Theory In Action

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Theory And Psychology


Although the value placed on theoretical work in psychology has diminished over recent years, new and significant challenges to the status of theory have emerged within the intellectual community more generally. The demise of the mapping metaphor, the reduction of reason to rhetoric, and the recognition of the impossibility of value-neutral theorizing all raise questions concerning the status and function of theory. Critical theory in psychology has provided one response to these issues by employing theory as an emancipatory device. However, given the limits to pure critique, many search for means of employing theory in the service of pro-active practices of social chance. Given the various problems of theory in the traditional mold, what is the function and status of theory in these emerging practices? In the present issue, we bring together five explorations of the utility of theory in processes of social action. Pivotal in these offerings is the reconceptualization of theory as a form of discursive action. When viewed in this light. new and important issues emerge in our understanding of theoretical work and its place in both intellectual and social life.

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