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On Epistemological Shifts and Good Old French Wine (in New Bottles): Commentary on Elcheroth, Doise, and Reicher

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Abstract

In this article, we first suggest that the approach presented by Elcheroth, Doise, and Reicher is particularly relevant in view of the “neuroscientific turn” that faces political psychology. Thus, we note that the distinction between content and process and the predilection for general, intrapsychological, and content-free explanations of political cognition and behavior are encouraged by these developments. We contrast the contribution of the social representations approach to the understanding of social conflict and social change with the approach promoted by these new perspectives. Next, we consider the four themes highlighted by Elcheroth et al. as distinctive of the social representations approach. We notice convergences between these themes and several areas of “mainstream” social and political psychology and show that several of these themes have surfaced in these fields without making reference to this approach.

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