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Keywords:

  • critical social psychology;
  • racism/antiracism;
  • fiction and the aesthetic;
  • personal experience;
  • embodied materiality;
  • Black Consciousness;
  • subjectification;
  • cultural studies;
  • postcoloniality

Abstract

A variety of possible future directions for a critical psychology of racism/antiracism may assist us in avoiding the trappings of conceptual/methodological homogeneity and disciplinary insularity. Greater reference to the literature of fiction, to the epistemological domain of the aesthetic, may benefit us given that it permits different positionings, imaginings and modes of self-reflection than afforded within the strict truth-conditions of mainstream social science practice. We stand also to profit from greater attention to personal experience and to the embodied materiality of everyday life, powerful themes in the oft-neglected Black Consciousness tradition of critique. Likewise, a renewed focus on subjectification. This is particularly pressing for critical social psychology given that certain of the formative conditions of the subject subjectivity may be taken to predate psychological subjectivity; without an adequate engagement with such factors (sociality, materiality, the bodily, the historical) we fail to apprehend the psychic life of power. Lastly, an innovative and critically effective social psychology of racism/antiracism cannot neglect the collaborative opportunities afforded by cultural studies, postcolonial criticism and contemporary social theory. The concepts of performativity, hybridity, mimicry and habitus (to name just a few), like a series of recent discussions of post-imperial multiculturalism and cosmopolitan humanism, deserve to be better integrated into the work of critical social psychologists. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.