Imagine: Towards an integrated and applied social psychology


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Jackie Abell, Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YF, UK (e-mail:


This commentary does not aim to engage with the epistemological and ontological technicalities of the discursive psychology maintained by epistemological constructionism and discursive psychology reliant on ontological constructionism approaches that form the basis of the two papers under discussion; other commentators, both in this issue and in the future, are likely to do that. Instead, this commentary aims to situate both papers within a broader frame of contemporary, primarily British social psychology, to ponder the circumstances that gave rise to them and their implications for social psychologists, discursive and non-discursive, alike. We have organized this commentary into two parts. The first part considers two simple questions. First, why does Corcoran critique DPEC for failing to do things that other discursive approaches provide for? And, second, why does Corcoran take DPEC research to task for having too little potential for or made too little contribution to improving the lives and subjectivities of people in general? These two questions are not unrelated, but for clarity's sake we will try to answer them separately. The second part of this commentary will consider the influence of discursive psychology on social psychology more generally.