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Carl Ratner (2019)

Speaker: Carl Ratner

Date of Talk: April 2, 2019

Location: Foster Auditorium

Title and abstract: 

"What Does An Emancipatory, Scientific Psychology Look Like? Cultural-historical Psychology"

This presentation endeavors to 1) conceptualize social and psychological emancipation, 2) explain how Psychological science can contribute to this emancipation, 3) explain how Vygotsky’s psychological theory, named cultural-historical psychology, makes this contribution to emancipation.

Specifically, I shall conceptualize genuine emancipation as solving social problems by eradicating their political-economic causes. Psychology contributes to emancipation by treating psychological issues as cultural issues having cultural causes. This role for Psychology alters its traditional orientation toward using individual processes to change individual behavior.

Vygotsky’s cultural-historical Psychology is the best, if not the only, psychological approach that fits this bill for social and psychological emancipation. Cultural-historical Psychology directs individuals to join psychological fulfillment with social emancipation.

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