Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Critical Social Psychology
A central concern of critical social psychology is inequality and injustice in society. Research from this approach typically is politically motivated and aims to highlight and help end the oppression of minority or marginalized social groups. Critical social psychology also examines psychology for any ways it contributes to an unjust and undesirable social order. Another aspect of critical social psychology is it develops and endorses the use of qualitative methods in psychology. Qualitative methods use linguistic rather than statistical forms of analysis. The term critical has implications of negativity but in critical social psychology it refers to work that assesses common assumptions about psychology, to make positive changes. Critical psychology draws attention to social factors impacting on people that are sometimes ignored in other approaches. That is, it emphasizes contextual influences shaping a person's experiences and behavior. Consider, for example, the case of work-related stress. A traditional psychologist might study ...