Climate change and social isolation and loneliness pose serious
threats to human health, and particularly in the case of the former, to our
survival and that of our planet. These issues are an ever-present and growing
reality for those who already experience greater vulnerability and
marginalisation due to age, poverty, racial inequality, sexuality, gender
identity and disability [1, 2]. However, for those with greater
privilege in the West, climate change in particular may generally be an
abstract reality, with adverse consequences for lived experience only just
beginning to be felt.
The field of critical psychology can seem overwhelming.
I speak from personal experience. I completed my PhD in a department that was entirely positivist (‘scientific’), with the exception of my supervisor who encouraged me, despite being in the first month of my PhD, to attend the 2011 ISCHP conference in Adelaide. For me, critical psychology has been as much a professional as it has a personal (re)education into the world.
Charlotte Paddison reflects on what it means to be ‘critical’ in the context of health psychology. Is this about being dismissive? About being negative? No, not at all!
Lecturing is great. And not least of all because you get all sorts of interesting questions from students. Recently, I was asked what does being ‘critical’ mean?
Being ‘critical’ can mean different things to different people, in different contexts. The Oxford dictionary describes it as “expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgements” and “involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a work.” Neither of these quite fit the bill for describing critical perspectives in the context of health psychology. Continue reading →
Is there such a thing as mixed epistemology research? ~Gareth Treharne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mixed methods research is a well-established feature of many fields of social science research, including health psychology (shameless plug: see Treharne & Riggs, 2014). That’s not to say that all social science researchers (or readers) value mixed methods research – indeed, the notion of mixing methods might be hotly debated by some critical health psychologists and lead them to ask questions such as:
By mixed methods, do you only mean a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods? Surely we should be more interested in innovative mixtures of qualitative methods?
The 2015 meeting of ISCHP in Grahamstown was very successful with a rich and varied programme of relevant events, visits and presentations, including three inspiring and engaged keynote speakers. Once again, many participants commented on the inclusive nature of ISCHP meetings, with many saying that this has been the best conference they have ever attended.
As the new elected chair of ISCHP I have been reflecting since on the development of the society and our future. I have been fortunate to have been able to attend all of the ISCHP biennial meetings since the society was founded in Birmingham in 2001. At that meeting we elected Michael Murray, who had boldly initiated the first international meeting in St Johns in Canada, as our first innovative Chair. Kerry Chamberlain followed, and continues as ‘perpetual past chair’. Kerry’s contribution is notable for his visible ongoing commitment and dedication to the aims and functioning of the society. Wendy Stainton Rogers has also been an outstanding immediate past chair, fostering that sense of inclusion by actively encouraging the involvement of students and researchers from more difficult to reach places such as Eastern Europe and South Africa. Her sense of justice and ethical practice has been inspiring, and the hilarious social events that she led are memorable.