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Home arrow Psychology arrow The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Social Psychology


Critical social psychologists have so far made only infrequent forays into the world of organisations, critiquing mainstream social psychological theories and practices such as the micro measurement of workers through the process of recruitment, selection and performance management and the privileging of certain personality traits and emotional behaviours in line with owner/ manager prerogatives. There are two main established areas of study that analyse organisations, which share an affinity with the principles of critical social psychology. These include classic (Marx, Weber) and contemporary social theory (Braverman, Ritzer, Bauman) and CMS. The brief analysis of these two fields was designed to provide an understanding of how critical social psychology can contribute to a deeper understanding of the subjective experience of false consciousness, McDonaldisation and liquid modernity. In return, critical social psychology can bring new perspectives to these fields through its expertise in critiquing mainstream models of prejudice, stereotyping, discrimination and so on in organisations. Contributing new knowledge to these concepts is important given the long and continuing exploitation of workers by organisations and the way in which organisations shape social structures and institutions which influence social behaviour. In conclusion, the key question remains, how do we better translate an understanding of power relations in organisations into practical actions that do not come at such a cost to those willing to challenge them?

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