At the heart of the orthodox social psychological conception of social being is a commitment to experimental methodology and a representational view of human cognition. While scholars working under the banner of social constructionism have challenged this conception of social being, they have too often failed to appreciate the role that a Marxist critique of political economy can play in their critiques. Drawing on Marx’s analysis of commodity fetishism, it becomes clear that orthodox social psychology is not so much a tool for addressing modern alienation as it is a potent expression of that alienation. This is particularly clear when we explore orthodox engagements with issues surrounding ideology and class. By placing Marx’s critique of political economy at the foundation of Critical Social Psychology, it becomes possible to interrogate with renewed vigour many of the most pressing concerns of our age.

Key References

Dreyfus, H., and Taylor, C. (2015). Retrieving realism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Hayes, G. (2004). Marxism and critical psychology. In D. Hook (Ed.), Critical psychology (pp. 162—186). Cape Town, South Africa: UCT Press.

Parker, I. (2007). Revolution in psychology: Alienation to emancipation. London, UK: Pluto Press.

Parker, I., and Spears, R. (Eds.). (1996). Psychology and society: Radical theory and practice. London, UK: Pluto.

Reed, E. S. (1996). Encountering the world: Toward an ecological psychology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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