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Social psychology, history, and the study of the Holocaust: the perils of interdisciplinary “borrowing”

Byford, Jovan and Tileagă, Cristian (2014). Social psychology, history, and the study of the Holocaust: the perils of interdisciplinary “borrowing”. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 20(4) pp. 349–364.

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The article offers a critical examination of “borrowing” as a form of interdisciplinary engagement between psychology and history. This is where specific insights from one discipline are used (often selectively) by the other to shed light on a specific problem regarding experience, human motivation, or behavior. Using two studies on the social psychological aspects of the Holocaust as relevant examples, the article highlights some of the epistemological and conceptual tensions implicit in this form of interdisciplinarity. These include the role of narrative and emplotment in historical reconstruction, the relationship between texts and historical context, the role of discourse and interpretation, and the tension between universalism and particularism. The article considers the different ways in which some of these challenges could be overcome in future research, and how one might take the interdisciplinary study of the Holocaust, but also other instances of mass crimes and genocide, beyond selective “borrowing.”

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 APA
ISSN: 1532-7949
Extra Information: 17 pp.
Keywords: psychology; history; Holocaust; bystanders
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 41068
Depositing User: Jovan Byford
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2014 08:50
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2018 19:43
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