Network for Critical Psychological Practice Research
The network is for everyone with an ongoing interest in German/Scandinavian critical psychology and practice research. Theoretical and methodological issues, questions, and concerns are taken up across pedagogy, social work with children and youth, and health care. Furthermore, we engage in discussions of how to collaborate around researching and exploring, developing understandings, and contributing to coherent practices across welfare institutions.
The members of the network are researchers and PhD students at Department of Psychology SDU, UCL University College, University College South Denmark, Odense University Hospital/Department of Clinical Research, University College Absalon, and University College Copenhagen. The network also welcomes master students who need a platform for learning and working with critical psychology. Thus, the network may be joined from different positions as either researcher, practitioner, clinician, educationalist, or student. The network was initiated as a response to interests expressed by PhD students, with a background in other than psychology, for critical psychological theory, methodology, and practice research as an approach to qualifying and developing practice. As a consequence, one of the activities of the network is to study and discuss foundational texts and problematics in critical psychology.
The network meets four times a year for seminars of three hours duration, followed by informal conversation over lunch (bring your own). Members take turns planning and conducting the meetings.
On the agenda may be presentations of members research projects, of theoretical thematises, of challenges in working with critical psychology, or of practice research as an approach to generating knowledge and developing practice. Discussions also focus on critical psychology and practice research as part of teaching, learning, and wider educational practices. The structure of seminars varies according to the given agenda and may consist of longer/shorter talks, around-the-table contributions to a particular subject, open discussion, planning activities and collaboration across institutions, etc. Members represent diverse research fields in the areas of development, pedagogy, teaching/learning, and health/illness. This makes for productive comparisons across thematises and practices of welfare institutions.
Critical psychology and theories of social practice
In the context of the network members take an interest in the foundational categories and analytical orientation of critical psychology. The network is inspired more broadly by theories of social practice, participation, and subjectivity. Epistemologically discussions find common ground in practice orientations and perspectives put forward by for example Klaus Holzkamp, Ole Dreier, Uffe Juul Jensen og Jean Lave.
Practice research is developed from the theoretical foundation of critical psychology and constitutes a particular version of what is more widely known as action research. This research methodology insists on knowledge about particular phenomena in practice to be generated in collaboration with involved participants. Højholt contends that ”… practical, organisational, and action oriented dilemmas are related to dilemmas of understanding, theorising, and producing knowledge.” (2005, p. 24, our translation). This is why research practice, analysis, and description of concrete problematics in a given practice must take place as a collaboration involving researchers, practitioners, users, and other relevant parties. In the last 30 years a number of divers critical psychological practice research projects have been carried out in Denmark.
For more information: