TMA 01

S1: Social Psychology for a Changing Society

This first block consists of two chapters:

CH 2: Changing People, Changing Times: Questions for SP in the 21st Century.
CH 3: Doing Social Psychology Critically

The block comes with three specific questions:

1. What is distinctive about UK society today, and the contemporary world more generally?
2. How are people shaped by their changing and multiple social contexts?
3. What produces change in social psychology?

Chapter 2 addresses changes in society, in the UK and globally. It addresses global dynamics like ‘globalisation’ and ‘neoliberalism’. It identifies positive changes such as increases in life expectancy, and increases in personal freedoms. However, it also identifies negative changes, such as the increase in constraints such as debt and surveillance.

Chapter 2, also looks to Hardt and Negri, for a negative model of the relationship between people and society. After that it looks briefly at Foucalt’s theory of governmentality.

Chapter 3, looks at critical psychology. It first takes the example of DWP psychometric testing of jobseekers, as researched by Cromby and Willis. Secondly, it looks at the critical psychology of Klaus Holzkamp, as well as his ‘practice research’.


PART 1: Essay

Critically discuss the following statement, referring to Chapter 1 and Block 1 materials:

Social psychology centres on a subject or person who has universal characteristics which can be studied independently of the social context.

Word limit: 1000 words

PART 2: Reflective writing

Write a reflective account of what interests you about social psychology.

Refer to your independent study activities, your academic experience, your plans for the future (academic and non-academic) and, if you wish, your personal experience.

Word limit: 800 words (excluding the assignment title and references).