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Debates and Controversies

First Edition
  • Parul Bansal - Faculty, Department of Psychology, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi.
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February 2019 | 272 pages | SAGE Texts

Psychology: Debates and Controversies is about the contested nature of psychology, one of the most fascinating and important disciplines on the formation of human subjectivity. The book delves into critical debates over numerous key questions. Is psychology a natural science or a social science? Why is quantification and experimental logic so central to psychology? What kind of paradigmatic shift does qualitative research in psychology require? How does one understand an ‘individual in context’? How does psychology understand the gendered basis of subjectivity? What does the medical model tell us about normality and abnormality?

The book reflects upon and interrupts the dominant theories of psychology as told by academic and professional psychologists. It then aids in re-envisioning psychology along pathways that are different from the mainstream. Rather than asking the question ‘which perspective is more valid?’, the work strives to raise the question ‘what is it valid for’, which focuses the attention on the ideological ends and goals of different discourses of psychology.

Key Features: 

• Exposes the ideological nature of mainstream scientific psychology 

• Critically interrogates the images of ‘mind’, ‘individual’, ‘gender’, ‘social’, ‘cultural’ that mainstream psychology offers 

• Reforms psychology along diverse epistemological and methodological lines of enquiry 

 • Presents the salient debates in psychology in a dialogical and argumentative manner to encourage readers to become curious and seek more answers 

 • Gathers, analyzes and re-presents the diverse strands of psychological thought available for a set of core issues under one title 

Why Debate Psychology? An Introduction
Is Psychology a Science?
Should Psychological Research Be Only about Numbers?
What Is ‘Social’ about Social Psychology?
Where Is ‘Culture’ in Psychology?
How Is ‘Gender’ Treated in Psychology?
What Is ‘Abnormal’ in Clinical Psychology?


Parul Bansal

Dr Parul Bansal is Assistant Professor of Psychology at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, India’s premier liberal arts college, affiliated to the University of Delhi. She received a BA in psychology from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, and an MA and a doctorate degree in psychology from the University of Delhi. Her teaching career spans over 15 years, during which she has served as the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Lady Shri Ram College for Women. In addition, she has been actively involved with curriculum development and course writing at the University of Delhi and IGNOU. She has to her credit a... More About Author

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ISBN: 9789353280833