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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Postgraduate Course: Critical Social Psychology (PSYL11064)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaPsychology Other subject areaNone
Course website Please use Learn Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe course is divided into four sections.

The first, concerned with Crises in Social Psychology, will introduce three main 'crises' within Social Psychology which we will trace in their early and more recent forms. These are the paradigm crisis (relating to methods), the conceptual crisis (individualism and the concept of self), and the moral/political crisis (relating to power and psychology's effects).

In Part Two, some critical tools are introduced (studies of science, the turn to language, poststructuralist thought). These arguments will be put to use in mounting a more thorough critique of social psychology in Part Three where social psychology will be deconstructed (taken apart, to see how it works). This will include an examination of the history and politics of the emergence of modern psychology; how psychology contributed to the government of individuals' lives; and the dependence of knowledge on discourse and writing techniques. Finally, the assumptions about the self that underpin psychological theory and research will be examined and questioned.

Part Four addresses issues such as the possibility of a postmodern (discursive or political) social psychology, and the limitations of discourse analysis. Alternative concepts of self, and the possibility or desirability of a non-cognitive social psychology will also be discussed.

Feedback Events:
Throughout lectures there are group exercises and discussions which provide opportunities for feedback. The discussion provides further opportunitiy for others' comments on the student's comments on key articles. The tutorials also provide the opportunity for feedback, and an essay plan will be included as a tutorial exercise
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Block 1 (Sem 1), Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 14, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 180 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
You should be able to do at least three of the following:
- Describe and assess social psychology's claim to be a science, and evaluate its use of experiments
- Discuss social psychology's paradigm, conceptual and moral / political crises
- Apply arguments from science studies, Foucault's work, and 'the turn to language' to evaluate psychology's methods
- Describe psychology's contribution to the 'government of individuals'
- Assess efforts to reconstruct social psychology's practice and / or subject
Assessment Information
One 3000 word assignment

Assignment Deadline: Thursday 5th December, 12 noon
Maximum word length: 3000 words
Assignment Return Date: Friday 10th January 2014
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sue Widdicombe
Tel: (0131 6)50 3411
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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