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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.
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).
- Spring '12
- Social Psychology