Not available in 2013/14
PS437      Half Unit
Representations, Institutions and Communities

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Sandra Jovchelovitch S310


This course is available on the MSc in Culture and Society, MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Health, Community and Development, MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology, MSc in Social Research Methods, MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology and MSc in Social and Public Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The objective of the course is to allow students to explore in depth the relationship between social representations and social contexts, with especial attention to the construction of everyday forms of knowledge, institutional functioning and community life. The course will cover the social context of representational activity: (i) The genesis and development of representations, (ii) The public nature of representations, (iii) Time and place in the construction of representations: Memory and identity; Representing institutions and communities: (i) Institutions: The symbolic and the material in the life of communities, (ii) The instituting and the instituted in the life of communities, (iii) Institutions and communities as potential space; Representing/constructing Others: (i) The other institutionalised: strategies of classification, segregation and exclusion, (ii) The other in the community: strategies of habituation, denial and differentiation, (ii) The other in dialogue: solidarity and strategies of communicative action; The limitations and possibilities of social psychological intervention: (i) Research as a dialogical act: Interpretation, knowledge and empowerment.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Indicative reading

D Jodelet, Madness and Social Representations (1991); M Douglas, How Institutions Think (1987); C Castoriadis, The Imaginary Institution of Society (1987); M Foucault, Madness and Civilization (1971); J Habermas, The Theory of Communicative Action, Vol I and II (1987); S Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (1930), Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921); D W Winnicott, Playing and Reality (1971); I Martin-Baró, Writings for a Liberation Psychology (1994).


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Social Psychology

Total students 2012/13: Unavailable

Average class size 2012/13: Unavailable

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information