n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - 'n Tweede kognitiewe revolusie : oor die taalwending in die sosiale sielkunde

Volume 42, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


This article deals with the important contribution of contemporary debates in the philosophy of language to the development of social psychology. The focus is on a development called discursive social psychology, which challenges the representational, individualistic and mechanistic approach to social cognition in traditional or mainstream social psychology. It is argued that non-representational accounts of language, especially the Wittgensteinian focus on meaning as arising from social patterns of language use, enlarges the reach of social psychological explanation. Rather than seeing processes such as categorisation and attitude formation as individual mental processes, and thus strengthening the dichotomy between the individual and the social, they are viewed as discursive, rhetorical achievements. This presents a more fluid, social account of cognitive processes, and also links psychological explanation to the analysis and critique of ideology.

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