantle.

    Preface and Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- Prologue: Re-Viewing Psychology, Re-Placing Women—An End Searching for a Means -- Through a Feminist Prism: Women’s Place in Psychology -- Psychology Constructs the Female, or the Fantasy Life of the Male Psychologist -- Functionalism, Darwinism, and the Psychology of Women: A Study in Social Myth -- Bias in Psychology -- Through the Looking Glass: No Wonderland Yet! -- The Devaluation of Women’s Competence -- Re-Viewing Psychology: A Constructionist Perspective -- The Measurement of Masculinity and Femininity: Engendering Categorical Realities -- The Meaning of Difference: Gender Theory, Postmodernism, and Psychology -- Psychology Reconstructs the Female, 1968–1988 -- Reconstructing Psychology, Re-Placing Women -- Metatheoretical Dilemmas in the Psychology of Gender -- Integrating the Feminist Critique and the Crisis in Social Psychology: Another Look at Research Methods -- Placing Women in the History of Psychology: The First American Women Psychologists -- Family Change and Gender Differences: Implications for Theory and Practice -- Women-Inclusive Psychology: New Answers, New Questions -- Doing Gender -- The Psychology of Women and Conservatism: Rediscovering Social Change -- Feminism, Psychology, and the Paradox of Power -- Differing with Deconstruction: A Feminist Critique


    Janis S. Bohan is professor of psychology at Metropolitan State College of Denver.