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   2011, Vol. 43 Issue (12) : 1468-1475     DOI:
On the New Characteristics and Achievements of the Marxism Orientation in Western Psychology
HUO Yong-Quan;WEI Ping
(College of Psychology, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian 710062, China)
(Ideological and Political Deparment, Xidian University, Xian 710071, China)
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Abstract  The strong vitality of Marxist Thought has been proved once again by the rise of the Marxist orientation among schools of contemporary Western psychology. While Marxist schools of all kinds are now prevalent in Western psychological research, there have emerged, in addition to traditional Marxism as exemplified by psychoanalytic Marxism, humanist Marxism and dialectical psychology, such new trends as positivist Marxism, feminist Marxism, critical Marxism. Despite the lack of a unified school of these newly formed Marxist research orientations and the many differences and conflicts among them, they share common characteristics on some basic issues: First, criticalness has become mainstream in the Marxist orientation of Western psychology, from macro critique to micro critique, from the reality critique of post-industrial social systems in developed capitalist countries to the critique of science, technology, ethics, arts, and psychics. Second, they all attach importance to social relations and cultural historical questions with regard to the subjects of psychological study and they uniformly call attention to the social attributes of psychology, generally promoting a shift towards "more social science" rather than " more natural science"; they believe that psychology cannot conduct value-neutral research divorced from social and cultural influences and that the generation of psychological knowledge, either by scientific or other procedures, cannot be divorced from culture. As psychology is a part of culture, social-historical-cultural patterns should be the basic connotation and framework in psychological research. Third, the elements and concepts focused on in the research mean essentially that, in order to bring Marxist concepts closer to the psychological discourse system, now not only macro-narrative issues are studied, but greater attention is also paid to the micro level.The contributions made to psychology theory construction by the new development orientation in Western Marxist psychological are as follows: new content has been added to psychology’s in-depth development by the current basic concepts and the functional analysis proposed by Western Marxist psychology; the earnest concern with social reality and a strong spirit of participation in social change shown in the orientation have indicated how wide the scope is for the future development of psychology; the resurgence of Western Marxist psychology has to a certain degree enriched and expanded the content and domain of Marxist studies, bringing added intellectual distinction to the rich psychological-cultural content of humanity.
Corresponding Authors: WEI Ping   
Issue Date: 30 December 2011
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HUO Yong-Quan,WEI Ping. On the New Characteristics and Achievements of the Marxism Orientation in Western Psychology[J]. ,2011, 43(12): 1468-1475.
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