Introduction: Feminist Theorizing on Power, Gender, and Psychology

Capdevila, Rose and Zurbriggen, Eileen L. (2023). Introduction: Feminist Theorizing on Power, Gender, and Psychology. In: Zurbriggen, Eileen L. and Capdevila, Rose eds. The Palgrave Handbook of Power, Gender, and Psychology. Palgrave Macmillan Cham, pp. 1–9.



Feminists have long argued that, under patriarchy, power is the key to understanding gender. Yet power has historically been under-theorized in psychology, including in the psychology of women and gender. The Palgrave Handbook of Power, Gender, and Psychology is meant to redress this omission. In this introductory chapter, the aims, goals, and scope of the handbook are described, and brief summaries of sections and chapters are provided. The aim was to center power in the analysis of gender, but to do so specifically in relation to psychological theory, research, and praxis, and with as much breadth, creativity in approach, and diversity of perspective as possible. Thirty-one substantive chapters, from 60 authors, provide an innovative approach to the conceptualization of traditional psychological sub-disciplines through engagement with a wide range of “real world” concerns: understandings of history and politics, institutions and settings, and bodies and identities. Moreover, the authors endeavour to challenge more traditional areas of psychological attention such as families and development, mental and physical health, violence and abuse, communication, and technology. The handbook concludes by focusing on the implications and applications of concerns that have more recently surfaced around backlash, postfeminism, and the female body.

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