Critical Psychology

Critical psychologists hold a variety of theoretical and methodological viewpoints. They acknowledge the assumptions that shape much of mainstream psychology and instead see psychology as a practice embedded in a time and place, wielding the power to impact social life. They share an interest in various critical ideas (e.g. social constructionism, post-modernism, feminism, marxism, etc.) and various methods of research (e.g. qualitative, participatory, discourse analysis, ethnography, etc.). Further, they share an active commitment to using psychology for positive social change and as a force for liberation, especially among those who have been historically marginalized or oppressed.

This network grew out of a need to connect like-minded scholars across a vast geography and facilitate the training of new generations of students.  One of our central goals is to build a pipeline of resources to support students from undergraduate training through to post-graduate careers.

Some questions of interest for critical psychologists include:

What is the relationship between psychology and power?

How can psychological research contribute to positive social change?

What do culture and history contribute to psychological knowledge?

How does psychology make people into problems?

How can psychology contribute to personal and collective liberation?

What roles do race, class, and gender play in psychological research?

What is the role of psychology in social and psychological regulation?

How are politics, power, and society implicated in people’s ‘private’ experiences of distress?​

How can we study human phenomena in ways that maintain human dignity, without turning people into mere ‘objects of study’?

What are the consequences of positivism in psychology?