Paper Title

Culture and Identity in Psychology

Moderator

Mary Wyer, North Carolina State University

Location

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

2-4-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

2-4-2016 3:15 PM

Keywords

Identity, Psychology, Science, WGS, LGBTQ, Intersectionality

Abstract

One of the great challenges of working with gender themes in contemporary psychology is figuring out how to constructively replace Enlightenment assumptions about the “stable, coherent self” with more dynamic, interactive, and agentive notions of individuals’ identities. It’s not quite as Simone de Beauvoir put it (“One is not born a woman, but becomes one”), because our identities as women are varied, contextual, emerging, and inter-related with other identities we value and enact. To begin with the assumption that we all have multiple and intersecting identities, and that these are resources as well as constraints, presents novel challenges in Psychology, where an ideology of individual-level predictors prevails. The assumptions underlying intersectionality raise questions about our motivations (which identities are driving them?), our attitudes/behaviors (which identities are at play?), our end goals (which identities inform our choices?), and the obstacles we confront (which identities are privileged/marginalized?). This panel provides a gateway to some of the methodological issues raised, and advances provoked by, a commitment to fully embracing culture, meaning-making, and privilege as keys to understanding human psychology.

Comments

Mary Wyer has over 30 years of experience as a feminist in academia, with a broad set of interests but most recently focusing on science, intersectionality, and identity. She is currently the Book Series Editor for APA Division 35 (Psychology of Women).

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Apr 2nd, 2:00 PM Apr 2nd, 3:15 PM

Culture and Identity in Psychology

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

One of the great challenges of working with gender themes in contemporary psychology is figuring out how to constructively replace Enlightenment assumptions about the “stable, coherent self” with more dynamic, interactive, and agentive notions of individuals’ identities. It’s not quite as Simone de Beauvoir put it (“One is not born a woman, but becomes one”), because our identities as women are varied, contextual, emerging, and inter-related with other identities we value and enact. To begin with the assumption that we all have multiple and intersecting identities, and that these are resources as well as constraints, presents novel challenges in Psychology, where an ideology of individual-level predictors prevails. The assumptions underlying intersectionality raise questions about our motivations (which identities are driving them?), our attitudes/behaviors (which identities are at play?), our end goals (which identities inform our choices?), and the obstacles we confront (which identities are privileged/marginalized?). This panel provides a gateway to some of the methodological issues raised, and advances provoked by, a commitment to fully embracing culture, meaning-making, and privilege as keys to understanding human psychology.