Thinking and talking in everyday life differs from thinking and talking in more formal contexts, and that difference is not always taken into account in social psychology. What is needed is an approach that sets the man and woman in the street as competent actors in their own right, rather than just pinpointing their alleged cognitive shortcomings. This book proposes the theory of Social Representations, which allows us to articulate collective and individual psychological processes, as a solution.
The text begins with a general analysis of everyday thinking in psychology, discussing research into socio-political, popular scientific and cultural systems of common-sense. The theory is presented through both classic and contemporary research into the construction of the social world, from the individual level of representations as metaphors, images and cognitive structures, to collective phenomena such as dialogue, discourse and shared understandings. The concluding chapters cover epistemological and methodological developments in the field.
This book is the first comprehensive, integrative and book-length treatment of Moscovici's Theory of Social Representations in the English language.