65 and the world of consensual social representations

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Unformatted text preview: epresentations' (Moscovici, 1981, p. 183). As regards Banchs' point fourteen, however, I do not understand how, when Moscovici uses the word 'genuine' to describe spontaneous conversation ('Moscovici utilice la palabra genuina para calificar la conversación espontánea', p. 65) and the world of consensual social representations, this cannot provoke the reading which sees social representations as better than other forms of talk. Representing deconstruction Banchs spends some time towards the end of her paper collecting emotive and ironic words and phrases that I have used. In general, I am unrepentent, and would see in enthusiastic debate and polemic better possibilities for the identification of contrasting theoretical and ideological positions. Much social psychological writing is incredibly boring, and it is only when the language used in the discipline connects with affect (and so with the complex, contradictory investments that researchers have with their work) that it connects with real life outside the academe. The focus on emotive language does also catch me referring to intentions and other internal states in my opponents, and, more unfortunately still, in Moscovici himself. Banchs rightly takes exception, for example, to my claim that Moscovici collapses the European opposition to American Social Psychology into a 'tame proposal' (propuesta insípida', p. 70) and that he is gloomy about the disappearance of the art of conversation ('Moscovici melancólicamente anota que', ibid.) I too slip here again from the text to ad hominem argument. Mea culpa (though I stand by the other seven examples of heated speech Banchs itemizes). Banchs concludes her paper with a rhetorical flourish which evokes the memory of Ignacio Martín-Baró (Pacheco & Jiménez, 1990) as someone who took a deconstructionist stance ('una postura desconstruccionista', p. 72) in a project for the liberation of the oppressed ('un proyecto de liberación de los oprimidos', ibid.). I had been identified, falsely, earlier in her paper as an advocate of an extreme deconstructive relativism that must believe that reality does not exist ('se debe considerar que la realidad no existe', p. 58), and 6 I. Parker since this stance must, she assumes, then blind me to the reality of wars which ravage the world, for example, it must then also put me on the other side of the fence to Martín-Baró. I object. To my knowledge, Martín-Baró was not studying social representations when he died, was not murdered by the Salvadorean military for that reason. I take pains in the text Banchs attacks (Parker, 1989) to distance myself from such relativism, and to argue that a critical purchase on questions of power and ideology requires some view of reality and history. In my recent writing I have proposed that psychologists should adopt a variety of 'critical realism' that brings social structure and politics to centrestage in research (Parker, 1992). Recent writings within 'mainstream' deconstruction have drawn attention to the dangers of 'virtual reality' in contemporary politics, for the bankruptcy of liberal pluralism at a time of increasing 'viole...
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This note was uploaded on 12/13/2012 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 107 taught by Professor Neascu during the Spring '12 term at UMass (Amherst).

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