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Abstract

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others" once remarked Winston Churchill. In this day and age this quotation resonates more than ever. This book explores democracy from the perspective of social and cultural psychology, highlighting the importance of the everyday basis of democratic practices. This approach takes us beyond the simple understanding of democracy in its institutional guise of free elections and public accountability, and towards a focus on group dynamics and personal characteristics of the democratic citizen, including their mentalities, habits and ways of relating to others. The book features discussions of the two-way street between democracy and dictatorship; conflicts within protests, ideology and public debate; and the psychological profile of a democratic citizen and its critique. While acknowledging the limitations of today's democratic systems, this volume aims to re-invigorate democracy by bringing psychology to the table of current debates on social change and citizenship.
New Book Information
The Road to Actualized Democracy:
A Psychological Exploration
Editors: Brady Wagoner, Aalborg University,
Ignacio Bresco de Luna, Aalborg University
and Vlad Glaveanu , Webster University Geneva
A volume in Niels Bohr Professorship Lectures in Cultural Psychology
Series Editor: Brady Wagoner, Aalborg University
“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others” once remarked
Winston Churchill. In this day and age this quotation resonates more than ever. This book
explores democracy from the perspective of social and cultural psychology, highlighting the importance of the
everyday basis of democratic practices. This approach takes us beyond the simple understanding of democracy in its
institutional guise of free elections and public accountability, and towards a focus on group dynamics and personal
characteristics of the democratic citizen, including their mentalities, habits and ways of relating to others. The book
features discussions of the two-way street between democracy and dictatorship; conflicts within protests, ideology
and public debate; and the psychological profile of a democratic citizen and its critique. While acknowledging the
limitations of today’s democratic systems, this volume aims to re-invigorate democracy by bringing psychology to the
table of current debates on social change and citizenship.
CONTENTS: Who’s Afraid of Democracy? Vlad Glaveanu, Brady Wagoner, and
Ignacio Brescó. PART I: NIELS BOHR LECTURE. The Road to Actualized
Democracy: A Psychological Exploration, Fathali M. Moghaddam. PART II:
TRANSITIONS TO AND FROM DEMOCRACY. Building Group Norms and Group
Identities Into the Study of Transitions From Democracy to Dictatorship and Back
Again, Winnifred R. Louis, Gi K. Chonu, Tulsi Achia, Cassandra M. Chapman, and
Joshua Rhee. Looking for Happiness, Finding Economic Growth: The Chilean
Transition to Democracy, David Carré. Democratic Revolutions? Insights on Social
Stability and Social Change From Psychology and Politics, Lucas B. Mazur and Siri
Neset. On Social Memory, Paradoxes of Opinion, and the Democratic Competence of
Citizens, Cristian Tileagă. PART III: CONFLICT IN DEMOCRACY. Alternating
Dominance: Social Categorization, Group Formation, and the Problem of Borders,
Gordon Sammut. Actual Democracy and a United Europe of States: A Case Study of
Austerity and Protest in the Republic of Ireland, Séamus A. Power. Ideology and
Actualized Democracy: Allies or Enemies? Sandra Obradović. Cultural Psychology
and Politics: Otherness, Democracy, and the Refugee Crisis, Constance de Saint
Laurent and Vlad Glaveanu. PART IV: THE DEMOCRATIC CITIZEN. The Perfect
Psytizen: Sociohistorical Debts and the Limits of Psychology as Engineering for
Democracy, Jorge Castro Tejerina and Marcos José Bernal Marcos. Nurturing Democratic Citizens: A Commitment for
Psychology? Alberto Rosa and María Fernanda González. Educating for Democracy: Entrepreneurship Education as a
Democratic Discipline? Steffen Ernø. Historical Representations as Contributions to the Road Toward Actualized
Democracy, Mario Carretero. PART V: CONCLUDING RESPONSE. Psychology as a Science of Human Plasticity, Fathali
M. Moghaddam. About the Contributors.
More titles in this series can be found at: http://www.infoagepub.com/series/Niels-Bohr-Professorship-Lectures-in-Cultural-Psychology
Publication Date: 2018
ISBNs:
Paperback: 978-1-64113-175-9
Hardcover: 978-1-64113-176-6
E-Book: 978-1-64113-177-3
Paperback: $45.99
Hardcover: $85.99
Trim Size: 6.14 x 9.21
Page Count: 310
Subject: Democracy, Social Change,
Cultural Psychology
BIC Code: JML
BISAC Codes:
PSY040000
PSY031000
PSY008000
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Phone: 704-752-9125 Fax: 704-752-9113 www.infoagepub.com
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... To clarify the previous theoretical statements, let's take a simple example. In view of recent political events such as the Brexit vote and Trump's presidential win, many people started reflecting on the meaning and practice of democracy (see also Wagoner, Bresco, & Glăveanu, 2018). According to my definition, those who simply think about the result of these votes as in line (or not) with their understanding of democracy are not actually engaging in the perspectival dialogue I call here reflexivity. ...
Chapter
This chapter examines how the theory of the possible plays out in education in the form of constructing and enacting what the author calls “pedagogies of the possible.” This kind of pedagogy is fundamentally oriented toward the development of new possibilities through the cultivation of open, reflective, and critical forms of engagement with others and their different perspectives. There are both societal and ethical underpinnings supporting this type of engagement, as reflected in acts of resistance and emancipation. It is an education dedicated to making us sensitive to marginal groups and marginal positions within society and their struggle for recognition. Pedagogies of the possible thrive particularly on dialogues with these other positions and perspectives. It is within this space of dialogue and reflexivity that education gains its transformative power and society can be reimagined and recreated.
... To clarify the previous theoretical statements, let's take a simple example. In view of recent political events such as the Brexit vote and Trump's presidential win, many people started reflecting on the meaning and practice of democracy (see also Wagoner, Bresco, & Glăveanu, 2018). According to my definition, those who simply think about the result of these votes as in line (or not) with their understanding of democracy are not actually engaging in the perspectival dialogue I call here reflexivity. ...
Chapter
This chapter proposes that adopting a meta-position in regard to reality is instrumental for opening up the possible and constitutes the first step toward exploring it. In psychological terms, a meta-position is represented by that symbolic (and/or physical) standpoint from which other positions and the relations between them can be perceived at once. The fact that meta-positions render existing positions and perspectives visible makes them essential for developing more open ways of thinking about the world and more flexible ways of acting on it. Meta-positions accomplish this important role through their relation to agency, wonder, imagination, and creativity, each of which is discussed in the chapter. Together with difference and multiplicity, meta-positions are thus conditions of possibility for becoming aware of and acting on the possible.
... To clarify the previous theoretical statements, let's take a simple example. In view of recent political events such as the Brexit vote and Trump's presidential win, many people started reflecting on the meaning and practice of democracy (see also Wagoner, Bresco, & Glăveanu, 2018). According to my definition, those who simply think about the result of these votes as in line (or not) with their understanding of democracy are not actually engaging in the perspectival dialogue I call here reflexivity. ...
Chapter
This chapter argues that worlds of difference and culture are, by necessity, perspectival. This defining feature is supported by the polysemic uses of language and the open-ended nature of narratives. It is enhanced by the existence of various groups, communities, and relations between them, leading to a plurality of social representations. It is reflected in the state of cognitive polyphasia and the reflective dialogues we establish between different, sometimes even opposing, perspectives. Finally, it is supported by forms of engagement with our material environment that alternate between the use of things, objects, and artifacts. In all these instances, the world is discovered as perspectival and experienced as such. At the same time, perspectival worlds should not be taken for granted. There are active forces within them, fueled by power and inequalities within society, that make certain perspectives disappear and others gain a hegemonic position as a “view from nowhere.”
... To clarify the previous theoretical statements, let's take a simple example. In view of recent political events such as the Brexit vote and Trump's presidential win, many people started reflecting on the meaning and practice of democracy (see also Wagoner, Bresco, & Glăveanu, 2018). According to my definition, those who simply think about the result of these votes as in line (or not) with their understanding of democracy are not actually engaging in the perspectival dialogue I call here reflexivity. ...
Chapter
This chapter uses the core concepts of position, perspective, and dialogue to analyze the workings of society. From this standpoint, we cannot conceive the possible outside of a societal framework given the fact that societies, all over the world and across historical time, comprise a variety of positions and, through the accumulation and transmission of culture, allow the development of perspectives, including on society itself. At the same time, societies are constantly transformed by the sense of possibility that fuels social change, activism, and the imaginative construction of the future in utopias and dystopias. Democratic systems, built on plurality and dialogue, tend in principle to expand the possible for individuals and communities adopting them. And yet democracies, as both a form of government and a way of living, are inherently fragile. In the end, societies of the possible are both an ontological condition for human communal living and a reality that should not be taken for granted.
... To clarify the previous theoretical statements, let's take a simple example. In view of recent political events such as the Brexit vote and Trump's presidential win, many people started reflecting on the meaning and practice of democracy (see also Wagoner, Bresco, & Glăveanu, 2018). According to my definition, those who simply think about the result of these votes as in line (or not) with their understanding of democracy are not actually engaging in the perspectival dialogue I call here reflexivity. ...
Book
This book explores an eminently human phenomenon: our capacity to engage with the possible, to go beyond what is present, visible, or given in our existence. Possibility studies are an emerging field of research including topics as diverse as creativity, imagination, innovation, anticipation, counterfactual thinking, wondering, serendipity, the future, social change, hope, agency, and utopia, among others. The present contribution to this wide field is represented by a sociocultural and pragmatist account of the possible grounded in the notions of difference, position, perspective, dialogue, action, and culture. Put simply, this theory proposes that our explorations of the possible are enabled by our human capacity to relate to the world from more than one position and perspective and to understand that any perspective we hold is, at all times, one among many. Such an account transcends the long-standing dichotomy between the possible and the real, a sterile separation that ends up portraying possibility as separate from and even opposed to reality. On the contrary, the theory of the possible advanced in this book goes back to this notion’s etymological roots (the Latin possibilis —“that can be done,” from posse —“to be able”) and considers it as both a precondition and outcome of human action and interaction. Exploring the possible doesn’t take place outside of or in addition to our experience of the world; rather, it infiltrates it from the start, infuses it with new meanings, and ends up transforming it altogether. This book aims to offer conceptual, methodological, and practical tools for all those interested in studying human possibility and cultivating it in education, the workplace, everyday life, and society.
Article
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Valsiner’s defining role as a mentor was always in his emphasis on the youth—that the smallest researcher was the most able to push the boundaries of science. In this article, I reflect on the smallest unit of psychological analysis—that of Valsiner’s stem concept—as the most able to critically push the boundaries of science and methodological advancement. In doing so, I walk through the importance of semiotic stems, mechanisms, and hierarchies and suggest that cultural psychology takes a deeper dive into mapping the movement and function of stems in order to push a generalizable psychology forward in more concrete directions. I end with further suggestions for research to explore, including the borders of semiotic stems, the duplicity of voices present in stem construction, and further engagement with mainstream psychological modeling.
Chapter
Full-text available
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