What is psychosocial studies?
Psychosocial studies at Birkbeck is a new and exciting interdisciplinary venture that builds on the College's vibrant tradition of critical social science.
What academic disciplines is psychosocial studies concerned with?
- Psychosocial studies is concerned with the inter-relation between individual subjectivities and identities, and historical and contemporary social and political formations.
- In order to understand the complexities of this inter-relation, psychosocial studies combines insights drawn from psychology and its related disciplines (such as psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and group analysis) with understandings of the social and political domain in disciplines such as sociology, political studies, anthropology, cultural studies, philosophy, feminism, post-colonial studies and queer theory.
What questions does psychosocial studies address?
- Psychosocial studies seeks to link discussions of our precarious and increasingly interconnected collective fates with our most intimate personal and psychic life. In doing so, psychosocial studies aims to better understand contemporary manifestations of a range of concerns including:
- violence, aggression and war
- racial hatred, xenophobia and intolerance
- trauma, loss and memory
- affect and embodiment
- intimacies, communities and care
- parenting, friendship and love
- sexuality, gender and desire
- social and cultural identities
- ethics, agency and human rights
- resistance, transformation and change
- Psychosocial studies takes issue with conventional distinctions between the 'psychological' and the 'social' and rejects the idea that 'inner' and 'outer' worlds are empirically or theoretically separable.
- Its object of study is the human subject and the wider social formation, and the affect-laden relations and processes through which each are mutually constituted. It is concerned with the inter-relation between individual subjectivities and individual and group identities, and historical and contemporary social, cultural and political formations.
- In practice, this means research and programmes of study that embrace:
- discursive and critical psychology
- psychoanalytic theory
- psychodynamic and group psychotherapy
- critical social theory
- cultural studies
- feminist theory and philosophy
- gender, sexuality and queer studies
- 'race' studies
- postcolonial theory