2009 Conferences > Luxembourg Workshop

Planning Workshop 1 at Schengen, Luxembourg

July 13-16, 2007

Conveners

Michael Bamberg & Jaan Valsiner, Clark University, USA

Participants

Jacob A. Belzen, The Netherlands | Rom Harré, UK and USA | Carlos Koelble, Germany | Amia Lieblich, Israel | Hala W. Mahmoud, Egypt | Peter Matthes, Austria | Alberto Rosa, Spain | Puleng Segalo, South Africa | Elizabeth Stokoe, UK | Barbara Zielke, Germany

Quotations from participants

From Puleng Segalo, South Africa

For years Psychology focused on knowledge from the west; however the focus of teaching psychology has changed. Psychology is now embracing politics and critical psychology has become the main focus (cultural, social, economic issues, gender, etc...). In South Africa for example, there is a move towards ‘indigenizing psychology’. Local stories and narratives are deemed to be important, and more researchers are beginning to question international texts. It is crucial to note that localizing psychology does not mean disregarding knowledge from somewhere else as this would be very limiting. When thinking about the challenges and possibilities that face psychology, we should acknowledge what the students bring in and we should explore ways in which theory and practice can be in harmony with one another.

From Liz Stokoe, UK

Psychology needs to leave behind debates about experimental versus qualitative approaches and have a new – potentially uncomfortable – debate about the vast gaps between different approaches to qualitative psychology, some of which continue to adopt problematic assumptions about how language, thought and reality are linked. I would like to see widespread increase in psychological research that takes as its aim to study, scientifically, lives being lived, in real time, in the pursuit of rigorous, robust observations about the methodical practices through which institutions, relationships, identities, and so on, are accomplished and organized.

From Hala Mahmood, Egypt

For a better future of psychology that aims at advancing our knowledge of humans while at the same time benefiting them, there has to be effective *dialogue* within the field itself and between psychology and other disciplines. The issues of *culture* and *context* need to be considered when indigenizing Western theories and applying them in a different context, and when making generalizations about the universality of psychological processes. This can be done not only by having more in-depth cultural psychological studies, but also by fostering dialogue between psychology and other disciplines that address larger social and cultural phenomena, such as sociology, anthropology, political science, and literature. In summary, there is a need for tolerance, dialogue, and contextualization of knowledge.