Depoliticising Society. The Strained Relationship Between Science and Politics in Psychology

Ole Jacob Madsen har skrevet en artikkel i Psychology & Society


Within philosophy of science the belief in universal, value free science has been largely abandoned over the recent decades due to the epistemological and moral bias latent in Western “white male” metaphysics (Code, 1991; Lloyd, 1993). However, as this paper will examine, psychology as an academic discipline may yet have to adapt to this widely accepted theoretical criticism regarding its own underlying presumptions. This suspected neglect is discussed in relation to Sandra Harding’s notion of depoliticisation applied to three cases: (1) A recent debate on caregiving and fatherhood in Norway, (2) a debate on infidelity in a Norwegian newspaper, and (3) the conduct of the research project The Bergen Child Study (2002—). The three case studies illustrate how some psychologists may no longer theoretically embrace universal realism, but in psychological research and in public debate that draws on psychological experts, this ideal of knowledge still persists in all three cases. The explanation for this might be that the psychologists in question in their clinical practice, or their research, are professional representatives of an internal belief system where the psychologist’s role is to uncover and ultimately heal what is really “out there.”

Psychology & Society, 2013, 5 (2), 46-57

Published May 15, 2013 8:30 AM