Realism, materialism, and the assemblage: Thinking psychologically with Manuel DeLanda
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The purpose of this article is to introduce Manuel DeLanda’s “assemblage theory” to psychology. Based on a select review of this theory, we argue that DeLanda’s work may allow for new ways of approaching unresolved problems in psychological inquiry, such as the realism–constructivism impasse, and disputes regarding linear and non-linear models of causality. DeLanda’s systematic treatment of the assemblage, using terms familiar to social scientists and analytic philosophers alike, offers a host of novel concepts and methods for the analysis of social, biological, and/or political systems, while also indicating how this analysis may be deployed in innovative social science inquiry. A number of psychologists have recently begun to explore the concept of assemblage. We add to these efforts in the present paper by assessing how DeLanda’s assemblage theory may open up a new “image of the psychological” to guide research and practice.
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