This text introduces the relationship between psychology and the social sciences, and discusses the critiques of the 1960s and 1970s by writers such as Shotter, Harre and Riegel, as well as recent interest in the work of Vygotsky. The author examines the application of social constructionism in the study of infancy and childhood, and also introduces the ideas of other approaches. These include the critical theory of Habermas and Adorno, the post-Marxism of Althusser and Gramsci, and the work of Foucault and Kristeva. In addition, John Morss looks at the impact of feminist theory and deconstruction on our understanding of the biology of development. It should be useful reading for students to understand the variety of critical approaches to developmental psychology and their implications for psychological research.
John R. Morss is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Otago.