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She is working with several colleagues on a Marsden funded project that aims to revitalize wider critical engagement around these issues. Other key interests include violence against women, biomedicalization, and activism. Kerry Gibson. My research involves applying critical psychology ideas to issues in the domain of clinical psychology. I have done research in trauma and sexual abuse. I am interested in using a range of qualitative methods but particularly those informed by a narrative perspective.

Shiloh Groot My research adopts an Indigenous, community, and critical approach to social psychology and employs qualitative methodologies.

In This Article

These methods may involve extensive field work, innovative visual methods for collecting data, case conferences with staff and clients, and photo-production projects and photo-elicitation interviews. Specifically, my research interests include Indigenous worldviews and communities, resilience and agency, sex work, poverty and homelessness, and social justice and human rights.

Previous strands of research have included an exploration of the complexities of intergroup relations between housed and homeless people, and tensions between empathy and pity and repulsion and vilification. Such intergroup relations can be viewed through the conceptual lenses of abjection, home-making, resilience, and whakama. My research places emphasis on action-oriented social science, where not only does theory and research inform practice, but practice also shapes the refinement of theory and research. Jade Le Grice. My recently completed PhD November, investigated what reproduction means for Maori, casting a net around the wider phenomenon to understand reproductive decisions, parenting, sexuality education, maternities and abortion, as spheres of mutual influence.

I am currently involved in research collaborations on the topics of Maori youth suicide; Maori sexuality and sexualisation; wairua, affect and national days. Interwoven within these broad research interests are opportunities to explore, craft and create meaningful engagement, and supportive ways of relating to ourselves and others in a social context that does not make this easy.

Margaret Wetherell. My research has been focused on identity studies and developing discourse theory and method for critical psychological investigations. Recently I have been working on affect and emotion and the affective positions, feeling narratives and affective practices characteristic of different sites of everyday social and institutional life. This new work was published in Affect and Emotion London: Sage in My empirical research has focused on identity and ideological practices examining, for instance, middle-class Pakeha discourses of race and culture, men and masculinities and institutions of deliberative democracy.

I am currently working with colleagues at Massey University on a Marsden grant examining affect, wairua and national commemoration linked to Waitangi Day and Anzac Day. My abiding interest is in freedom and justice in gender and sexual relations and my various research and work activities bring that interest to life.


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As the internet opens up greater opportunity for women to participate in non-normative sexual activity, what are the experiences, practices and meanings associated with partaking in such? Inherent in all these projects is a parallel interest in the processes of personal and social change; mixing up research, advocacy, policy and subjectivity to achieve and sustain social equity and justice. My research is guided by an interest in how social knowledge makes claims on us and shapes desires and practices.

My particular interests include theorising and doing social change and examining prevailing ideas about sexuality, gender and bodies through a critical feminist lens. My thesis is structured around the design and praxis of social change-oriented workshops with young people addressing hetero sexism, gender inequality and socially constructed injustice. I am interested in dynamics of power and language that operate in often subtle ways in our everyday life.

My interest in critical psychology has developed alongside my clinical psychology training. Critical psychology perspectives have heightened my awareness of the ways in which clinical psychology can be seen to implicitly and inadvertently work to individualise and depoliticise clients and their problems, in ways that may reproduce societal power differentials and inequalities. In my doctoral thesis I aim to explore ways of working in clinical psychology practice that are sensitive to these concerns, by running focus groups and individual interviews with clinical psychologists who take an interest in social justice and critical psychology perspectives in relation to their practice.

My overarching motivations lie in exposing the complexity, subtlety and fluidity of everyday lived experience relating to gender and sexuality. I'm particularly interested in studying the meaning making process of doing intimacies in the space of friendship, including the identity work that constitutes it, and the ideologies that underpin it. I use discourse analytic methods that focus attention on the interface between the individual and the social.

Donelson R. Forsyth

My PhD research explores the friendship experiences of women in their early mid-life, particularly the strategies employed in managing friendships alongside competing demands that come with romantic partners and family life. Working with transdisciplinarity in mind is important to me and I draw from critical psychology, discursive psychology, sociology, and a range of feminist perspectives relating to intimacy and personal life in my research.

Sociology Research Methods: Crash Course Sociology #4

I hope that the study contributes to the continued development and relevance of these two frameworks for investigating Filipina experiences, and to our understanding of the ways in which individuals creatively negotiate with and navigate through the multiple discourses that are available. I explore how contemporary patterns of affect and emotion are distributed across these sites and relate to wider forms of national belonging, identity struggles, and cultural relations in Aotearoa. I am interested in investigating the affective practices of clinical psychologists.

Table of contents

I want to look critically at the subject position of the clinical psychologist and reflect on how the expression of emotion and reactions to the emotional expression of clients could contribute to the reproduction of the power relations implicit in the therapeutic relationship. Becoming a psychologist involves emotional restructuring and this research will provide a framework for reflecting on this process. These elements are dimensional in that groups possess and manifest them to a greater or lesser degree. At one extreme, family groups typically have well-established and enduring structures, share extensive histories, encompass a wide range of activities, exert a broad scope of influence, and provide the basis of individual identity.

The 9 Major Research Areas in Social Psychology

At the other extreme, ad hoc work groups and groups studied in laboratory experiments may be assembled to perform specific tasks of very limited duration with little or no relevance for or influence on the members outside a clearly defined situation and range of activity. McGrath developed a comprehensive typology of groups in terms of origin, scope of activity, task, duration, and interaction.

Groups are regarded as small if meaningful and direct face-to-face interaction can take place among all members. The number of members usually is thought of as ranging from two to twenty, with three to seven common in many laboratory studies of groups.

Cooley identified a fundamental type of small group that is characterized by intimate association and cooperation, which he regarded as the basic building block of society. Cooley called groups of this sort "primary groups" and held them to be forms of association found everywhere.

Primary groups work on the individual to form and develop the social nature of the person. Membership and participation in primary groups are valued and rewarding for their own sake. The groups typically are long-lasting. Members interact as "whole persons" rather than merely in terms of specialized, partial roles. Primary groups are basic sources of socioemotional support and gratification, and participation in them is considered essential for a person's psychological and emotional well-being.

Some the family, the neighborhood peer group are also primary in the sense that they are settings for early childhood socialization and personality development. In contrast are groups formed and maintained to accomplish a task, to which people belong for extrinsic purposes because they are paid or to achieve an external goal. These "secondary groups" are characterized by limited, instrumental relationships.

They may be relatively short-term, and their range of activity is restricted. Affective ties and other "irrational" personal influences are intended to be minimized or eliminated. It has been widely observed, however, that primary relationships develop pervasively within secondary groups and organizations. In a synthesis of observations and research findings, Homans attempted to identify universal variables of group behavior.

He sought to develop a general theoretical scheme that would permit an understanding of groups as diverse as an industrial work unit, a street-corner gang, and a Polynesian family. Homans approached the small group as a system in which activity, interaction, and sentiment are interrelated. He concluded that interaction among group members increases their liking for one another and that they tend to express their friendship in an increasing range of activities and to interact more frequently. Affective elements emerge in virtually all ongoing groups and may enhance or interfere with the purposes for which a group was established.

Soldiers are motivated to fight and workers are motivated to increase or restrict work output by loyalty to their friends and the norms of the immediate group. Sociological interest in small groups has several bases, including 1 the perception of small groups as fundemental, universal social units on which all larger organizational structures depend, 2 a concern with the description and understanding of particular small groups both for their own importance and as a source of observations from which hypotheses and general theories can be developed, and 3 the usefulness of the laboratory group as a research context in which to study the characteristics of the group as the unit of interest and as a setting for the investigation of social influence on individual cognition and behavior.

Foundations for small group research may be seen in nineteenth-century sociological thought, such as Emile Durkheim's analyses of the development of social structures, specialization and task differentiation, and the bases of social cohesion and Georg Simmel 's work on the importance of group size and coalition formation. Early in the twentieth century Charles H. Cooley and George Herbert Mead stressed the social construction of the self through interaction within immediate group settings.

In the s and s, Jacob L. Moreno developed a systematic approach to the understanding and charting of group structure and Muzafer Sherif conducted key studies of group influence and conformity. William Foote Whyte's field study of a street-corner gang demonstrated the existence and importance of group norms and structure in an urban milieu generally thought to lack social organization.

Of major importance was Kurt Lewin 's work, which provided direction and inspiration for the postwar generation of social psychologists. Lewin combined principles of Gestalt psychology and concepts from the physical sciences to develop field theory in social psychology as a basis for the study of group dynamics. Interested in both theoretical and applied aspects of group interaction, in he established the first organization devoted to research on group dynamics. The widely utilized sensitivity-training group method originated serendipitously in sessions Lewin organized in The period from the end of World War II to the early s produced burgeoning activity in small group research Hare et al.

The pervasiveness of Lewin's ideas was evident in the growth of group dynamics as an area of research and theoretical development. Cartwright and Zander's important compilation, Group Dynamics , first published in , presented a theoretical overview and numerous influential studies of cohesiveness, group pressures and standards, individual motives and group goals, leadership and group performance, and the structural properties of groups.

Substantial work with a different orientation reflected concerns with functional needs that groups must meet in order to survive and with the relationship of those functions to dimensions of interpersonal behavior and personality traits. At the same time, influences from anthropology, economics, and behavioral psychology were being melded in a view of social interaction as an exchange of resources, a perspective applied to the analysis of interdependence, cooperation and competition, and interpersonal relationship Homans , ; Thibaut and Kelley During those years small group research shared the methodological advances that were occurring throughout the social sciences, developing an increasing sophistication in research design, measurement, and analysis.

The excitement, optimism, and productivity of the field led some to define social psychology as the study of small groups. Small group research since the s has not been as prominent, prolific, or influential as it was during the immediate postwar years, when social psychology was virtually dominated by the small groups "movement" Borgatta The production of studies is steady, if moderate compared to the enthusiasm of the peak period, and some significant attempts have been made to organize and integrate the diverse body of work and theory that has accumulated Hare ; McGrath ; Foschi and Lawler There is renewed interest in conceptualizing groups as entities with distinctive properties that cannot be understood in terms of reductionist individual psychology Turner Many aspects and procedures of group process and dynamics are commonly utilized in applied settings, while practical concerns with group productivity, efficiency, and success are widespread Hare et al.


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  8. Small group studies are characterized by a wide variety of research techniques and theoretical and practical concerns. Research methods vary in regard to the types of groups and circumstances studied—whether "natural" or contrived for research purposes—and in the intrusiveness of research procedures.

    Some investigators are concerned with properties of the group itself as the unit of interest, while others use the small group setting as context for explorating individual behavior. Although laboratory studies have predominated, the research techniques employed include direct observation of groups in natural as well as controlled settings; the use of structured observational systems to code communication or other aspects of behavior; the use of checklists, questionnaires, or interviews to elicit ratings, choices, opinions, or attitudes from group members; and field experimentation.

    Laboratory studies have marked advantages in terms of the control and manipulation of variables in the precision of observation and measurement. The procedures employed normally permit replication of observation under controlled conditions. The experimental method is regarded as superior to others for rigorously testing causal hypotheses.