3 Four critical theoretical strands

The focus of the 1986 'Psychology, Subjectivity and Change' Manchester meeting was very much on 'correct theory', and for all the problems this entails, the four strands of theory identified in that meeting, and then in the first PPR meeting later in the year, are still fairly influential on the way we understand our practice in psychology. The four main resources are still with us, but we could augment and modify the way we read each of them in the light of radical literary-theoretical debates, and in the light of recent (mistaken) arguments that they are out of date because Western culture has mutated into a postmodern condition (Parker, 1998, Parker, 2002). I will mention some of the contributions of those newer arguments as we go along. Now it is worth reviewing in a little detail what those main four frameworks offer to qualitative research now. I will deal with Marxism first, but you should not take the order of the list as an order of importance to researchers in the Unit.

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