Ian Parker has been a leading light in the fields of critical and discursive psychology for over 25 years. The Psychology After Critique series brings together for the first time his most important papers. Each volume in the series has been prepared by Ian Parker, and presents a newly written introduction and focused overview of a key topic area.
Psychology After Deconstruction is the second volume in the series and addresses three important questions:
What is `deconstruction' and how does it apply to psychology?
How does deconstruction radicalize social constructionist approaches in psychology?
What is the future for radical conceptual and empirical research?
The book provides a clear account of deconstruction, and the different varieties of this approach at work inside and outside the discipline of psychology. In the opening chapters Parker describes the challenge to underlying assumptions of `neutrality' or `objectivity' within psychology that deconstruction poses, and its implications for three key concepts: humanism, interpretation and reflexivity. Subsequent chapters introduce several lines of debate, and discuss their relation to mainstream axioms such as `psychopathology', `diagnosis' and `psychotherapy', and alternative approaches like qualitative research, humanistic psychology and discourse analysis. Together, the chapters in this book show how, via a process of `erasure', deconstructive approaches question fundamental assumptions made about language and reality, the self and the social world. By demonstrating the application of deconstruction to different areas of psychology, it also seeks to provide a `social reconstruction' of psychological research.
Psychology After Deconstruction is essential reading for students and researchers in psychology, sociology, social anthropology and cultural studies, and for discourse analysts of different traditions. It will also introduce key ideas and debates within deconstruction to undergraduates and postgraduate students across the social sciences.
Ian Parker was Co-Founder and is Co-Director (with Erica Burman) of the Discourse Unit. He is a member of the Asylum: Magazine for Democratic Psychiatry collective, and a practising psychoanalyst in Manchester. His research and writing intersects with psychoanalysis and critical theory. He is currently editing a book series Lines of the Symbolic (on Lacanian psychoanalysis in different cultural contexts) for Karnac Books. He edited the 2011 four-volume Routledge major work Critical Psychology, and is editing the series Concepts for Critical Psychology: Disciplinary Boundaries Re-Thought. His books on critical perspectives in psychology began with The Crisis in Modern Social Psychology, and How to End It (Routledge, 1989), and continued with Discourse Dynamics: Critical Analysis for Social and Individual Psychology (Routledge, 1992). His recent books include Qualitative Psychology: Introducing Radical Research (Open University Press, 2005) and Revolution in Psychology: Alienation to Emancipation (Pluto Press, 2007).
Introduction: Psychology after Deconstruction 1. Qualitative Data and the Subjectivity of `Objective' Facts 2. Critical Reflexive Humanism and Critical Constructionist Psychology 3. Deconstructing Accounts 4. Constructions, Reconstructions and Deconstructions of Mental Health 5. Deconstruction and Psychotherapy 6. Deconstructing Diagnosis: Psychopathological Practice 7. Deconstruction, Psychopathology and Dialectics 8. Lacanian Social Theory and Clinical Practice