Societal-psychological constructionism: Societies, selves, traditions, and fusions

Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 17 (2):120-136 (1997)
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Abstract

Frequently cited problems of dualism, as it pertains to the relation of psychological mind to sociocultural world, arise from assumptions of fixed societal and psychological ontologies. If, instead, societal and psychological ontologies are understood to be both emergent and mutable, as a consequence of their dynamic relation, many of the metaphysical and epistemological difficulties encountered by classic psychological-sociocultural dualism are avoided. To this end, an ontological and epistemological position, called societal-psychological constructionism, is presented. The merits of this position relative to postmodern textualist and social constructionist alternatives to classic psychological-sociocultural dualism are discussed. The major advantages of societal-psychological constructionism stem from its metaphysical claim that the psychological derives largely from the sociocultural, but is not reducible to the sociocultural, and in the epistemological implications of this claim. These advantages are particularly significant when contrasted with postmodern textualist and social constructionist accounts that mistakenly conflate the origins of psychological phenomena with psychological experience. 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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