Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Fryer D., Duckett P.: Publishing, Overview. In: Teo T. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology: SpringerReference ( Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2013.

Further info

Within the discipline of psychology publishing is widely positioned as ‘a good thing’. Within the discourse currently dominant, publication in ‘peer reviewed’ journals (publication of and in books is less favoured in psychology in contrast to other disciplines, like philosophy) is positioned as a quality-controlled, contribution to ‘knowledge’ or ‘science’ and is positioned as the result of individual, creative, painstaking, sustained, intellectual work which is independent of political and economic agendas.

In this entry we argue that publishing in peer reviewed journals is indeed a ‘good thing’ for many interest groups in many respects. Publishing is a ‘good thing’: for those who manage psychologists; for those who subject psychologists’ research and intervention to theoretical, methodological and ideological surveillance and, sometimes dangerous, policing; for the commercial companies which make huge profits out of research publications; for the pharmaceutical industry and other bio-medical industries which use publications as marketing to increase their profits. However, in this entry, we argue that publishing is not ‘good thing’ for many who are published about and those trying to work from a critical standpoint.

From a critical perspective, publishing, in relation to psychological research, involves the writing up of research and scholarship in a style and format accepted by an academic journal, submitting it for peer review and, if accepted, entering into a copyright agreement for the paper to be made available to the ‘research community’. From a critical perspective, publishing, in relation to psychological research, involves: generating income for a neoliberal entrepreneurial institution; providing management with levers to pull in order to ‘divide and rule’; creating functions for bureaucracies and jobs for bureaucrats; making huge profits for ideologically problematic commercial companies; contributing to the mechanisms of oppression of those subjected to research; contributing to the tsunami of information overload; and subjecting oneself to theoretical, methodological and ideological governmentality and dangers of being silenced.

Publishing; research; knowledge; governmentality; neoliberalism; New Public Management; colonisation.

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