Contemporary Social and Cultural Psychology

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Sandra Jovchelovitch QU.3.25


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology. This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Social Psychology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

Selected topics in cultural and modern social psychology. The relationship between mind, society and culture; the relationship between the individual and society; social and cultural psychology in historical perspective; epistemological issues in social and cultural psychology; self, society and social identities; consciousness; language and communication; attribution theory; psychoanalytic approaches to culture and society, social representations, beliefs and attitudes; the relations between culture and psychology; cognition and culture, applied aspects of social and cultural psychology.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.

Students' taking PS400 will also be required to attend PS443 lectures, 10 x 120 mins (MT), and 9 x 60 mins discussion groups.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

Indicative reading

J Israel & H Tajfel, The Context of Social Psychology, Academic Press, 1972; M Billig, Arguing and Thinking: A Rhetorical Approach to Social Psychology, CUP, 1987; M. Cole, Cultural Psychology: A once and future discipline. Harvard University Press, 1996; K Deaux & G Philogene, Representations of the Social, Blackwell, 2001; R M Farr, The Roots of Modern Social Psychology, Blackwell, 1996; U. Flick, The Psychology of the Social. Cambridge University Press, 1998; C Fraser & G Gaskell, The Social Psychological Study of Widespread Beliefs, Clarendon Press, 1990S; Moscovici, Social Representations: Explorations in Social Psychology. Polity Press, 2000; S. Jovchelovitch, Knowledge in Context: Representations, community and culture. Routledge, 2007; G. Semin & G. Echterhoff, Grounding Sociality: Neurons, Mind and Culture; H Tajfel, Human Groups and Social Categories; Studies in Social Psychology, CUP, 1981; M. Tomasello, The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition. Harvard University Press, 1999; L. Vygotsky Mind in Society, Harvard University Press, 1978.; J. Wertsch (ed.) Culture, Communication and Cognition. Cambridge University Press, 1985. In addition, reading lists on specific topics will be distributed during the course.


Exam (30%, duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes) in the LT week 0.
Essay (70%, 5000 words) in the MT.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 11.2
Merit 76.4
Pass 11.2
Fail 1.1

Key facts

Department: Social Psychology

Total students 2014/15: 28

Average class size 2014/15: 14

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills