Final Exam (take home)

Part I. The course began with a list of criticisms of conventional Psychology and an indication that we would consider some promising alternatives. The list below is one way in which those criticisms might be summarized. Write a paper in which you describe how the works considered in the course provide examples consistent with the goals implicit in at least five of the summarized criticisms. You may choose to write about more of the items, but your paper should not exceed 2500 words.

Psychology research and practice should give:

1. more attention to interpretivist approaches to Psychology,

2. more attention to linguistic or intentional forms of reduction in explanation rather than to biological reduction,

3. more attention to the manner in which cultural contexts inform or construct psychological phenomena,

4. more attention to human agency in explanations of psychological phenomena

5. more attention to the truly social aspects of psychological phenomena as opposed to viewing social behaviour as the sum of the behaviours of a collection of individuals,

6. more attention to holistic methods of investigating psychological phenomena,

7. more attention to the political affordances of Psychology; more awareness of Psychology as a political activity.

8. less concern to a search for universal laws and more attention to individual and local phenomena,

Part II. Read and respond to one of the following articles:

Solis, J. (2003). Re-thinking illegality as a violence against, not by Mexican immigrants, children and youth. Journal of Social Issues, 59(1). 15-32.

Kagitçibaşi, Ç. (1995). Is psychology relevant to global human development issues? Experience fromTurkey. American Psychologist, 50(4), 293-300.

Polkinghorne, D. E. (1992). Postmodern epistemology of practice. In S. Kvale (Ed.), Psychology and Postmodernism (pp. 146-165). London: Sage.

The articles are available online through the York Libraries or by clicking on the authors’ names.

Your response to the article chosen should comment on the researchers’ work in relation to the assumptions, ideas and methods of the authors studied in the course. It may be necessary to briefly summarize the article, but most of your paper should be a statement and elaboration of connections between the article and the works we have studied. Your paper should be between 1200 and 2500 words in length.

The two parts of the exam will be weighted equally. Please complete your papers and send them to me by e-mail before 9:00pm on Wednesday, April 18. If you have any difficulty making an electronic submission, or if you prefer to submit a printed version, please bring the printed copy to my office (321 Calumet). Late papers will not be accepted; if you are unable to complete this exam on time you must sit the scheduled written exam on April 20.

You are free to choose the focus of the papers, but keep in mind that you are seeking to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the course material. Thus, somewhere in the exam at least a little consideration should be given to most of the authors we have read.

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Note: Don’t hesitate to write to me if you have questions during the exam period, either about procedure or about the content of the articles or course material.


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