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Alexander Orlov1, Natalya Orlova2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University), 9 Institutskiy per., Dolgoprudny, Moscow Region, 141700, Russian Federation

Critical Psychology in Action: A Societal Perspective

2013. Vol. 10. No. 1. P. 150–176 [issue contents]

The purpose of thise article was to review the drama of holistic human subjectivity in the logic of the development of the world of actions in material production. Methodology of critical psychology was used, according to which a person is considered not as a completed reality, but as a process of becoming. The traditional psychological approach to the problem of the relation between individual and activity is thus opposed to the consistent activity approach, which, however, is implemented not in the usual logic of the phylogeny and ontogeny of the human psyche, but in the logic of its social genesis, involving consideration of the process of formation of the modern world of activities.

The authors discuss the contrast of static and dynamic (historical) analysis of the world of activities, which serves as one of the most important determinants of personal development. Throughe the results of the analysis: we identified are the characteristics of the main stages in the development of the world of professional activities - crafts, manufactures, machinery and automated production. It is shown that the evolution of material production is inextricably linked to the collapse of the holistic professional activity, the alienation of man from this activity, and the splitting of the holistic professional activity into work and leisure. The main trends in the world of activity are outlined; these are the genesis of labor and the displacement of people from this labor. Two different forms of the realization of these contradictory tendencies in the modern world are the alienation of labor and the destruction of labor; both serve as different psychological and sociological conditions of personal development.

A phenomenon of downshifting is used as an illustration of these trends in the modern world. The results obtained could be employed in sociology, political science, general psychology (psychology of activity and personality psychology) and applied psychology (work psychology). Conclusion: The future of the world of activities is in the decrease of working hours in material production, and in providing people with the opportunities for authentic self-actualization and integration of their holistic subjectivity in leisure time. The destruction of the labor is an existential and social solution to the "crisis" of confrontation between two ideological paradigms of the XX century: the "infinite dead end" of capitalism or the endless rebirth of "dead-end" socialism.

Citation: Orlov, A. B., &  Orlova, N. A. (2013). Kriticheskaya psikhologiya v deistvii: sotsietal'naya perspektiva [Critical Psychology in Action: A Societal Perspective]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 10(1), 150-176. (in Russian)
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