By Gordon Sammut, Eleni Andreouli, George Gaskell, Jaan Valsiner
A social representations strategy bargains an empirical software for addressing myriad social issues similar to social order, ecological sustainability, nationwide identification, racism, spiritual groups, the general public realizing of technological know-how, overall healthiness and social advertising. The middle elements of social representations thought were debated over a long time and a few nonetheless stay largely misunderstood. This guide offers an outline of those center facets and brings jointly theoretical strands and advancements within the conception, a few of that have develop into pillars within the social sciences of their personal correct. lecturers and scholars within the social sciences operating with techniques and strategies similar to social identification, discursive psychology, positioning conception, semiotics, attitudes, danger belief and social values will locate this a useful source.
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Extra info for The Cambridge Handbook of Social Representations
30) roughly makes this point when she states: ‘a social representation worth studying is one that makes a noticeable difference to the reactions of those accepting the representation compared with their beliefs and conduct before such acceptance’. g. Echebarria Echabe, Guede and Castro, 1994; Faucheux and Moscovici, 1968; Thommen, Amann and von Cranach, 1988). These and other empirical studies subscribe to an ‘intentional causality’ either explicitly or implicitly by designing studies according to the idea of causal research: they first assess a belief as part of a representation, give it the status of an independent variable X, and subsequently ‘observe’ a verbal proxy of behaviour as the dependent variable Y.
Third, it can be assumed that littering probably was neither a contentious issue at the authors’ institution nor a societal problem at the time of the study. Consequently, we might not expect too strong a relationship between representations of cleanliness and actual littering. Irrespective of the particular results of the afore-reported studies in the field of social representations theory, the common theorizing is that behaviours somehow follow from pre-existing representations. While somewhat different in their argument from Bandura, Ajzen and followers, the present authors leave the exact theoretical status of the relationship between representations and behaviour unclear.
Representation in action An elaborate study on littering is a bit different. In fact, this is one of the few studies where actual overt behaviour in real-world settings played a role: the researchers observed littering behaviour in a central public space at their university and they were interested in interventions to reduce littering by students. The authors conclude ‘that a representational account was inadequate for explaining the pattern of attitudes and behaviour regarding littering’ (Liu and Sibley, 2004, p.