Narrative psychology and discursive psychology

Instructor: Peter Bodor

Course description:

The course aims to introduce and to detail the narrative and discursive psychologies as alternative approaches to the mainstream individualistic cognitive psychology. More and more scholars wish to overcome the „mentalism” of contemporary psychology. Some of them attempt to highlight the “discourse” as a unifying concept for psychological analysis, while others rely more on the concept of “narrative”. The course starts with an exposition of the common conceptual horizon of discourse analysis and narratology. Then, various programs of discursive psychology and narrative psychology will be discussed. The course offers a detailed exposition of the psychological and social psychological approaches which offers discursive and/or narrative alternatives to cognitive psychology.

Language of instruction: English


A reader is to be compiled from the following publications:

Bodor, P.: “Identity in focus – and the case of ascribing schizophrenia to Europe and Hungary” 95-110. In: Recon Research Report: Collective identity formation in accession states. 2008;

Bodor, P.: “More than Meets the Ear.” British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 92. 2001, 403-409.

Bodor, P.: On Emotions: A Developmental Social Constructionist Account. L’Harmattan, Budapest, 2004.

Bodor, Péter (1997) On the usage of emotional language: A developmental view of the tip of an iceberg. In: Niemeier, Susanne and Dirven, René (eds.) The Language of Emotions: Conceptuaization, expression, and theoretical foundation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 195-208.

Bruner, Jerome (1990) Acts of Meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bruner, Jerome (1996) The Culture of Education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Capps, Lisa and Ochs Elinor (1995) Constructing Panic: The Discourse of Agoraphobia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Danziger, Kurt (1997) The Varieties of Social Construction. Theory & Psychology. 7:3. pp. 399-417.

Edwards, Derek (1997) Discourse and Cognition. London: SAGE.

Edwards, Derek and Potter, Jonathan (1992) Discursive Psychology. London: SAGE.

Harré R. (1993) Towards an emotionology of local moral orders. Common knowledge. 2:3. pp. 12-14.

Harré, R. (1997) "Berkelyian" Arguments and the Ontology of Cognitive Science. In: Johnson, D. M. and Erneling, C. E. (eds.): The Future of the Cognitive Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 335-353.

Harré, R. and Gillett, G. (1994) The Discursive Mind. London: SAGE.

Sarbin, Theodore R. (1986/b) The Narrative as a Root Metaphor for Psychology, In: Sarbin, Theodore R.(ed.) Narrative Psychology. pp. 3-21,

Sarbin, Theodore R. (1989) Emotions as Situated Actions. In: Cirillo, Leonard, Kaplan, Bernard and Wapner, Seymour (eds.) Emotions in Human Development. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. pp. 77-101.


Active participation and a written essay on a relevant topic.