The Person in Social Psychology
By Vivien Burr
Psychology Press – 2002 – 184 pages
Series: Psychology Focus
Traditional social psychology assumes that the person has an already-existing nature that then becomes subject to the influence of the social environment. The Person in Social Psychology challenges this model, drawing on theories from micro-sociology and contemporary European social psychology to suggest a more 'social' re-framing of the person. In this book Vivien Burr has provided a radical new agenda for students of social psychology and sociology. Using concepts familiar to the social psychologist, such as norms, roles, demand characteristics and labelling, she argues for an understanding of the person where the social world is not a set of variables that affect a pre-existing individual, but is instead the arena where the person becomes formed.
'Vivien Burr's book takes us on a 100 year journey in a very short space and equips the reader with a vision as to how to move forward.' - Richard Mallows, St John' College, York
'Burr provides a clear introduction to a wide range of interesting alternatives to experimental social psychology … it was only when I reached the end of the book that I realised how thorough she had been in going about the business of undermining the foundations of mainstream psychology.' - John L. Smith, University of Sunderland
The Individual and the Social in Social Psychology. The Social Origins of Behaviour. Role-taking. Groups and the Social Self. Representations and Language. The Person in Social Psychology.
Vivien Burr is a Principal Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Huddersfield. Her previous publications include Gender and Social Psychology (Routledge 1998) and An Introduction to Social Constructionism (Routledge 1995).