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Confronting Theory
The Psychology of Cultural Studies
Now Available
Price £25, $33
ISBN 9781841503172
Paperback 160 pages
Published February 2010
Imprint: Intellect
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Chapter Titles     |      Comments

Confronting Theory presents a methodological (philosophical) and educational evaluation and critique of what has come to be known as Theory (‘with a capital-T’) in cross-disciplinary humanities education. Rather than merely dismissing Theory writing as risibly pretentious and abstract, Confronting Theory examines its principal concepts from the perspective of academic psychology and shows that, although ‘Theory that only dogs can hear’ may sound like revolutionary psychological analysis it is frequently incoherent and/or has few, if any, empirical implications that students can evaluate.


Chapter titles
Chapter One
Cultural Studies and Capital-T Theory
The Problem of ‘Theory’
Cultural Studies and/as Psychology
Texts and Science
Theory's Challenge
Chapter Two
What is Theory About?
Immaterial Foundations
After the ‘Sokal Hoax’
Theory is Not Metaphor
Chapter Three
Different Things
Language Problems
Reductionism and ‘Essentialism’
Relations and Things
Becoming Theoretical
Real Differences: ‘Race’ and Identity
Making Sense of Difference
Chapter Four
Theory, People and ‘Subjects’
Psychology and the Emergence of Cultural Studies
The ‘Return to the Signifier’
Semiotic Subjects, or Persons?
Decentring Psychology
Equivocating: Anti-‘Essentialism’
Subjects Need Biology
Chapter Five
‘Post-Human’ Theory and Cultural Studies
The Printing Press, Digital Media and Humanism
Enlightenment Humanism
Escaping the Human?
Problems of Coherence
Chapter Six
Affecting Ontologies
Affect as an Entity
The Trinity: Feeling, Emotion, Affect
Becoming Ontological – The Student’s Problem
Affect extraordinaire: Horse Sense?
Chapter Seven
Real experience, Un-real Science
Moving Science: The Body in Theory
Vital Phenomenology
Neo- or Non-Psychology?
Realism as an Ethical Attitude
Chapter Eight
Theory and Education
Realism as a Default Position
When Students ‘do Theory’
Teaching Theory
‘Post-Humanities’ and Education
No Laughing Matter
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tricia daly  Said...

 "This brilliant book challenges all Cultural Studies academics to justify their metaphysical excesses and to acknowledge that many of them have been 'bluffing' about co-called 'Theory'. It argues persuasively that Cultural Studies and cultural Psychology (eg 'Body Theory') need to be critically re-thought  along realist and humanist lines to allow genuinely empirically-grounded debate." Dr Tricia Daly

September 15, 2010 00:15
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