Feminist psychology

Researches, interventions, challenges

Authored by: Amana Mattos

Handbook of Critical Psychology

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9781848722187
eBook ISBN: 9781315726526
Adobe ISBN: 9781317537182


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As with all the human sciences that emerged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, psychology carries in its main propositions and objects of study the marks of the society in which it was conceived and developed. As many critical approaches have been pointing out during the last decades, hegemonic theories in psychology and its main concepts – such as the individual and their abilities, needs, problems – derive from the dominant thought of modern societies. In this context, science was created by highly educated white men, which is expressed through the ideas and researches conducted by academics and scientists. During the second half of the twentieth century and also in the first decades of the twenty-first century, feminist researchers and activists have been bringing to the foreground not only the discrimination suffered by women, but also a discussion on how the ideas of universality and normality are constructed in a science based on a sexist perspective. As Nogueira (2001) stresses, psychology as a scientific discourse is deeply committed to controlling women. Its theories, which hierarchically dichotomize genders, are frequently mentioned to justify gender oppression against girls and women.

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