Psychologisation in times of globalisation (Routledge/Psychology Press, 2012)
Today more than ever, our understanding of ourselves, others and the world around us is described in psychological terms. Psychologists deeply influence our society, and psychological-discourse has invaded companies, advertising, culture, politics, and even our social and family life. Moreover, psychologisation has become a global process, applied to situations such as torture, reality TV and famine. This book analyses this ‘overflow of psychology’ in the three main areas of science, culture and politics.
The concept of psychologisation has become crucial to current debates in critical psychology. De Vos combines these debates with insights from the fields of critical theory, philosophy and ideology critique, to present the first book-length argument that seriously considers the concept of psychologisation in these times of globalisation.
The book contains numerous real-world examples making it an accessible and engaging analysis that should be of interest to researchers, postgraduates and undergraduate students of psychology and philosophy.
Using shrewd lessons from the history of social psychology, Jan De Vos impugns a globalizing psychology that continues to penetrate the lifeworld with its debilitating excesses. This adroit and insightful work marks a starkly original and important voice in critical psychology.
Henderikus Stam, Professor of Psychology, University of Calgary, Canada
In this compelling volume, De Vos formulates a substantive critique of the seemingly unstoppable psychological colonisation of the human life-world. The book will be an eye-opener for all psychology students, but equally a hugely important invitation to serious soul-searching for all academic and professional psychologists.
Dany Nobus, Chair of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, Brunel University, UK
Jan De Vos gives us a fascinating and thought-provoking account of psychologisation, showing how psychology lives everywhere in modern life and subjectivity – even in attempts to escape from it. This is an original work and the reader is sure to come away with new, important ideas.
Svend Brinkmann, Professor of Psychology, Director of the Center for Qualitative Studies, University of Aalborg, Denmark
“… De Vos’s book is demonstrably dangerous: to psychologists who may be reluctant to look critically at their discipline, to “clients” who see themselves solely as psychological service consumers, and to psychology teachers who may feel that they’re merely reporting the truth of the human and never actively constructing it. (...) At the minimum, psychologists of all stripes should read this text, as it relentlessly outlines the problematic - and problemitizing - nature of psychology."
Review: Rupp, G. V., & Powell, G. J. (2013). A very dangerous book: To know is to feel–Bad [Review of the book Psychologisation in times of globalisation, by J. De Vos]. PsycCRITIQUES, 58(11). doi: 10.1037/a0031395
Book review in PINS (Psychology in Society) "Now that you know, how do you feel? Konzi Mbatha in coversation with Martin Terre Blanche"
Book review in "Qualitative Research in Psychology" by Svend Brinkmann:
Book review in "The Psychologist" by Ellen Goudsmit:
My reply to this book review (letter published in "The Psychologist"):