Beyond narratives: German critical psychology revisited

AHP readers will be interested in a new piece in History of Psychology: “Beyond narratives: German critical psychology revisited,” by Wolfgang Schönpflug. Abstract:

In 2 articles, this journal has presented critical psychology (CP), which emerged in Germany during the 1980s, as an exemplary paradigm that committed itself to both scientific and political objectives and became a victim of Cold-War confrontations. The presentation was mainly based on narratives and writings circulating within CP itself. I have reexamined the case using archival materials and supplementary literary sources. This allows for a more complete and balanced account of postwar psychology and the contemporary political situation in general. In particular, I argue against Teo’s hypothesis that CP was an indigenous paradigm that had to assert itself against American psychology. Marxism, constructivism, and subject orientation are analyzed as principal components of CP, and a claim for sole representation is identified as a predominant reason for the isolation of CP within German psychology. Finally, I briefly report on CP following the collapse of Soviet communism and comment on the present historicization of CP.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.

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