WHY DEPOPULATION SHOULD NOT (NECESSARILY) BE TAKEN PERSONALLY: A COMMENTARY ON REPOPULATING THE DEPOPULATED PAGES OF SOCIAL-PSYCHOLOGY

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whilst the positive political intent behind Michael Billig's project is to be applauded, his analysis can be contested on practical, pragmatic, psychological, epistemological, but also on political grounds. It is argued that privileging individuals and their experience in accounts of research raises the twin spectres of individualism and humanism, and threatens to underprivilege other levels of 'reality' and explanation beyond the realm of consciousness and individual identity. Although depersonalization can denote a dehumanizing practice, it can also be used to reference the positive aspects of collective identity, understanding and action. Finally, while it is acknowledged that the experimental method may 'depersonalize' and 'dehumanize' by subjecting individuals to panoptic power, attempts to free subjects in practice or presentation may, respectively undermine the method or deceive us about it. It is argued that honesty about the function of power in experimental research may be a better policy than repopulation per se.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-344
Number of pages8
JournalTheory & Psychology
Volume4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug-1994

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