Bubbles and Bees: Historical Exploration of Psychosocial Thinking

Jones, David (2011). Bubbles and Bees: Historical Exploration of Psychosocial Thinking. The Journal of Psycho-Social Studies, 5(1) pp. 102–125.

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This paper is written from the belief that there is considerable benefit from a historical exploration of psychosocial thinking. It examines the work of Bernard Mandeville (1670-1733), who wrote what became a somewhat infamous piece of social theory in the early decades of the 18th century. There are two principal purposes to this historical study. Firstly, it makes the case that psychosocial thought needs to be understood as products of particular social and cultural circumstances and therefore such reflection can help us put our own efforts to ‘think psychosocially’ in the early 21st century into context. Secondly, there are some important parallels between the early 18th century and the contemporary period that can help us understand more about the resurgence in interest in psychosocial thinking that emerged at the end of the 20th century.

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