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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 2005

Published quarterly

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Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR


Psychic Phenomena and Discourse: the Social Constructionism Perspective 1647


Busygina N.P.
PhD in Psychology, Assistant Professor, Department of Counselling and Clinical Psychology, Chair of Individual and Group Psychotherapy, Moscow State University of Psychology an Education, Moscow, Russia

The article analyzes the socioconstructionist view on psyche as a product of discourses. In the social constructionism perspective the psychological concepts are not viewed as «rigid designators». Their function is not to describe the objective processes and states, but to attribute meaning to them in accordance with the context of cultural meanings to which they belong. The social constructionism is focusing on the discursive nature of the psyche and its normative and semantic (not causal) relations. It orients psychology on the interpretational epistemology and on the conceptual and methodological framework construction close to that of the humanities (so called «understanding sciences»). The article also raises the broader issue of interrelation between language (or discourse, i.e. language in its socio-cultural and interactive aspects) and reality. The author argues that due to social constructionism that promotes the radicalization of linguistic nature of human experience, the reflection on discursive construction boundaries becomes relevant. The necessity of analysis of the other — extradiscursive — aspects of the «living world», and especially the practical component of being in the world, the phenomenology of corporeal and emotional connection with the world, and etc is explained.

Keywords: social constructionism, discursive construction of the psyche, language games, «grammatical analysis» of psychological concepts, the bodysubject, the boundaries of discursive construction

Column: Discussions and Discourses

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