First-person perspective (online version)

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The first-person perspective is a central concept of critical psychology trying to make psychological processes and the subjective dimension of human life understandable. The concept refers to the point of view of the “I” as the way in which a human subject has access to her/himself and the world, and to her/his experiences, emotions, thoughts and actions. The concept builds on a socio-materially situated understanding of the human being and stands in opposition to mainstream psychologies which conduct their research from an external – third-person – perspective. From such a view from above, or as critics argue, from “nowhere”, psychological phenomena and human life can only be understood in an abstract and reduced form. The individual appears one-sidedly as an effected and conditioned being, and the concrete reality of human subjectivity and agency, the active and acting side of everyday practice remains out of sight.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Critical Psychology : SpringerReference (
EditorsThomas Teo
Place of PublicationBerlin
Publication date2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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