Mainstream Psychology Essay

1924 Words 8 Pages
Mainstream psychology is often considered to be factual and objective however it is argued by critical psychologists that research is often influenced by its social, cultural, historical and political context. Critical psychologists have disputed the notion of objective psychology and have identified different levels at which values can be seen to operate within mainstream psychology. In this essay I will critically discuss the extent to which mainstream research has benefited more powerful groups, whilst contributing to the oppression of marginalised groups, keeping them in subordinate positions. In addition, I will address some of the branches of psychology which aim to challenge and interrogate the methods used within mainstream psychology and the power imbalances created by this.

Mainstream psychology is largely underpinned
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A form of intelligence testing is used at the end of primary school is used to determine whether or not the child will progress to a grammar school or a state school. Parents from working class backgrounds are less likely to be able to afford a tutor for their child outside of school. In this respect, children from middle to upper class backgrounds have an advantage. This is demonstrated in the number of lower class children (indicated by eligibility for free schools meals) at just 32% attending grammar schools compared to 60% children from better off backgrounds (Atkinson et al, 2006). This demonstrates how class has a direct impact on the quality of education children receive and how some of these concepts have led to working class groups being denied equal educational opportunities. The education system is supposed to distribute knowledge, however it is designed to maintain the power in the hand of the upper class, excluding the lower classes from this power (Faccault,1971

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