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Presenting social representations: A conversation

Moscovici S & Markova I (1998) Presenting social representations: A conversation. Culture and Psychology, 4 (3), pp. 371-410.

Serge Moscovici's theoretical system of social representations is by now nearly 40 years old; yet, today, various social psychological activities surrounding this field seem to flourish more than ever; much research into social representations is being carried out all over Europe and on other continents; there is a European PhD programme on social representations and communication; there is an association and a network on social representations; and a journal on social representations is in the pipeline. At the same time the theory has its critics; some of them argue that the theory is too loose; others, that it is too cognitive; that it is not clear how the concept of social representation differs from other concepts, say, from attitudes, social cognition, beliefs, stereotypes, and so on; still others would like to marry the theory either to discourse analysis or to social constructivism(s) and constructionism-or to both of them at the same time. Readers of French, in addition, are familiar with Moscovici's work in the history and philosophy of science, human invention and technology, the psychology of resistance and dissidence, and, most recently, with his magnificent autobiographical recitChronique des annees egarees (Chronicle of Stray Years)(Moscovici, 1997). Although based permanently in Paris, Serge Moscovici has worked at a number of American Universities, has been invited to lecture all over the world, and has received a number of honorary doctorates at various European Universities. Since this Special Issue inCulture & Psychologyis devoted to the concept of collective and social representation, we shall be concerned, in this dialogue, primarily with the origin of Moscovici's own ideas on the concept of social representations and how these ideas have developed into a broad programme of research.

beliefs; common sense; communication; knowledge; language; social psychological theory of knowledge; social representation

Culture and Psychology: Volume 4, Issue 3

Author(s)Moscovici, Serge; Markova, Ivana
Publication date30/09/1998
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