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Title: The personal and social construction of meaning.
Author: Butt, Trevor.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2409 920X
Awarding Body: University of Huddersfield
Current Institution: University of Huddersfield
Date of Award: 1998
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This submission for a PhD comprises a collection of published work with a supportive analysis and commentary. It is an investigation of how meaning resides in the world, while still relying on personal and social construction. It provides a critique of both the individualism of personal construct theorists and the anti-humanism of the social constructionists. The project draws on clinical and experimental evidence, as well as on an analysis of the work of George Kelly, contemporary constructivists, social constructionists, and existential phenomenologists. Kelly's (1955) personal construct psychology (PCP) is extended as an existential phenomenology that privileges the interpersonal realm in construing. The fifteen papers in the collection are grouped around five themes: i) the problem of cognitivism in personal construct psychology ii) choice iii) the integrity of the self iv) the critique of social constructionism v) constructivism and existential phenomenology. Within these themes, a wide range of issues is focused on. This includes, firstly, a variety of phenomena which occur in everyday life, but stand out in relief in psychotherapy (for example, self-deception and 'neurotic' choices), which have generally been focused on by clinical personality theories. And secondly, personal experience said to be characteristic in post modernity (for example, individuals' sense of fragmentation and the proliferation of sexual preferences and identities), which have traditionally been the province of sociology, and more recently, of social constructionism. In conclusion, it is argued that PCP can viably be seen as a theory of social action when it is viewed as a type of existential phenomenology. Construing is seen as being located in action in interpersonal contexts, and not 'inside' individuals. In conferring meaning on events, individuals draw on surrounding social constructions, although they do not absorb them uncritically. Personal construction is also limited by the individual's experience as an embodied subject and to this extent, it is argued, meaning is both'made' and'found'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Phenomenology; Existenhalism Psychology