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Lessons for the Future from the Margins of Psychology

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image of Journal of Phenomenological Psychology

Having spent 40 years as a psychologist in academia with a minority perspective at odds with the culture of his profession, the author was requested to reflect upon his experiences in order to offer advice to younger colleagues of the same persuasion. There are indeed prices to be paid when one's values place one outside the established view within the discipline of psychology, but remaining true to oneself is never theless posited as the highest value. The chief drawback of marginality is the lack of the possibility of being placed within a normative university setting where the training of the next generation of scholars with similar values can take place. Basically, one encounters the resistances that sociology of knowledge factors offer rather than intrinsic resistances to the minority theoretical perspective. Five theoretical notions that met political resistance are listed and seven advisory comments are offered for young potentially marginal psychologists.


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