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Download A Postmodern Psychology of Asian Americans: Creating by Laura Uba PDF

By Laura Uba

Demanding situations current paradigms of information as they relate to Asian american citizens.

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Additional resources for A Postmodern Psychology of Asian Americans: Creating Knowledge of a Racial Minority (S U N Y Series, Alternatives in Psychology)

Example text

The acculturated subaltern frequently and without thinking adopt and reiterate those views, which have been relayed simply as facts. Behind dominant narratives about the nature of reality and what constitutes knowledge is usually the masked exercise of power; under the guise of rationality and progress are self-serving ideologies (Dowd, 1991; Gottdiener, 1993). Truth claims are sometimes dressed up as straightforward eyewitness observation. Doing so halts discourse and legitimates the repression or exclusion of other views.

An implicitly dichotomous relationship was assumed: Science’s raw truth and rationality–cum–empiricism trumped rhetoric, which was dismissed as empty, manipulative technique merely suited to swaying audiences and perpetuating opinion rather than identifying fact. More specifically, science has contrasted rhetoric to rational, scientific activities by noting that: rhetoric uses imprecise language and tropes, such as metaphors and metonyms, whereas scientific language’s precise descriptions and operational definitions are neither figurative nor ambiguous; rhetoric is designed to convince particular audiences whereas science is presumably accessible and convincing to all who are rational (Racevskis, 1993); rhetoric convinces by relying on opinion and emotions whereas science convinces through impartial evidence and logic; and rhetoric aims for the pragmatic whereas science aims for truth (O’Neill, 1998).

Postmodernism has challenged epistemological tenets of modernist science, such as the belief in an objectively knowable, referent reality; the faith that positivist data, born of questionable assumptions, provide an unassailable foundation; and the contention that psychological knowledge must be about a modernist foundation or scientifically articulable (Hollinger, 1994; Rosenau, 1992). With the notable exception of feminist research, psychology is largely either unfamiliar with postmodernism or resisting it; in other fields, however, postmodernism has been leading to broad reassessments of epistemological foundations, to critical analysis of the first premises of scientific investigation, and to the use of alternative, nonpositivist methods.

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