CUSP, Psychology, Research in the School

New research in the School: problems of listening, hearing and voice

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One function of the School’s research groups is to offer a forum in which academics can receive feedback on work in progress. A recent meeting of the Culture and Social Psychology group discussed two new pieces of writing, each of which centres, in rather different ways, on problems connected to listening, hearing and voice.

Dr Lisa Lazard presented a chapter on The Sexual Harassment of Hollywood Men, to be part of her new book Predator and Prey? Sexual Harassment, Psychology and Feminism under Neoliberalism. The chapter discusses a recent development in the #MeToo movement, the publicising of men’s accounts of sexual victimisation. The chapter discusses the significance of these different voices, of victims who are male, not female. Will hearing their accounts force people in our predominantly heterosexual culture to reconsider established ideas? Will there be an erosion of an old binary by which men are positioned as active and women as passive or constrained? Dr Lazard argues that the vulnerabilities and power relations involved are more complex.

You can read more about Dr Lazard’s research on her webpage http://fass.open.ac.uk/people/lml279

Dr Johanna Motzkau presented a new article on her research into why child victims of sexual exploitation are so frequently not heard, even when they speak out. The article, by Johanna Motzkau and Nick Lee, is titled Cultures of listening: psychology, resonance, justice. It reviews social and psychological theories which consider how communication is shaped by power relations that determine who will be listened to, and heard. This is, of course, particularly relevant to child protection, including the many horrific cases in which the victims of organised groups of abusers had repeatedly asked for help but, somehow, not been heard. The paper argues that the necessary response is not to blame the professional front line workers involved but to challenge the cultures in which they must operate. We need to develop different, more open listening practices to be receptive to what has previously, too often, gone unheard.

You can read more about Dr Motzkau’s work on her webpage http://fass.open.ac.uk/people/jfm238

 

You can learn more about the Culture and Social Psychology group, CuSP, on this webpage which also contains details of some future events

http://fass.open.ac.uk/research/groups/cusp

 

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