The Use of Psychological Theories of Development and Adjustment in the Broader Culture to Support the Political Agenda: A critical view

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Sharples, Jenny (2006) The Use of Psychological Theories of Development and Adjustment in the Broader Culture to Support the Political Agenda: A critical view. The Australian Community Psychologist, 18 (3). pp. 80-84. ISSN 1320-7741

Abstract

The main purpose of this paper is to explore the use to which concepts from lifespan development and adjustment are put within the broader culture; in particular, ways in which these concepts are used for political purposes. I wish to explore the use, or misuse, of psychological theory to support political agendas. In doing so I am drawing on the work of Caldicott, Watson and others who have explored a parallel issue: the use or misuse of language in political discourse, and on other voices that have critiqued the impact of Western popular culture on the practice of psychology. It is my contention that lifespan development and adjustment concepts have been misused in popular culture and the public sphere, to provide a pseudo-theoretical backing for the manipulation of public opinion, in American/Western and therefore to some extent global culture. Our profession needs to maintain an awareness of this trend and work to prevent its occurrence.

Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/3080
Official URL http://www.groups.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/S...
Subjects Current > FOR Classification > 2099 Other Language, Communication and Culture
Current > FOR Classification > 1702 Cognitive Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords ResPubID10466, lifespan development and adjustment, political purposes, use and misuse of psychological theory, political agendas, use and misuse of language in political discourse, manipulation of public opinion
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