A Transdisciplinary Psychosocial Approach

Stenner, Paul (2015). A Transdisciplinary Psychosocial Approach. In: Martin, Jack; Sugarman, Jeff and Slaney, Kathleen eds. The Wiley Handbook of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology: Methods, Approaches and New Directions for Social Science. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 308–323.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118748213.ch20/

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/978111...


This chapter is about a way of working with processes of experience in social settings (a critical transdisciplinary psychosocial approach). It contributes to theoretical psychology by stressing the importance of thinking psychological questions alongside questions raised by other social and human sciences and humanities. The word ‘psychosocial’ stresses an attention to experience as it unfolds in those networks and regimes of social interactivity that constitute concrete historical and cultural settings. The chapter distinguishes types of disciplinarity with the help of a contrast between Atlas (symbolizing disciplinarity and position) and Hermes (symbolizing transdisciplinarity and transition). A ‘tool-kit’ of six core transdisciplinary concepts is proposed (transition, liminality, transaction, transposition, foundation by exclusion, primary abstraction and transgression). These are illustrated with examples from the history of psychology. A case is made that ‘disciplines’ are themselves psychosocial phenomena that can be subject matter for this kind of approach.

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