Social and Biological Roles of Language: The Psychology of Justification

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9780126960808: Social and Biological Roles of Language: The Psychology of Justification

This volume is an integrative theoretical exploration of the essential links between a person's social adaptation and his or her biological survival. Language and speaking practices are thought to be closely tied in with social phenomena and so too the discussion of the way people use words runs through the analysis of the nature of stress and its physiological effects.**The ideas developed have implications both for our understanding of what stress involves and for the psychology of individuals and communities.**FROM THE PREFACE: One of the exciting things about contemporary social psychology is that its discussions seem to be entering more cosmopolitan ground. Traditional research programmes have been justly criticised for their insularity; because of the incommensurability of their categories and distinctions, researchers do not talk to each other. This book is written in the hope that the days of insularity may be coming to an end and that the way is open to a sharing of debates about matters of social importance among those schooled in different academic subjects. It is divided into three parts. In the first part, the social psychologist's title to a specialist vocabulary and methodology is questioned, and the assumption that research based on an ideal of specialism can, in principle, reflect general social laws and truths is challenged.**The more theoretically constructive project of the book begins with Part II. The argument is developed that theories in social psychology have evolved not as a result of specialist research programmes but on different grounds. Their course has more to do with a changing metaphysics than with data--specifically, a changing perspective on men and women as rational, freely choosing, moral agents. Relatedly, our conception of what is meant by "social" has changed too.

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