Universität Bielefeld

© Universität Bielefeld

„Psychology in/and Universität Bielefeld - Coloniality/modernity rhetoric“

By Eduardo Castro Rodriguez


Introduction

I write this as a heterosexual male student of Psychology who was born in Mexico. At this specific moment I am an exchange student at the Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science in Bielefeld University. I write this Photovoice as Heinemann & Castro Varela (2017, p. 261) claimed, not believing in non-contaminated knowledge and not being skeptical of Eurocentric theories, but rather I write this as an exercise of decolonization, as an (short) exercise of memory that concerns what/why/how Psychology did and does, and its relation to this specific faculty´s Weltanschauung.

But why did I choose the tool of Photovoice to develop this text?

Faced with the need of linking specific academic structures of the Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science of Bielefeld University with an exercise of decolonization concerning its curricula, and its students? formation, I chose the Photovoice tool since it offers to participants the possibility of changing their perceptions regarding their physical and social environment or at least I try to offer a different perspective on it.

Therefore, in the next Photovoice I try to (shortly) acknowledge how psychology, and its teaching in the university, also reinforce the rhetoric of modernity and its narrative, having consequences on the way in which we psychology students are formed, how this formation has a strong influence in our praxis, and how this praxis contributes to the rhetoric coloniality/modernity. Specifically, I make the analysis of two photos and two screenshots related to the Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science from Bielefeld University in Germany. Such analysis aims to show briefly how the curricula from the Bachelor of Psychology (in Germany and in most parts of the academic world) follows the narrative of modernity and, as consequence, the formation of Psychology students is being limited in terms of a colonial logic of teaching, a colonial economy of students, a colonial way of formation, a colonial ideology.


Introduction to the text

Why do we, the Psychology students, decide to study such discipline? To help people? Before starting to study Psychology, which imaginary of this academic discipline appeared to us? The one of the therapist which listens carefully to the patient? The one of the psychologist working in a psychiatric hospital with those who are defined as "crazies"? Or the one of the psychologist making experiments which aim to a better understanding of the psyche or to a better understanding of the relation between the individual and its social experience? And after we ourselves entered into the psychology world, how do we understand psychology? Do we still have the same imaginaries of psychology as before? Do we still want to help people? And if we do, which people do we want (can) to help? In the manner that we, the psychology students, learn about this discipline within and through the university would be ultimately necessarily to ask ourselves as students, how is Psychology in universities taught?

„Those who are considered outside the realm of the 'human' as designated by the Western liberal human are perceived as and perceive themselves to be sub-human.“ (Karishma Desai & Brenda Nyandiko Sanya, 2016, p. 714)


Psychology in the coloniality/modernity rhetoric (humanism)

If we think of a "birth" of Psychology as we conceive it today, we will find a consensus that its formalization as an academic discipline began at the end of the XIX century. As a result of a series of transformations in the European society (in the spheres of the family, the state and the property) the need of a discipline which could be able to analyze and to keep the social order at an individual level was born (Parker, 2010, citated by Ovejero & Ramos, 2011, p. 25). Despite of the spreading that Psychology had in the United States and in Europe, the objective was the same: to organize Psychology into more practical standards. This practicality aimed to guarantee the work of the individuals in a more efficient way by enabling the differentiation between those who were different from those who were endowed. By doing so Psychology would differentiate the subnormals, the inepts that could not do their tasks in this capitalism: the needed for regulation (Parker, 2010, citated by Ovejero & Ramos, 2011, p. 26).

However, this distinction does not have its roots in Psychology, but rather in the colonial epistemological frameworks of what does being a human means. Sylvia Wynter's work describes how the notions of what being a human means are entrenched in "epistemological legacies of colonialism that preserve a Western bourgeois genre of Man" (citated by Desai & Sanya, 2016, p. 712) and how through these epistemological legacies a "hierarchical ordering of humanness" is legitimatized. This conception of "Man" is traversed by science, reason, the state and the association between humanness and accumulation. Such conceptualization emerged with the rise of the modernist thought: The Enlightenment (Kerr, 2014, p. 88).

At this point of time Western European modernity claimed itself as the point of reference of global history; where the prioritization of reason was established, where objectivity was configured, and, no less important, where spatio-temporal structures were imposed "intersecting global hierarchies in terms of race, class, gender, sexuality, spirituality, economic system, and geography, that organizes bodies into complex hierarchal social organizations" (Kerr, 2014, p. 88). However, which is the relation between this hierarchal social organization and Psychology? To respond this, we have to think in the place where psychology is taught and developed: the university.

In their text "Contesting the Imperial Agenda - Respelling Hopelessness", Heinemann & Castro Varela (2017, p. 262) analyze how the university institution helped building this post-colonial world and by doing so, they explain how these academic spaces enabled an epistemological violence by legitimizing the Eurocentric frameworks and assertions as the hegemonic knowledge. This had, as a consequence, the creation of an "indigenous elite" and reinforced the rhetoric of modernity, one that aims to a salvation, to a conversion, to a civilization, to a development, and, finally, to a market democracy. Due to this narrative a differentiation can be made between rational/irrational, progressive/behind, modern/traditionalist, global citizen/terrorist and creates asymmetrical "forms of knowing, cognizing, theorizing, and representing the world" (Heinemann & Castro Varela, 2017, p. 263) placing Europeans and Euro-American men as the only ones accepted as capable of reaching universality - this can be understood as an 'epistemic coloniality' (Mbembe, 2016, p. 36).

By doing so the production of knowledge made by Eurocentric and Euro-American academic canons is established as one that is more legitimatized as the others, positioning itself as the only valid way of rendering the world and its individuals. Therefore, a power-knowledge relation is created between those countries whose universities are considered "world class" institutions and those countries that suffer what Mbembe defined as 'zoning' (2016, p. 38). This tendency, then, spreads worldwide, having as a consequence "Westernized Universities" (Mbembe, 2016, p.32) which translates to local institutions being configured as models of the dominant academic canon.

During this legitimacy process of the Eurocentric canon, Psychology adopted the methodology of the paradigm whose basis lies in experimentation and which allegedly guarantees an objective and rational knowledge: positivism.

Through positivism the Western epistemic perspective was centralized and led to what Mignolo calls the "Hubris of the zero point". This 'zero point' "[...] is the epistemological location that places a privileged knowing body as occupying a detached and neutral point of observation and from this place 'maps the world and its problems, classifies people, and projects what is good for them'" (Mignolo citated by Kerr, 2014, p. 89). This produces a logic where there is a production of knowledge that is supposed to be universal, independent of context, and timeless. Here I am not arguing the validation of the scientific method (understood as part of the Western way of knowledge), instead I am calling into attention what Achille Joseph Mbembe claimed:

The problem - because there is a problem indeed - with this tradition is that it has become hegemonic. This hegemonic notion of knowledge production has generated discursive scientific practices and has set up interpretive frames that make it difficult to think outside of these frames. But this is not all. This hegemonic tradition also actively represses anything that actually is articulated, thought and envisioned from outside of these frames (Mbembe, 2016, p. 33).


Knowledge production in Psychology within humanism

Nonetheless, how does this hegemonic notion/production of knowledge have an effect on current Psychology?

It leads to an outcome that shapes psychology students' conceptions of what knowledge means, how it is supposed to be created, and how we apply it in our praxis. Through the lens of objectivity, of experimentation, and professionalism (neutrality) is how psychology students are supposed to analyze and interpret that what is out there.

In the attempt to promote this philosophy of knowledge, psychology faculties promote specific methodological tools that, allegedly, guarantee an objective (detached) understanding of the person/population. These tools are based in/on a scientific rationality which is characterized by its "democratic" quality that lies in the assumption of the inexistence of authoritarian arguments or arbitrary decisions. Here, the emphasis on the "empirical", however, reduces the scientific only to the positivist perspective. Further, there is an omission of the fact that every single method is tainted with its theoretical background. Nonetheless, that does not mean that a concrete method is the application of a theory, but that there is a relation between a method, a theory, and a result, which puts into doubt the supposedly neutrality of it and rather shows that a method has an intrinsic reactivity (Ibáñez, 2003, p. 113-114). Consequently, the promotion of a methodological approach that tries to guarantee a neutral lens and a scientific perspective took place in psychology and was accompanied by the hierarchical division between quantitative and qualitative methodology.

It is not the goal of my analysis to go into the mechanistic division between the quantitative and qualitative division in Psychology (or in other disciplines), but it is my intention to recognize the prioritization from one method above the other, and its consequences for the formation of psychology students.

Through affirmations from former presidents of the American Psychological Association (APA) - for example Cattell J. in 1896 when he described psychology as a quantitative science in rapid increase (González Rey, 1999, p. 6) -, the propagation of the behaviorism, and its evolution to cognitivism (to mention some historical steps within the mainstream psychology) led to the development of a traditional methodology for research in psychology which consists in correlational and manipulation studies. The first one legitimizes itself through the significant statistical correlations that are obtained thanks to the studied variables in significant groups of people and the second through the manipulation of variables within specific areas or spaces which can or not be controlled (González Rey, 1999, p. 7). Due to this, research from a qualitative perspective is commonly used by psychologists (students or with a certain degree) as a complement of a quantitative research, and if it is not the case, as a main methodological approach which still shows a theoretical background that lies in positivism. By doing so, there is only a legitimation of only one way of knowing, of interpreting, of producing scientific knowledge.

Therefore, psychology students find themselves inside a colonial logic within their universities that structures not only about what they learn, but also the ways in which their work, research, praxis, can be considered valid, scientific, and rational.

As I mentioned before, one of the consequences of this colonial/modernity rhetoric - in hand with the scientific method or positivism - is the universalization of knowledge and its production. Such assumptions have vividly effects when, in the case of Psychology, standards of what being "good/bad" or having a "mental health" means confront with populations or persons who do not "belong" or with students who embrace these conceptualizations and apply them in their specific contexts. Here intersectionalities of gender, class, race, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical conditions - to mention some - are not considered in the making of these optimal imaginaries. An example of this is described in the first pages of Martín Baro's book "Social Psychology" (1983) when he is introducing the problematic of the massive selling and diffusion of Psychology books, enabling a conflict between the literature exposed in traditional psychologist books and the intersectionalities from Latin America populations who appropriate them and do not "belong" into this analysis framework. He writes about it:

El contraste entre la propia realidad vivida y la realidad presentada en estos estudios resulta cuando menos chocante [...] El lector latinoamericano no puede menos de sentir que los aspectos más cruciales de su propia existencia, de su propia historia, no son ni siquiera tangencialmente considerados y mucho menos estudiados en profundidad. Siente, así mismo, que cuando algunos de los propios problemas son examinados sufren un desencarnamiento similar a la desexualización con que ciertos artistas caracterizan a los personajes religiosos. Son problemas llevados a la abstracción, donde se han recortado las aristas hirientes y se han eliminado los contextos de significación comprometedora1 (Martín Baro, 1982, p. 1-2).

Here, there is a collision between the universalized knowledge and its appropriation by those who, inside this canon, are considered as "others".


"Psychology" by others and us

The relation between psychology and the coloniality/modernity rhetoric does not come entirely from psychologists, but also from those who employ psychological frameworks or language. This brings to attention a responsibility that lies in the complicity of professional psychologists, the result of a lack of initiative to manifest themselves against the simplistic appropriation of our discipline and what it enables. It lies in the numbness that the logic of universities promotes inside their curriculums and classrooms.

Such affirmation of mine comes from the need to bring to attention the use of psychological frameworks and language to explain social events by public and political figures, and institutions. An example of this (between several around Europe and the United States) is the use of psychological terms, such as mental health, psychological problem, disturbed, to mention some. This could be identified in the regrettable event on the 7th April of 2018 in Münster, Germany, where a man around 48 years old rammed customers and staff of a restaurant and killed two people (Oltermann, 2018). This event, as Herbert Reuel, the Minister of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia, pointed out, the first theories claimed that the attacker was a refugee terrorist. However, the attacker was after identified as a German male who had "mental health problems", and the Minister of the Interior "criticized people for spreading misinformation online, claiming that a refugee was responsible". Despite of the clarification of the events that the Minister of the Interior and the authorities made informing that there was no indication of an Islamic attack, we cannot ignore the employment of these psychological terms, their backgrounds and implications.

By comparing labels, such as "terrorist" and "a person with psychological problems", a problematic scenario arises in which language and frameworks come to attention. In the case of a terrorist attack, the perpetrator is correlated to a lack of civilization, to a lack of rationality; he or she is labelled as an outsider of western society, as someone who does not seek the value freedom and does not embrace modernity, hence, as an enemy of western civilization that ought to disrupt the values and norms of such society. To describe an example of this, we can look at one part of Zygmunt Bauman's book Liquid Fear (2006) where he writes about Muslim population and the consequences of being part of Islamic religion, one that is included in western population with mistrust:

Los jóvenes musulmanes tienen motivos para sentirse de ese modo. Pertenecen a una población oficialmente clasificada como rezagada con respecto al resto 'avanzado', 'desarrollado' y 'que progresa' de la humanidad. Y están atrapados en esa nada envidiable situación por culpa de la connivencia entre sus propios despiadados y prepotentes gobiernos y los de la parte 'avanzada' del planeta, lo que inexorablemente los aleja de las tierras prometidas (y ardientemente codiciadas) de la felicidad y la dignidad. [...] Los jóvenes musulmanes tratan de burlar, colarse a hurtadillas a través de (o abrirse paso a la fuerza entre) la defensa de 'espadas arremolinadas y querubines' que guarda la entrada al paraíso moderno, pero cuando logran atravesarla (si consiguen engañar a los vigilantes o superar los puestos de control), se dan cuenta de que allí no son bienvenidos, de que no se les permite ponerse al día con el estilo de vida que, según se les acusaba, no habían sabido perseguir con suficiente ahínco en sus países de origen. Y se dan cuenta también de que estar allí no significa compartir la felicidad y la dignidad de vida que les trajo hasta ese lugar. [...] Bastan unos pocos asesinos sueltos para reciclar a miles de inocentes hasta convertirlos en 'sospechosos habituales'. Unas cuantas elecciones individuales inicuas habrán sido reprocesadas en un abrir y cerrar de ojos hasta adquirir los atributos de una 'categoría', una categoría fácilmente identificable, por ejemplo, por un color de piel sospechosamente oscuro o por una mochila sospechosamente abultada2 (Bauman, 2006, p. 152-158).

While the attacks perpetrated by populations that do not belong to a westernized scope are labelled as "terrorist attacks", those whose perpetrators' characteristics align with the intersectionalities of what a rational human being is in the westernized perception are attributed to mental health problems. Psychological diagnoses here serve as a political tool of the colonial/modernity rhetoric to differentiate (and defend) an a priori rationality. A rational and psychological faculty is preconceived in those who are born inside geographical lines, in those who have certain skin color, in those who speak certain language, in those who are part of certain religions, in those who have certain sexual orientations and genders, in those who are completely humans. Mainstream psychology, then, can be understood as an accomplice in colonial/modernity rhetoric's goal to draw a line so we can point out the others, making them simpler, predictable, flat, of one color, of two genders, uncivilized; something under a human.


Fakultät für Psychologie und Sportwissenschaft der Universität Bielefeld

And how can I justify a relation between what I claimed before and the Faculty of Psychology in Universität Bielefeld?

Through the analysis of the curricula that this faculty offers we can draw a possible line that psychology students would follow during their bachelors and its relation to the colonial/modernity rhetoric. A line that is reinforced by the academic offer in psychological research inside the halls of this university and that is visible at the first look to the name of the faculty.

The very name of the faculty alludes to a similarity between the paradigms of mainstream psychology and sport sciences (Sportwissenschaft). It alludes, also, to similarities between methodological approaches that could be measurable, calculable, comparable, applicable, statistical, universal and that could guarantee a scientific rationality. Hence, by the name it is possible to link psychology's curricula; its promotion of a positivist paradigm, of a methodology (which [it] surely embraces quantitative and qualitative methods, but there is an implication of which methodological tools have more validation than others), of a rationality's and a human's conceptualization.

This manifests reciprocally in the requirements that organizations desire to be reflected in psychology students. As the next images show, a clinical perspective from psychology students is more requested in today's context. I am not here to disqualify the reaches and the benefits of a crisis intervention psychology (as it is the case in the next photo), but rather to draw attention to which type of psychological intervention is taught in the classrooms. Is it one that aims to disrupt a traumatic experience that refugees go through so they can subsequently be included in Germany's society and that way they can become functional citizens? Or is it one that not only does not forget the need of a clinical intervention, but it also does not forget a need to contextualize a person who just arrive to a new country and that way he/she can understand his/her historical, economical, political, social, and gender-related situatedness, giving her/him the chance to become a political subject?

Not less important is the need to question the reaches of [an] intercultural psychology. As Karishma Desai & Nyandiko Sanya (2016, p. 716) pointed out:

Multicultural curricula that fail to unsettle Eurocentrism centers the Western idea of Man and construct the 'Other' in contrast. Often, multicultural curricula are what Ahmed has called 'a nonperformative commitment to diversity'. That is, they have an impression of commitment to diversity without action. [...] Multicultural curricula often work to reinvest learners in liberal humanism by including violent colonial histories merely as symbolic representation, as opposed to encouraging inquiries that distill consequences of colonialism and imperialism.

Further, Desai & Sanya also mention that "A multicultural curricula approach framed by Eurocentrism fails to acknowledge the insidious presence of global capitalism. Eurocentrism is ingrained in the European colonial project and is part of larger interrelated global processes [...]" (p.717). By the application of an intercultural therapy we must question if this kind of therapy approach does really seek to intervene in a way that enables the subject or does seek to represent and support in a way that the subject is not performative?/.

In addition, we can trace a subtle colonial curricular line that is offered in the faculty of psychology in Universität Bielefeld by looking into the structure of the bachelor. Here, an offering of a mainstream base of psychology knowledge is obvious and that may not represent a problem, because of the need to know the strongest lines in psychology and the history behind them. A problematic arises when there is not a single basic module that offers a Vorlesung or a Seminar in which the histories, the theories, or the therapies in psychology are rethought or criticized.

There seems to be a detachment of psychology's faculty to the political face that this same discipline has since its first steps into the path of a scientific validation. There is clearly an attempt by this faculty to make its students more active in social spheres like gender, class or race, but at the same way this enabling is arbitrary. Besides the fact that there is no class where the diverse paradigms in psychology are offered - or at least briefly introduced -, there does not even exist a single class in this faculty's curricula where students can rethink and acknowledge their political situatedness as psychologists. At this point, I consider the bachelor of significant importance to bring the students closer with a tool that is called reflexivity. The term itself is related to qualitative research, but I consider its practice goes beyond the mechanistic distinction between qualitative and quantitative perspectives in psychology. To understand why it is important to familiarize us, students, with this term, we can start by taking what Carmen de la Cuesta-Benjumea wrote about what is the nature of this tool and its importance. She claimed:

[...] 'reflexivity' implica una toma de conciencia más inmediata, continua, dinámica y subjetiva. [...] aunque no hay un consenso pleno en su definición, se la entiende como el proceso de volver hacía uno mismo para examinar críticamente el efecto que se produce en el desarrollo de la investigación. La reflexividad por tanto, desafía las ideas de objetividad y distanciamiento tan apreciadas en el paradigma positivista; expresa la conciencia del investigador, habla de su conexión con la situación de la investigación. [...] Todos los investigadores en alguna medida estamos conectados con el tema de estudio [...] Dependiendo de la medida en que estas conexiones influyen en el estudio de investigación surgen preguntas sobre si sus resultados son un 'artefacto' derivado de la presencia del investigador. Y es aquí donde la reflexividad juega un papel por el reconocimiento que hace a nuestra presencia en la investigación, que si bien no se puede controlar, en el sentido positivista de la palabra, sí que se debe hacer consciente, o lo más consciente posible3 (de la Cuesta-Benjumea, p. 163-164).

By familiarizing the student with this tool, we can encourage ourselves to identify us in the research process. Acknowledgement of our situatedness can become clearer to us and this way we have the possibility to link the dots between our intersectionalities, our teaching, our praxis, our research and a rhetoric that validates only certain types of knowledges and forms certain types of psychologists. By doing so, there is a bigger probability of enabling a more political consciousness in the classrooms, in the researches, the therapies, and in our discipline, psychology. By doing so, we can identify how our discipline emerged from sociopolitical needs in a specific context; by doing so, we can draw the relation between those needs and the rhetoric in need; by doing so, we can trace how the colonial/modernity rhetoric does not only enable the formalization of our discipline, but also has an influence on the way we understand our discipline and how we understand ourselves as psychologists.


Conclusion

It is obvious that my semi-analysis of the Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science at Bielefeld University is really short and lacks further development in all its points of critique. This can be understood as an exercise for me, for those psychology students who have the possibility to read this text and for those who, for any reason, found themselves with it.

Nevertheless, through this exercise, psychology can be partially seen as what I think we psychologists have certain fear to admit: a political tool.

To call into question the validation of psychology itself as an academic discipline was never my objective in this text, but rather to question its epistemological backgrounds, its complicity to colonial (hence political) dynamics and its current practices in our historical context. There is a need in the discipline, not to guarantee its further scientific validation, but to induce the rethinking of psychology. One that acknowledges its lack of neutrality in political contexts and one that acknowledges its applications in and outside psychology itself.

In the case of the Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science at Bielefeld University it is important to acknowledge that the curricular plan, in the bachelor, is designed in a way in which psychology students are not being familiarized with diverse methodological approaches, paradigms, therapies, theories and praxis, guaranteeing an economy of students. The relevance of bringing to the students psychologies instead of a psychology during the bachelor can be exemplified when the majority of the students seeks a degree in clinical psychology, and more important, when they discredit those psychologies that do not belong to the Eurocentric canon about the characteristics of a scientific discipline (the legitimacy of the Eurocentric epistemology through the need of recognition from other epistemological approaches is not discussed here, but it is also not forgotten).

Further, it is important to teach psychology students, since the beginning on their educational path, their situatedness in this discipline and the implications of what they decide to do with it in the future. Here, the exercise of reflexivity can be a useful tool, as it enables a rethinking of what we are learning, what we are practicing and what kind of knowledge are we creating. Along with this, I consider relevant to rethink our discipline beyond the applications of psychology itself. In our historical context, we cannot longer ignore and be accomplices of the misuse that different social actors employ when appropriating of our knowledge; this social phenomenon needs to be faced from the start, from the classrooms. Here I am not longer talking only of the Faculty of Psychology and Sports Science at Bielefeld University. As Mbembe mentioned:

A global restructuring of higher education is taking place; is related to the dynamics of global capitalism. [...] The need, today, is for a postnational or partially denationalized education space that would help to increase the availability of a skilled labor force; that would foster the transferability and compatibility of its skills across boundaries as well as intensive research collaborations between universities and transnational corporations. (2016, p. 37)

The omission of the role that psychology plays in this global restructuring of higher education - and in the colonial/modernity rhetoric - enables the decontextualization of our discipline and it conceals the mask of neutrality and objectivity; it conceals a simpler way in which we, psychologists, can qualify our praxis; it conceals an overlapping for those who instrumentalize our concepts, diagnoses and frameworks to explain social phenomena and individual behaviors; it conceals the subtle generalization of population through statistical results; it conceals the oblivion of the intersectionalities that each person possesses; it conceals the differentiation between us and the others, making them inconceivable for our values and traditions, but at the same time predictable in their behaviors, motivations, histories and actions; it conceals the word Psychology in the concealment of the colonial world.


References

Carmen de la Cuesta-Benjumea. (2011). La reflexividad: un asunto crítico en la investigación cualitativa. Enfermería Clínica, 21(3).

Desai, K., & Sanya, B. N. (2016). Towards decolonial praxis: reconfiguring the human and the curriculum. Gender and Education, 28(6), 710-724. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540253.2016.1221893

González Rey, F. L. (1999). La investigación cualitativa en psicología. São Paulo: EDUC.

Heinemann, A. M.B., & do Mar Castro Varela, M. (2017). Contesting the imperial agenda. Respelling hopelessness. Tijdschrift Voor Genderstudies, 20(3), 259-274. https://doi.org/10.5117/TVGN2017.3.HEIN

Ibáñez Gracia, T. (DL 1990). Aproximaciones a la Psicología Social. Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona): Sendai.

Jeanie Kerr. (2014). Western epistemic dominance and colonial structures: Considerations for thought and practice in programs of teacher education. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 3(2), 88?104.

Joseph Mbembe, A. (2016). Decolonizing the university: New directions. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 15(1), 29-45. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474022215618513

Martín-Baró, I. (1983). Acción e ideología (1a ed.). Colección Textos universitarios. Serie Psicología: Vol. 1. San Salvador El Salvador: UCA Editores.

Ovejero Bernal, A., & Ramos, J. (DL 2011). Psicología social crítica. Biblioteca Nueva universidad : manuales y obras de referencia. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva [etc.].

Philip Oltermann (2018, April 7). Two dead after after vehicle hits crowd in Münster, Germany. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/07/several-dead-after-vehicle-drives-into-crowd-in-munster-germany



1 Translation made by the author: The contrast between one's own lived reality and the reality presented in these studies is at least shocking [...] The Latin American reader cannot but feel that the most crucial aspects of his own existence, of his own history, are not even tangentially considered and much less studied in depth. He also feels that when some of his own problems are examined, they suffer a disincarnation similar to the desexualization with which certain artists characterize religious characters. They are problems taken to abstraction, where the hurtful edges have been cut and the contexts of compromising significance have been eliminated.

2 Translation made by the author: Young Muslims have reason to feel that way. They belong to a population officially classified as lagging behind the 'advanced', 'developed' and 'progressing' rest of humanity. And they are trapped in that unenviable situation by the collusion between their own ruthless and arrogant governments and those of the 'advanced' part of the planet, which inexorably drives them away from the promised (and ardently coveted) lands of happiness and dignity. [...] Young Muslims try to mock, sneak through (or force their way through) the defense of 'swirling swords and cherubs' that guard the entrance to modern paradise, but when they manage to cross it (if they manage to deceive the guards or overcome the checkpoints), they realize that they are not welcome there, that they are not allowed to catch up with the way of life that they were accused of not having been able to pursue with sufficient zeal in their home countries. And they also realize that being there does not mean sharing the happiness and dignity of life that brought them to that place. [...] A few murderers on the loose are enough to recycle thousands of innocent people into 'habitual suspects'. A fe iniquitous individual choices will have been reprocessed in the blink of an eye to acquire the attributes of a 'category', an easily identifiable category, for example, by a suspiciously dark skin color or by a suspiciously bulky backpack.

3 Translation made by the author: 'reflexivity' implies a more immediate, continuous, dynamic and subjective awareness. [...] although there is no full consensus on its definition, it is understood as the process of returning to oneself to critically examine the effect on the development of research. Reflexivity, therefore, challenges the ideas of objectivity and distancing so appreciated in the positivist paradigm; it expresses the consciousness of the researcher, speaks of his connection with the research situation. Depending on the extent to which these connections influence the research study, questions arise as to whether its results are an 'artifact' derived from the presence of the researcher. And this is where reflexivity plays a role in the recognition of our presence in research, which although it cannot be controlled, in the positivist sense of the word, must be made conscious, or as conscious as possible.