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An Introduction to Critical Social Psychology

An Introduction to Critical Social Psychology

First Edition

February 2003 | 278 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
'this book provides an excellent introduction to contemporary Critical Social Psychology, which anyone exploring the field would do well to read.'

- Psychology in Society

'a very accessible introduction... lively and engaging.... Discussion questions are uncharacteristicaly thought-provoking, while practical exercises also seem better considered than one comes to expect from similar primers, suggesting a successful future as a core text in social psychology courses'

- The Psychologist

'Erudition, sagacity, patience and scholarship radiate from this book. This is an excellent introduction to the various strands of critical thinking to emanate primarily from England, and, to some extent, from continental Europe. Anyone interested in learning more about the discursive side of critical psychology will find in this book an excellent guide. I recommend this book to all psychologists interested in critical perspectives'

- Journal of Community and Applied Psychology

A critical approach depends on a range of often-implicit theories of society, knowledge, as well as the subject. This book shows the crucial role of these theories for directing critique at different parts of society, suggesting alternative ways of doing research, and effecting social change. It includes chapters from the perspectives of social cognition, Marxism, psychoanalysis, discourse and rhetoric, feminism, subjectivity and postmodernism. In each case, the strengths and weaknesses of each perspective are highlighted, the ideas are linked to real world issues by a range of practical exercises, and guidance is given to further reading.These chapters will cover the work of diverse thinkers from within social psychology, such as Billig, Gergen, Kitzinger, Parker, Potter, Shotter, Walkerdine and Wetherell, and from outside, such as Butler, Derrida, Foucault, Haraway, Lyotard, Marx and Rose.

An Introduction to Critical Social Psychology provides a systematic, integrated and accessible introduction to social psychology as a critical discipline. Consequently, it will be key reading for undergraduates and postgraduates studying Critical Social Psychology, and useful additional reading for postgraduates studying theoretical psychology and qualitative methods.

The Critical Context
Social Cognition Critics
Marxist Critics
Psychoanalytic Critics
Feminist Critics
Subjectivity Critics
Discourse Critics
Postmodern Critics
Integration and Subversion

"The book provides a very interesting perspective, by integrating several epistemologies and theories into a critical framework. Particularly useful for optional modules and dissertations, where students are required to explore the topics in a reflexive and creative way."
-Anna Zoli, Lecturer  at York St John University

Anna Zoli
York St John University

This book offers an overview of several alternative perspectives on social psych research.

Mr Benjamin Liersch
Faculty of Psychology & Sport Science, University of Bielefeld
September 11, 2015

I find Hepburn's book really has all the different angles of critiques towards mainstream psychology covered and I like her style of presentation. She explains the sometimes rather difficult concepts (e.g. of Marxism) well and the chapters are exactly the right length to assign as introductory readings, say when one needs to cover topics such as discourse analysis. The information 'blurbs' are succint and helpful and I think the recommended practical exercises really help to get the critical out of the armchair.

I would not use it for each and every political psychology course, but it certainly is a recommended textbook for this year's iterration!

Dr Oliver Lauenstein
Institute of Psychololgy, Otto Friedrich University of Bamberg
March 27, 2015

Alexa Hepburn has produced an accessible text for students to help them to understand critical approaches within and beyond social psychology. The book employs humour effectively to engage the reader and offers a range of useful concrete examples that students can use to explore theoretical perspectives. I like the 'best and worse things about' chapter summaries and the way that the reading suggestions are laid out with the added contextualisation. The author makes some challenging concepts accessible and engaging and I would wholeheartedly recommend this text.

Dr Dawn Mannay
Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
July 12, 2013

Alexa Hepburn has produced a fascinating discourse on the relativist nature of reality and empriricism as it applies to psychology. She analyses the complex links between culture, politics, knowledge and power, and I would have liked to see this then expanded out to include a deeper discussion on the impact this has for our understanding of how these factors relate to clinical work

Mr Armin Luthi
Health and Social care sciences, Saint Georges
November 25, 2011

Great book for studens that provides a good overview of a critical perspective within Psychology.

Ms Bettina Coleman-Schoels
LMBS - MSL, London Metropolitan University
November 1, 2010

This book contains an excellent review of the more pressing & contemporanous issues encountered within the discipline of Social Psychology. Myself & a colleague have recommended this to 100 students (on 2 separate undergraduate modules) for purchase.

Ms Dilva Porter
CHYPPE, University Campus Suffolk
September 25, 2010

Sage College Publishing

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