Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://dx.doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.1731
Title: Rethinking prefigurative politics: Introduction to the special thematic section
Authors: Cornish, Flora
Haaken, Jan
Moskovitz, Liora
Jackson, Sharon
Issue Date: 24-May-2016
Publisher: PsychOpen
Abstract: This special thematic section responds to the 21st century proliferation of social movements characterised by the slogans ‘another world is possible’ and ‘be the change you want to see’. It explores prefigurative politics as a means of instantiating radical social change in a context of widening global inequalities, climate change, and the crises and recoveries of neoliberal global capitalism. ‘Prefigurative politics’ refers to a range of social experiments that both critique the status quo and offer alternatives by implementing radically democratic practices in pursuit of social justice. This collection of articles makes the case for psychologists to engage with prefigurative politics as sites of psychological and social change, in the dual interests of understanding the world and changing it. The articles bridge psychology and politics in three different ways. One group of articles brings a psychological lens to political phenomena, arguing that attention to the emotional, relational and intergroup dynamics of prefigurative politics is required to understand their trajectories, challenges, and impacts. A second group focuses a political lens on social settings traditionally framed as psychological sites of well-being, enabling an understanding of their political nature. The third group addresses the ‘border tensions’ of the psychological and the political, contextualising and historicising the instantiation of prefigurative ideals and addressing tensions that arise between utopian ideals and various internal and external constraints. This introduction to the special section explores the concept and contemporary debates concerning prefigurative politics, outlines the rationale for a psychological engagement with this phenomenon, and presents the articles in the special thematic section. The general, prefigurative, aim is to advance psychology’s contribution to rethinking and remaking the world as it could be, not only documenting the world as it is.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12034/1415
http://dx.doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.1731
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