Political Psychology: Critical Approaches to Power

Critical aspects of political psychology should be rich territory for a critical study. Politics, government, and citizenship are aspects of work that usually develop debates and critical analysis, but academic political psychology is, so far, very cautious or not much interested in those fields. There are, however, political psychologists that do very interesting work about such processes. Marx and Engels’ works are increasingly well-known among those who are ‘critical’ in political psychology, and the same can be said of the work of Gramsci, Lukács, and those working in the tradition of the Frankfurt School as well as those who use Foucault’s ideas. Social constructionism, for example, was quickly embraced by the psychological community, even if many only did lip service to it. I have concentrated on ‘power’ in this chapter because it concerns politics and is an important phenomenon through which to advance social equality, fairness, and respect. These aims of critical work confront the naturalization of the idea that power can only be on one side of society, which has the natural capacity to impose ideas and norms on everyone else. Asymmetrical power and its social, economic, and psychological consequences are political as well as political-psychological problems.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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